Coplas and survival: Conchita piquer, "Tatuaje", and the mourning of the defeatednts

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The present study is a reading of "Tatuaje" (1941), the most famous copla of Conchita Piquer, in the context of Franco's mass graves. Several intellectuals who grew up during the postwar period in Spain have attested to the passion with which the defeated sang this song. The testimony of survivors of Franco's terror, presented in recent documentaries, describes the psychological suffering that resulted from the prohibition on burying their dead or carrying out rituals of mourning for them. I use this testimony to argue that "Tatuaje" had such a huge impact because it functioned during the entire postwar period as a clandestine ritual of mourning, a mourning done in code under cover of the story of the woman at the port and her sailor. I interpret the song as a representation of, and as a therapy for, the condition called "complicated grief". And I argue that "Tatuaje" also helped the defeated to solve an existential problem: that of being ghostly carryovers from a previous era, without a role in Franco's "New Spain".

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sieburth, S

Published Date

  • July 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 515 - 532

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0034-7981

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3989/rdtp.2011.19

Citation Source

  • Scopus