Focusing on post-Franco Spanish fiction from 1975 to 1989, Robert C. Spires applies the concepts of episteme and discursive field to the ways in which language from multiple sources determines how reality is defined at a given moment and how it influences ideas, attitudes, and feelings. Spires identifies bonds connecting disparate academic disciplines and sociopolitical events by exploring how the world of fiction serves as a register of the nonfictional world.
In 1989 the Soviet bloc, along with other totalitarian regimes in South America and Africa, disappeared from the global geopolitical map. Spain set the precedent for this decentralizing revolution when, in 1975, its longtime dictator, Francisco Franco, died; democratic elections followed two years later. This study records an epistemic shift away from logocentric and totalizing approaches to reality by analyzing the links between the novelistic strategies used by Spanish writers from 1975 to 1989 and recent international events and theoretical trends in science, mathematics, communication studies, and art. Highlighting worldwide processes of fragmentation, decentralization, and pluralism, Spires foregrounds ways in which literary and scientific approaches to and concepts of reality coincide, with fiction serving as one more register of how reality is conceived at a particular point in time.
Post-Totalitarian Spanish Fiction makes a major contribution in the field of Spanish literature and will enhance the esteem that contemporary Spanish literature is beginning to achieve internationally. In addition, this "epistemocritical" project will serve as a model for literary critics who wish to accommodate the increasingly popular approach labeled "cultural studies" without surrendering the primacy of the literary text.