La dimensión ética en la obra narrativa de ficción de Antonio Muñoz Molina

  • Juan Jose Mosquera Ramallo

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


This doctoral thesis examines how the Spanish author Antonio Muñoz Molina addresses the ethical dimension in his fictional narrative work, in particular, the relationship between us, as individual and humans, with the Other, who is not us. Questions such as identity, violence, dehumanisation, and empathy, dealt with in the novels included in this study, transcend Spanish reality, and become universal issues. Diverse theoretical approaches will be used in this study to analyse and elucidate the ethical content of his work, with a particular focus on Emmanuel Levinas’ ethical theory.

After emphasising in the introduction the relevance of Muñoz Molina´s work in the contemporary Spanish literary scene, Chapter One sets out the main concepts to be used in this research: Muñoz Molina’s views on literature, Ethics as a notion and how it differs from moral and moralism, and the concept of ‘intellectuals’ and their role in society. The importance of the author’s works as a columnist will be emphasized, as they are key to interpreting the fictional narrative works he was writing at the same time. Chapter Two explores the configuration of identities by confrontation with the Other, as it is exposed in El jinete polaco (1991). Chapter Three focuses on the representation of violence and how the author reacts to it. Plenilunio (1997) is his response to this challenge, a novel in which violence is represented with particular attention to the voice of the victims, the Others. Chapter Four examines exile and its consequences, alienation and dehumanisation, as a result of the rejection of and by the Other, addressed in Sefarad (2001). Chapter Five analyses La noche de los tiempos (2009) and the importance of empathy as a tool to understand the Other. One should not condemn another person´s behaviour, under the same circumstances one might have behaved the same way.
Date of Award2 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorJavier Letran (Supervisor) & Ricardo Fernandez Romero (Supervisor)


  • Ethics
  • levinas
  • Other - alterity
  • Intellectual
  • Moral - moralism
  • Identity
  • Muñoz Molina
  • El jinete polaco
  • Representation of violence
  • Plenilunio
  • Voices
  • exile
  • Alienation
  • Sefarad
  • Empathy
  • La noche de los tiempos
  • Cainism

Access Status

  • Full text embargoed until
  • 17th July 2025

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