The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain's Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War

The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain's Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War

by Aaron Shulman


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A gripping narrative history of Spain’s most brilliant and troubled literary family—a tale about the making of art, myth, and legacy—set against the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War and beyond

In this absorbing and atmospheric historical narrative, journalist Aaron Shulman takes us deeply into the circumstances surrounding the Spanish Civil War through the lives, loves, and poetry of the Paneros, Spain’s most compelling and eccentric family, whose lives intersected memorably with many of the most storied figures in the art, literature, and politics of the time—from Neruda to Salvador Dalí, from Ava Gardner to Pablo Picasso to Roberto Bolaño.

Weaving memoir with cultural history and biography, and brought together with vivid storytelling and striking images, The Age of Disenchantments sheds new light on the romance and intellectual ferment of the era while revealing the profound and enduring devastation of the war, the Franco dictatorship, and the country’s transition to democracy.

A searing tale of love and hatred, art and ambition, and freedom and oppression, The Age of Disenchantments is a chronicle of a family who modeled their lives (and deaths) on the works of art that most inspired and obsessed them and who, in turn, profoundly affected the culture and society around them.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062484192
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Aaron Shulman is a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including The Believer, The American Scholar, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. A collaborative writer and editorial coach, he works with visionary scientists and thinkers to bring their research to a wide readership. Shulman first lived in Spain while studying abroad and moved back in 2010 after falling in love with a Spanish woman. There, he published pieces about Spanish culture, social movements, and the economic crisis. In 2012, he watched “El Desencanto,” the 1976 documentary about the Panero family, and from that night onward became hopelessly obsessed. He now lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Lorca's Moon xi

Part 1 Paradise Lost, 1909-1939

Chapter 1 A Premature Skeleton 3

Chapter 2 The Señorito from Astorga 15

Chapter 3 To Win and to Convince 33

Chapter 4 Like an Almond Tree 39

Chapter 5 Verses of a Combatant 53

Chapter 6 The Girl Who Cried 63

Chapter 7 Long Live Spain 71

Chapter 8 A Few Days 83

Chapter 9 ¡No Pasarán! 89

Chapter 10 We Won't Be the Same 99

Part 2 La Familia, 1940-1962

Chapter 11 Light Enters the Heart 105

Chapter 12 If We Know How to Deserve Our Happiness 115

Chapter 13 Triumph of Love 121

Chapter 14 The Survivor 127

Chapter 15 Word of My Silent Depth 133

Chapter 16 House and Tradition 137

Chapter 17 Battersea Park 143

Chapter 18 The Writer and the Woman, the Poet and the Man 155

Chapter 19 Extrapoetic Choices 161

Chapter 20 Friends and Enemies 173

Chapter 21 Good Bread and Bad Wine 181

Chapter 22 The Killer of Nightingales 187

Part 3 The Transition, 1962-1978

Chapter 23 There I Want to Sleep 201

Chapter 24 Everything or Nothing 205

Chapter 25 Discoveries 215

Chapter 26 The Enchanting Disaster 223

Chapter 27 Rivalry and Referendum 231

Chapter 28 The Great Complication 245

Chapter 29 La Locura 251

Chapter 30 The Mute Witness 263

Chapter 31 Four Characters in Search of an Auteur 277

Chapter 32 Game of Masks 285

Chapter 33 Taxi 317

Chapter 34 Auction of Memories 323

Part 4 Fin De Raza, 1981-2014

Chapter 35 La Movida 343

Chapter 36 Burdens and Legacies 359

Chapter 37 The End of a Party 369

Chapter 38 The End of the Line 381

Epilogue 393

Acknowledgments 403

Notes 407

Selected Bibliography 425

Permissions 447

Photo Credits 449

Index 451

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