Notes

  • 1. Trillo and Breccia, Habia una vez ... El lado oscuro de los cuentos infantiles, 4.
  • 2. Hunter, “Tales from Over There,” 71.
  • 3. Landwehr, “The Fairy Tale as Allegory for the Holocaust,” 154. Landwehr and others study children of Shoah survivors in particular, but also authors with no first-hand experiences of Nazism who have told the story of the Holocaust through fairy tales. Worth mentioning, for example, is Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose (1992), based on the story of Sleeping Beauty, an old folk tale made famous first by Frenchman Charles Perrault in 1697, and then by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm in the nineteenth century. They tell us, for example, that after Sleeping Beauty wakes up, not from a prince’s kiss but from the birth of the child she had when she was asleep, she moves in with her ogress mother-in-law while the prince goes to war. The ogress orders the cook to kill her daughter-in-law and grandchildren and to serve them for dinner, but the prince arrives home in time to stop the pending tragedy and only then do they live happily ever after. Yolen, a fairy-tale scholar and oral storyteller, took this story, set it in both present-day USA and Poland during the war, and restored the original cruelty to the tale. Other examples of this trend are Louis Murphy’s The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: A Novel of War and Survival (2003) and Nothing Makes You Free: Writings by Descendants of Jewish Holocaust Survivors (2003), the latter a collection edited by Melvin Jules Bukiet that includes stories by writers such as Art Spiegelman, Eva Hoffman and Henri Raczymov, who have used the motifs and structures of fairy tales to remember how they heard of the Holocaust for the first time or how they experienced Nazism as children.
  • 4. See, for example, references to Veronica in Robles, Pequenos combatientes, 57. Angela Urondo also remembers that when she was a child she told everyone that her name was Heidi and that she was a fan of Annie. }Quien te crees que sos?, 110.
  • 5. Contemporary US writers have also mixed imaginaries, and characters of superheroes and comic books, to tell stories about the Holocaust. See, for example, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay (2000) about two Jewish cousins in the USA (the family of one of them still trapped in a Poland ruled by Nazism) who became famous in the 1940s thanks to the creation of a series of comic books that featured an anti-Nazi superhero, The Escapist, whose main aim is to free the oppressed around the world.
  • 6. Chabon, Secret Skin, 14.
  • 7. Other stories of militant children include both autofictional accounts (e.g. Robles’ Pequenos combatientes and Avila’s 2011 film Infancia clandestine/,) and fictional texts (e.g. Cristina Feijoo’s 2007 novel La casa operativa).
  • 8. During Christmas 2015, Argentine newspapers announced that Clara Anahi had been found. Social networks exploded with messages of happiness and pictures of the recovered granddaughter with “Chicha” Mariani. Many even saw an unmistakable physical similarity between her and Diana Teruggi. It turned out, however, that the girl who claimed to be Clara Anahi was not really her, and that she had even been informed on several occasions of the absence of any biological link between her and the Mariani-Teruggi family. Many unanswered questions remain as to how so many people and the mass media made such an announcement about this sensitive case without having concrete proof.
  • 9. Following the positive critical reception of La casa de los conejos, Alcoba has published two other autofictional novels, both written, like her opera prima, in French and translated into Spanish by Brizuela. In Los pasajeros de Anna C. (The Passengers of Anna C.) (2012), Alcoba fictionalizes the journey made to Cuba during the 1960s by her parents, young militants of sixteen and seventeen years old. Laura Alcoba was born in Cuba but was legally registered in Argentina when her parents returned and she was a month old. In Elazulde lasabejas (The Blue of the Bees) (2014), Alcoba narrates what happened to the girl of La casa de los conejos after going into exile with her mother in France in 1979, where she had to learn a new language and adapt to a new school while developing an epistolary relationship with her father, still imprisoned in dictatorial Argentina.
  • 10. Alcoba, “Maneges/La casa de los conejos o la eleccion de una postura hib- rida,” 274.
  • 11. Gamerro, “La casa de los conejos.”
  • 12. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 6. All citations are taken from the English translation of Alcoba’s book.
  • 13. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 9.
  • 14. With a touch of humor, Roberto, the son of Montonero militant Liliana Massaferro, remembers a similar experience during his own childhood: “I was not yet ten years old and I already knew what it was to hide myself on the floor of the car to avoid seeing where we were going. They [the militants, my parents] had to blindfold us and it wasn’t an easy task. I remember Jota cursing after three hours of driving in the car: Do you kids know where we are? With naivety and satisfaction I used to answer: ‘Yes, we are returning to the same street that we just passed’, to which he said ‘for god’s sake, these children are never going to get lost!’ ” (Giussani, Buscada: Lili Massaferro, 181). Similarly, but with a less humorous spirit, Javier Urondo says in an oral testimony recorded on video and kept in the non-governmental organization Memoria Abierta that “I got very upset when I had to perform militant missions, because I had the feeling that I was going to end up betraying my whole family ... my old man didn’t make much effort. He put me in the car, drove for a few minutes and then we were home. I used to get angry with him and told him that I did not have the same revolutionary strength that he had and that I doubted I could have survived torture [if the military wanted me to betray him].”
  • 15. Feierstein, “Del otro lado del espejo: La pesadilla de crecer en dictadura,” 21. Feierstein also notes that Carroll’s book acquired a new meaning in Argentina with Charly Garcia and Raul Porchetto’s song “Cancion de Alicia en el pais,” a popular track composed during the dictatorship that alludes to repression through metaphors as a means of avoiding censorship.
  • 16. Saban, Imaginar elpasado, 152.
  • 17. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 70.
  • 18. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 34.
  • 19. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 59.
  • 20. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 32.
  • 21. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 85.
  • 22. Curiously, various child characters of recent Argentine (auto)fictions that draw on the dictatorial years are seven years old or tell stories of events that happened to their authors when they were that age. Filmmaker Benjamin Avila was seven years old when his mother disappeared, although the character of his autofictional film Infancia clandestina is older, a literary licence he took to incorporate the teen love plot in the story. The girl from Pequenos combatientes is seven years old, the age of her daughter when Robles wrote it, even though she herself was younger when her parents disappeared in 1976. Finally, the narrator of Julian Lopez’s Una muchacha muy bella (2013) recalls his daily life with his disappeared mother when he was also seven years old. Lopez’s mother died when he was a child but not as a result of political violence.
  • 23. Alcoba, The Rabbit House, 55.
  • 24. Alcoba, “Maneges/La casa de los conejos o la eleccion de una postura hib- rida,” 279.
  • 25. Craig, “Piedra libre para la casa.”
  • 26. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 1.
  • 27. Ibid.
  • 28. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 6.
  • 29. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 68.
  • 30. Perec, W or The Memory of Childhood, 13.
  • 31. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 68.
  • 32. Contemporary Latin American Women Writers, Artists and Filmmakers, 26 October 2012, organized by the School of Arts and Humanities.
  • 33. In this vein, La casa de los conejosis similar not only to Perec’s book but also to a whole tradition of autofictions of trauma—including Marjane Satrapis’ Persepolis (2000), Imre Kertesz’ Fatelessness (1975) and Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (1971)—which, faced with the challenges posed by the horrors of the twentieth century when narrating memories of childhood, have permanently changed the rules of autobiography.
  • 34. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 4.
  • 35. Perec, Wor The Memory of Childhood, 164.
  • 36. For more historical information about the episode, see Chaves et al., eds, Los del 73. Memoria Montonera, and Painceira Dar la vida.
  • 37. Fortuny, Memoriasfotograficas, 54.
  • 38. Santucho, “Temporalidades de la infancia.”
  • 39. Prividera, Restos.
  • 40. Wasylyk Fedyszak, “Fragmentos de la historia.”
  • 41. Falabella, “Familia y Exilio.”
  • 42. Feminis, “La nina que sobrevivio.”
  • 43. Wajszczuk, “La ficcion es liberadora.”
  • 44. Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment, 4.
 
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