Barcelona August 7th, 2013 12:13am
Spent first part of the day yesterday going over parts of the script with LLuis-Anton. This translating business is very interesting. as you multi-linguists know in English we say "you" for most interactions, whereas Latin languages have multiple forms of second person singular - depending on the relationship. Catalan has several - One very respectful for the King or person very high, one for addressing a plurality, one for formal respect , one for close equal... So going through the script we have to look at Winston's changing relationship with the State, with O'Brien, with the Party Member playing Julia - it's a lot.
After a couple of hours of that we started talking about the Civil war again, and Lluis-Anton tried to explain to me why there isn't a museum dedicated to it. He said repeatedly that the war, to a large extent, isn't really over; that in their hearts people still have very fresh wounds not only from the war - which was a long time ago - but from the Dictatorship that resulted from the loss of the war. He was born under the Dictatorship, and people of his generation and before were raised with the constant fear of the State. Through family histories they knew what had happened to those who fought against Fascism in the past, how after the war they were put in concentration camps or executed, how decades of oppression, suffering, and murder by the State in Spain were ignored by the western democracies because Spain's fascist government was an ally in the Cold War. The fear of repercussions was bred into people, and it still is part of the reaction when talking about the war. Also, as is true with most civil wars, it couldn't really end because both the victors and the vanquished still live side by side. There was never another revolution to take back the nation, never a real break with the Dictatorship or fascism.
There are still monuments to Franco in towns throughout Spain. Imagine a Germany that still had Hitler in granite in town squares and on buildings. There are still open Francoists in positions of power, and the King of Spain, who was an ally of Franco, still controls the military. They no longer say they are Fascists, but they are. And that fact, and the lack of any sort of Truth and Reconciliation in regards to the war and the atrocities that happened during and for decades after means that the anger is still very much alive. "It is in our skins," as Lluis-Anton said. Actual oppression and injustice is not something people simply get over, as much as the New Agers tried to preach to the oppressed masses. Every Catalan family has members that suffered, who dies in the war, or were imprisoned, tortured, exiled, or executed. A metaphor might be the buildings around town: many of the buildings were here during the war, were written about as the locations of certain events, were scarred with bullet holes. And though the holes were later filled in and painted over you can still see them. They are a constant, daily reminder for the Catalans of what happened to them and their country, how brutally they were crushed as he world - except for a few - stood by and watched. So the wounds, while old, are kept fresh by a memory of constant fear, by the lack of justice and retribution, by the inheritors of a Fascist enemy still openly in power, and by living in a city of reminders of what happened. So how can you have a museum to a war that is still going on?