Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Hispanic Research Journal 11:3 (June, 2010), pp. 193–209; doi: 10.1179/174582010X12659827458988 Copyright © 2010 Queen Mary, University of London. Used by permission.


In this article, I analyze the representation of the Other in three texts that were published during the Spanish Civil War: El infierno azul (1938?), by Republican Isidro R. Mendieta, and two closely related works by Falangist Jacinto Miquelarena: Cómo fui ejecutado en Madrid (1937) and El otro mundo: La vida en las embajadas de Madrid (1938). Although these texts adhere to different political ideologies and are stylistically very divergent, they are similar in their constant criticisms of the enemy. Furthermore, both Republicans and rebels tend to depict the enemy as possessing an inadequate masculinity. He is described, on one hand, as a beast or an animal, unable to control his instincts, and, on the other hand, as an unmanly and effeminate coward. Thus, for the construction of the nation, the Other presents an inappropriate masculinity, which is either excessive and uncontainable, or insufficient. Therefore, national ideologies seem to propose a normative masculinity that is located in an ambiguous middle ground: a masculinity that is able to control animal instincts yet capable of heroic acts.