Despite the (permanent or temporal) residency of prominent Spanish Republican intellectuals such as Pedro Salinas, Luis Cernuda, Juan Ramón Jiménez and Américo Castro in the United States, this country still has a rather marginal presence within the growing corpus of studies of the Republican exile of 1939. Furthermore, despite having successful academic and literary careers in the U.S., the life and work of some of these exiles have not received great critical attention. This is the case of José Rubia Barcia (Ferrol, 1914 – Santa Monica, 1997), who after standing out as brilliant student in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Granada and fighting against fascism during the Spanish Civil War, left the country for Cuba and later on for the United States, where he became a Lecturer in Spanish Literature at UCLA. Apart from his contribution to the development of Hispanic Studies in this country (he published extensively on authors such as Valle-Inclán and translated the Peruvian poet César Vallejo into English), Rubia Barcia remained a staunch defender of the Spanish Republican Government (which also caused his arrest and almost deportation accused of Communism, during McCarthyism). This seminar will examine Rubia Barcia’s position within the Spanish Republican exile in the United States, by looking especially at his efforts to create an anti-Francoist narrative that challenged the views of the Spanish war and Franco’s dictatorship not only promoted by the
regime itself, but also by the support given by the U.S. to Francoism in the context of the Cold War. Rubia Barcia’s counter-discourse was developed in the articles he wrote for the press, especially for the pro-Republican newspaper España Libre, published in New York until the death of the Spanish dictator. These (and other) articles were subsequently gathered in the volume Prosas de Razón y Hiel. Desde el Exilio: desmitificando al franquismo y ensoñando una España mejor
[Writings of Reason and Bile. From Exile: Demystifying Francoism and Dreaming about a Better Spain] (1976). His criticism of Francoism is also present in his creative writing, in the text Umbral de sueños [Dream Threshold] (1961), a volume of prose poetry. The analysis of the anti-Francoist narrative created in José Rubia Barcia’s texts will shed light on the discursive efforts to challenge Francoist official narratives carried out by the Republican exiles and, in the case of those settled in the United States, their reaction to the endorsement that the government of this country gave to Franco’s dictatorship.