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La zanja

  • Work of culture - Generic image


Literature, Narrative



Original title

La zanja

Alfonso Grosso is the author of one of the most typical examples of the novel of social narrative of the second half of the 20th century.

'La zanja' is the first work published by Alfonso Grosso, and together with the most important works of the Goytisolo brothers and Carmen Martín Gaite, is considered to be a paradigm of the Spanish social novel. Grosso here uses a fragmented structure in combination with a series of descriptive sketches, which comprises a highly interesting and functional narrative form. Featuring strong doses of denunciation and criticism of the situation in Spain at the time, 'La Zanja' uses the description of some workmen building a ditch near an American military base to contrast the parallel worlds of the workers and the American military personnel.

Both the theme and the stylistic resources of the work show certain similarities with other novels of the period such as 'La Colmena' (1951) by Camilo José Cela, and 'El Jarama' (1956) by Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio.


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