Friday, 30 November 2018

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Nada by Carmen Laforet

When a young person sets out to conquer the adult world, it’s usually with great expectations and high-flying dreams because everything seems possible to someone no longer subject to childhood limitations. Alas, the yearned for unlimited freedom inevitably proves an illusion given that “no man is an island”. Unless we withdraw to the back of beyond where no human creature ever shows up, we aren’t spared dealing with our fellow beings in daily life and to make compromises in order to live in peace. In Nada by Carmen Laforet, which I picked as bookish déjà vu, eighteen-year-old Andrea comes to Barcelona to enjoy the liberties of student life, but only roaming the big city and in the company of her well-to-do friends she escapes the stifling atmosphere of her late mother’s once important bourgeois family with whom she lives sharing the all-pervading penury and hunger after the Spanish Civil War.
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