Mon. Mar 30th, 2020

‘Time of silence’ | Science

In the late fortiesIn the post-war period, Spain was totally isolated from the rest of the world. The retreat had been accelerating after the fall of the Rome-Berlin Axis.

The inhabitants of our country, with hardly any resources, cheated on hunger as they could. Bad times soared in all directions, including the site reserved for scientific research. This is what the novel is about, and many more things Time of silence, written by a notable psychiatrist who, in his day, was shackled to the exercises of opposition to the chair. His crime: belonging to the anti-Franco dissent.

In his novel Time of silence, the psychiatrist Luis Martín Santos denounces the cultural backwardness, and with it the scientific backwardness, which we suffered after the Civil War. To make his accusation, he uses the picture of customs of social realism, but taking the picturesque to a more literary dimension of what had been done so far, transforming the picture of customs into "dialectical realism." Martín Santos reaches his achievement with the character of a young doctor who needs mice to continue experimenting in the laboratory.

With demolition materials, Luis Martín Santos rebuilds the landscape and silence, while building his eloquent novel. They were other times, we said, and the Civil War had turned science into a supposed religion.

'Time of silence'

An example of the scientific backwardness is provided by the figure of the doctor Antonio Vallejo-Nájera Lobón, known as the Spanish Mengele, who during the contest directed the Psychiatric Services of the Francoist Army. Dr. Vallejo-Nájera was determined to demonstrate that, with the arrival of the Republic, the "Spanish race" had suffered decay and deterioration; a degeneration whose first cause was found in the mental weakness of people who had departed from the established order, the fault of laziness caused by the Marxist ideology. To reach such conclusions, Dr. Vallejo-Nájera dedicated himself to studying the behavior of different "patients."

It should be noted that the "Spanish race" was an idea that Spanish psychiatry considered valid at that time. Without going any further, the psychiatrist Juan José López Ibor also defended her. However, beyond idealism, Vallejo-Nájera became a scientist to prove that there was "a red gene." He had the support of Franco, who was very interested in reaching the "biopsychic roots" of Marxism to tear them away.

In August 1938, in the middle of the war, the Psychological Research Cabinet is created where Vallejo-Nájera will experiment with prisoners. No need to go looking for mice. The cabinet would be a copy of the German Institute that disseminated the postulates eugenics Nazis, but adapted to the demands of our Catholic tradition.

Influenced by Nazism, importing his psychiatric and anthropological techniques, Dr. Vallejo-Nájera will disseminate the results of his research in different scientific journals. In a crazy way, Vallejo-Nájera tries to show that the "biopsychism of Marxist fanaticism" is the cause of the mental inferiority of the reds as well as the cause of their physical ugliness. All very geek.

With the fall of the Rome-Berlin Axis, things worsened. It was when the retreat of our country reached its most miserable dimension, because the isolation came that made Spain become a wasteland where its inhabitants walked like sleepwalkers, seeking the point of light always hidden under religious obscurantism.

Luis Martín Santos takes us to the sleaze of that time, building an insurmountable novel, where the vanguard becomes popular culture and vice versa. In early 1964, a car accident would put an end to the life of this doctor who denounced the psychic structures of Franco as nobody else.

The stone ax it's a section where Montero Glez, with a will to prose, it exercises its particular siege to scientific reality to manifest that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.

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