Liminal Fiction at the Edge of the Millennium: The Ends of Spanish Identity investigates the predominant perception of liminality-identity situated at a threshold, neither one thing r ather, but simultaneously both and neither-caused by encounters with otherness while negotiating identity in contemporary Spain. Examining how identity and alterity are parleyed through the cultural concerns of historical memory, gender roles, sex, religion, nationalism, and immigration, this study demonstrates how fictional representations of reality converge in a common structure wherein the end is t the end, but rather an edge, a liminal ground. On the border between two identities, the end materializes as an ephemeral limit that delineates and differentiates, yet also adjoins and approximates. In exploring the ends of Spanish fiction-both their structure and their intentionality-Liminal Fiction maps the edge as a constitutive component of narrative and identity in texts by Najat El Hachmi, Cristina Fernandez Cubas, Javier Marias, Rosa Montero, and Manuel Rivas. In their representation of identity on the edge, these fictions enact and embody the liminal t as simply a transitional and transient mode but as the structuring principle of identification in contemporary Spain.
Jessica A. Folkart is associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Virginia Tech.