@EPUB ⚟ The Age of Disenchantments Ö eBook or E-pub free

The history of Spain over the past 90 years is history as nightmare The whole idea of Fascism taking over a country both politically and culturally has fascinated me Perhaps it is a life long concern that it could happen here if we fail to recognize it and learn from the history of others In 2012 the author Aaron Shulman saw the cult Spanish documentary El Desecanto which was made in 1976 It is about the Panero family who after the film s release became cultural icons popular as a touchstone for Spain s turmoil The family who Shulman documents is the Father, Leopold Panero, his wife Felicidad and their three Sons These are not likable people and one wonders how Spanish culture has become so enraptured They appear again in a second film and in numerous books and studies Although Shulman does not address the impact of media on the elevation of the Panero family s notoriety he instead investigates the link between literature, their poetry, and Spain s history and cultural transition from fascist dictatorship to democracy The first half of the book is quite intriguing and splendidly presented as we follow the Father Leopold into his world of literature as a poet with liberal and perhaps communist leanings But as suddenly as Franco rose out of Africa with his army and merged with the Catholic Church, Monarchist, and dedicated Fascists to start the most violent of civil wars that Leopold changed sides mostly out of the need to survive He became a Fascist among Fascists and through autocratic incompetence he was able to rise in the Franco government enhancing his fame as poet that supported the regime even becoming it s cultural censor He could have just as easily been executed given his past political leanings Those who knew those who were executed never accepted Leopold or his poetry again The books main portrait till its end is Leopold s wife Felicidad who feels trapped and unloved and restricted by the Fascist insistence on woman maintaining only traditional roles She looks for love in all the wrong places and sells her husband s legacy to survive The problem for me was with the second half of the book because the three sons which dominate the text are such self destructive performance artists They degrade their Father s memory and yet at the same time try to benefit from it by trying their hand at literature and poetry In part, because of their fame they find recognition if not admiration and only add to their family s pain Fortunately, none of them left any decedents who would have had to cope with one of these tormented impostors I would be interested to see the documentary that attracted the author to this passion project Shulman is an excellent writer and I found the book interesting and maddingly sad In his Epilogue Shulman tells a personal story about the death of a close friend and its then than anywhere earlier in the book that I realizd the Panero s family story is a ghost story. I cannot recommend a better historical narrative book than this gem, a fascinating tale that ticks all boxes, Civil wars, poets and writers, crazy families, politics, different decades, Franco, Spanish history, love, death This is a big book but a fast absorbing read and brilliantly researched and beautifully told writing It works like a novel and has you invested in the characters who are real people who lived a crazy fascinating life One of my fav books of this year. @EPUB Û The Age of Disenchantments å A Gripping Narrative History Of Spain S Most Brilliant And Troubled Literary Family A Tale About The Making Of Art, Myth, And Legacy Set Against The Upheaval Of The Spanish Civil War And BeyondIn This Absorbing And Atmospheric Historical Narrative, Journalist Aaron Shulman Takes Us Deeply Into The Circumstances Surrounding The Spanish Civil War Through The Lives, Loves, And Poetry Of The Paneros, Spain S Most Compelling And Eccentric Family, Whose Lives Intersected Memorably With Many Of The Most Storied Figures In The Art, Literature, And Politics Of The Time From Neruda To Salvador Dal , From Ava Gardner To Pablo Picasso To Roberto Bola OWeaving Memoir With Cultural History And Biography, And Brought Together With Vivid Storytelling And Striking Images, The Age Of Disenchantments Sheds New Light On The Romance And Intellectual Ferment Of The Era While Revealing The Profound And Enduring Devastation Of The War, The Franco Dictatorship, And The Country S Transition To DemocracyA Searing Tale Of Love And Hatred, Art And Ambition, And Freedom And Oppression, The Age Of Disenchantments Is A Chronicle Of A Family Who Modeled Their Lives And Deaths On The Works Of Art That Most Inspired And Obsessed Them And Who, In Turn, Profoundly Affected The Culture And Society Around Them In 1972 73, my junior year in college, I lived with the Panero family the subject of this book in Madrid during a six month study abroad period Franco was still living Leopoldo Panero, the patriarch of the family, had been dead 11 years I knew that he had been a well known poet, but nothing else His widow, Felicidad, was a very elegant, well spoken, aristocratic woman with a mind of her own, and talent, but had a troubled life I sensed she had Republican sympathies and didn t think much of the Francoists Nationalists Leopoldo had been in various posts in the Spanish government roles that mainly had him promoting Spanish culture When I started reading some of his work, I was shocked to discover that he was basically an apologist for Franco I began wondering, How could this elegant, cultured, intelligent woman possiblly have been married to a Francoist One did not ask questions like this out loud in Spain at that time with Franco still in command But I always wondered about it Years later I learned that Leopoldo became a fascist simply to survive he was imprisoned and was likely headed for execution, but was allowed to join with the Falange after his mother intervened with Franco s wife whom the mother knew personally Difficult circumstances, but not a tough choice.There were three sons the two younger ones, Leopoldo Maria and Michi, were around frequently at the their mother s apartment They were a little bit older than me, but still in their mid 20s Leopoldo Maria was very, very odd I found out a little from his mother he had been imprisoned for drugs I learned later that it was a lot worse than this he had been imprisoned for political protests and had been tortured I distinctly remember knocking on his door one evening to talk to him he was the king of cool but would jump three feet in the air when someone knocked he apparently had been forcibly removed by police in he middle of the night and lived in fear of a repeat He would go on to write brilliant poetry from an insane asylum in the Canary Islands where he lived most of his life.Shulman was inspired to write the book while living in Spain 10 12 years ago when he saw the movie El Desencanto This movie, made in 1975, was a documentary about the Panero family the central event was the unveiling of a statue of Leopoldo the father in his hometown of Astorga The unveiling was a formal affair, with children dancing, speeches, etc The movie, however, is mainly conversations and interviews with Felicidad, Juan Luis the oldest son , Michi, and, finally, Leopoldo Maria Let s just say it s apparent Felicidad was not happy with her late husband and that there was an enormous amount of conflict among the sons and between the mother and each son They all had severe issues with the father Leopoldo and did not hesitate to say so All of this in the context of unveiling a statue of him The movie was considered scandalous in Spain, but made the family famous in that country.Why am I saying all of this in a book review Well, I read the book as almost an allegory on the destructive power of fascism on a family and on creativity I read a WSJ review of the book the reviewer didn t seem to get this at all Each family member I think felt a great deal of shame and guilt, albeit mixed with some pride, about their father and the life he lead The two older sons both attempted suicide Michi, the youngest, became a womanizing man about town in Madrid and died of cancer at 52 The older brothers died about six years ago No children from any of them So, the end of the line.So, yes, a Long Shadow, indeed A cautionary tale for these times for us now in the US Nationalism vs liberalism I think our institutions are strong enough to keep us from descending into an autocracy, but just in case anyone needs to be reminded that fascism is evil, well The Age of Disenchantments is one example Incredibly well researched, incredibly well written. The fascinating true life story of how one man s choice of survival, comes to define not only his legacy but the lives of the family he will eventually leave behind The writer, Aaron Shulman s exacting account of the Spanish writer, Leopoldo Panero, and his literary family also tracks the rise and fall of the ruthless dictatorship of Francisco Franco Catapulting the reader from the first shots of the Nationalist revolt of 1936 and beyond the eventually prolonged death of Francisco Franco in 1975, Aaron Shulman takes great care in his vivid account of the fractured lives of the Paneros, a family who knew no other way to live except as if their lives were some tremendous literary tragedy Once a liberal communist during the democratically elected Spanish Second Republic of 1931, the fledgling poet, Leopoldo Panero s eventual embrace of fascism after the Republic s loss of the war in 1939 would illuminate the only way one could survive during a dictatorship determined to extinguish any form of dissent Eventually becoming known as Franco s poet laureate, Leopoldo tried his best yet failed miserably as a husband and father until his unexpected death in 1962 But Leopoldo Panero s legacy would continue to be defined by his newly liberated yet long suffering widow, Felicidad, as well as begin to cast the slow burn of a magnifying glass upon Leopoldo s three surviving male children, Juan Luis, the notorious middle child, Leopoldo Mar a, and the youngest, Michi The surviving Panero family, whose legendary appearance in documentary meant to commemorate their father, will soon come to define the end of an entire nation s near 40 year hallucination of having to survive a fascist dictatorship Shulman s lyrically detailed biography is a history lover s dream, surveying the lives of a literary family left with nothing else but to embrace the tragic fictions of which they have become. Won with gratitude in a Goodreads giveaway This book is a tapestry of literary success and failure, family dysfunction and tragedy, set against war and repression in a nation s history It is the twentieth century saga of the poetic Panero family of Spain, and the frustrated success and patriarchal failings of husband and father Leopoldo With the assassination of noted writer Federico Garcia Lorca as its starting point, the book chronicles the confusing survivalist politics of Leopoldo during and after the Spanish Civil War In his marriage to Felicidad, he is joined to one who, like Leopoldo, lost a brother in that tragic conflict After the war and working for Franco s Fascist government, Leopoldo tries to build a career as a writer and cultural presence as he and Felicidad bring three emotionally stunted and personally doomed sons into the world While the eldest is named for uncles lost in the war, it is the mentally unstable and suicidal second son, Leopoldo Maria, who will achieve the most tantalizingly close to success literary presence The youngest son, Michi, leads perhaps the most unfulfilled life of the three Ironically, with Leopoldo s premature death in 1962, the flawed glue holding this dysfunction together is gone, leaving Felicidad to witness and poorly deal with her sons stop and start lives The dysfunction is played out on the changing national stage in the mid 1970 s, when the family shockingly chooses to air the family dirty linen in a documentary, oddly influenced by the Bouvier expose Grey Gardens The documentary is met with national and personal outrage The reaction may be shocking to readers today, in our media drenched age I read this against the backdrop of Michael Jackson and R Kelley documentaries, and the R Kelley interview This painfully personal story of family disintegration is played out against the drama of a Spain emerging from Francisco Franco s repressive rule and drawn out hand over of power and death remember Chevy Chase s opening line I enjoy sweeping family histories the Roosevelts and the Churchills and the Kennedy s but I was engrossed to discover this Spanish literary family in all of their pain, near success and self eradication. I didn t buy this book because I had any interest in the Panero family I bought it because I know and respect Shulman s work I expected the highlight of the book to be the craft that went into its composition, but before the end of the third chapter, I was invested in the book s characters and would have continued reading even if the prose had been flat and turgid It s not, luckily, but even if it were, this book would be worth pouring over In its excavation of Spanish history, it, somehow, manages to tell a sharply relevant story about the clash of politics, faith, and art that feels relevant in America s current political moment. This book is at once a sweeping history of the last century in Spain, and an intimate portrayal of a fascinating family whose trajectory seems to have mirrored that of the country I appreciated the research that went into this interesting story, and I look forward to seeing the documentary that launched the author s interest in the family as his subject matter I have been a student in Spain and of Spain, and this new point of view has added to my interest Thank you Aaron Shulman I ve been reading some non fiction recently where the topic, idea was appealing one on Arthurian legends, another on exploring urban areas underground but the prose eech Can be clunky, painful Shulman writes very, very well He is in control of his material, unspools the stories here well I ve been drawn to Spanish Civil War accounts in booksseems as if last 10 years has brought quite a few, from different angles Seems to speak to how fascism can arise, human nature shows less than highest standards of behavior The war in Spain though also brings intersection of history in 20th c Europe in a uniquely focused manner political and cultural trends The writers who enter into the mix is interesting Schulman s book has been the first that I ve attempted which is not dry, a then this happened, then this happened, with persons x, y, and z I read the first 100 pages today in one sitting Looking forward to returning to it. This review is gonna be a little different I liked the beginning with its focus on the Spanish civil war but couldn t get into the weird family story living under Franco s Spain i don t know why I just couldn t get into their story I am much concerned with items like the horrors of fascism But that is me Maybe if I had read something by them, I might be invested in reading about this particular family I will look into it.