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“Carmencita” Goes East

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Chapter Summary

The rhetorical discourses produced by the early Francisco Franco Bahamonde regime highlight the effort of the regime in institutionalizing romanticized notions of its past, anticipating to some extent the positive self-Orientalization of Spain that took place during the tourism boom in the 1960s. The regime's intellectual discourses around the formation of a Mediterranean pact between Spain and the Mashreq never found much echo with their Middle Eastern counterparts. Images and narratives about the trip connected familiar faces of political Spanish life, such as those of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto Martín Artajo, and Franco's daughter, Carmen Polo Franco (Carmencita), with distant locations present in the collective imagination of Spaniards through images that had been introduced in previous intellectual discourses preceding this mission. They also connected with more popular travelers' literature and consumer-related images of the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: Alberto Martín Artajo; Carmencita; Francisco Franco Bahamonde regime; Middle Eastern counterparts; Spain



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