This project studies the subjective strategies that Rosa Montero and Lucía Etxebarria present in post-Franco Spain. I approached this study with an understanding that Spain’s society since the death of Franco is still changing, and its people were still coming to terms with this new order. Spanish literature has reflected this change and the people’s desire to find their place and find autonomy within this new society. Rosa Montero and Lucía Etxebarria are both women authors who present female protagonists who are also attempting these changes. Both are well-known authors in Spain and offer two very different subjective strategies as a sort of ethical stance for their readers to adopt. To demonstrate these strategies that Montero and Etxebarria employed, I used a psychoanalytic, and more specifically Lacanian, approach to reading, understanding, and analyzing these texts. In order to present a Lacanian approach, it was necessary to employ the works of Slavoj Žižek, Paul Verhaeghe, Bruce Fink, Anne Dunand, and Judith Feher-Gurevich.
I began the project with an explanation of Lacanian psychoanalysis and the coinciding terms by using the films of Pedro Almodóvar. Almodóvar is a well-known and well-studied director who is famous for his portrayal of hysteria and perversion, the subjective strategies employed by Montero and Etxebarria respectively. I then focused on Montero’s novel La hija del caníbal and how she interpolates the protagonist into a subjective strategy of hysteria. It is a strategy used to come to terms with desire and the Other in the new order created in post-Franco Spain. Indeed, the strategy is a successful one, and the protagonist, Lucía Romero, is also able to achieve a step beyond hysteria in the end. I then moved on to Lucía Etxebarria’s novel Amor, curiosidad, prozac y dudas and explained and demonstrated the perverse subjective strategy that she employed. The three Gaena sisters are morphed into one composite perverse subject who is the protagonist by the author in this novel. They are also struggling to come to terms with desire and the Other in post-Franco Spain, like Montero’s protagonist, but are doing so with a subjective strategy which appears, superficially, to be a failure. However, upon understanding Lacanian psychoanalysis and understanding the end of the novel, the composite perverse strategy is clearly a successful strategy for the Gaena sisters. I conclude the project by comparing and contrasting the strategies and their success as presented by Montero and Etxebarria and explaining the need for more study of female subjective strategies in post-Franco Spanish literature.