A Nothing That Does Things: Hunger as Affect in Laforet's Nada
Hispanic Research Journal
For many critics, Carmen Laforet’s Nada (1944) is an ambiguous work that only refers to life in post-war Spain (1939-44) without analysing or criticizing the sordid nature of the period. Although it is true that Andrea is a passive character that rarely passes judgment on the people and events she describes in the novel, in this paper I argue that her decisions are influenced by the way she feels and not just what she thinks. Borrowing from theories of affect that view affect, emotions, and feelings as ‘judgments made by the body’, I argue that Andrea’s corporeal needs are what motivate and move her more than any other factor in the novel. For in Nada, hunger is an important leitmotif: it affects almost every aspect of daily life for Andrea and her family, and, with its own ubiquitous presence, it illuminates the very real social inequalities of the time, thus offering evidence as to why at the end of the novel Andrea decides to go with Ena’s family to Madrid.
Perret, Sally, "A Nothing That Does Things: Hunger as Affect in Laforet's Nada" (2012). Modern Foreign Languages Faculty Work. 3.
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