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Despite almost forty years separating Manuel de Pedrolo’s novel Mecanoscrit del segon orígen (1974, trad. Typescript of the Second Origin) and the brothers Àlex and David Pastor’s film “Los últimos días” (2013, US tit. “The Last Days”), it is not difficult to find several socio-political areas of intersection which converge on a biological issue at the end of both works: the pregnancy of one of the characters at the end of each story.

Yet, such an interpretation would be rather limited as it ignores the socio-political landscape from which each work originated. Published in the aftermath of the first oil crisis, and only two years before the death of dictator Francisco Franco, Pedrolo’s novel has an undeniable flavour of political tabula rasa where Catalan nationalist aspirations could have a place. “Los últimos días”, on the contrary, is one more production in the line of the recent dystopia fad which has invaded the cinema screens all over the world.

Both works greatly differ in tone. Whereas in Pedrolo’s case the pre-postmodern pessimism is counterbalanced by a horizon of possibilities (at least from a Catalan perspective), the Pastors’ film faintly suggests that a new society can be (re)constructed if individuals abandon the political and economic doctrines that led the world to its present plight.



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