Contra Franco vivíamos mejor
A dictionary of Spanish history and culture
Contra Franco vivíamos mejor (We lived better against Franco)
Famous saying by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán punning the neo-Francoist lament, Con Franco vivíamos mejor. It is often understood as an ironic comment on the loss of a communal sense of belonging fostered by opposition to the regime, as the protest movement declined in the days of democracy, but in fact Montalbán wrote it with question marks.
¿Contra Franco vivíamos mejor? – Did we live better against Franco?
He states in this interview here that he was concerned:
…that this was the belief of a certain form of left-wing conservatism. The answer is no, we did not. I believe that part of the ills of the left was that is was unable to move on from the situation of living against Franco.
Note: In the same interview he also states El franquismo era feísimo; daba la impresión de que a todo el mundo le olían los calcetines (Francoism was pure ugliness, one had the impression that everyone’s socks stank).
Recently, under Zapatero, one has heard Contra Aznar vivíamos mejor. As is often the case, phrases change their meaning.
In this sense, author Juan Goytisolo complained that with Franco gone he had little to write against, and took years to find a new voice. Some Eastern European writers have voiced similar thoughts.
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