Adrian Nathan West is a literary translator and the author of The Aesthetics of Degradation. His latest translation is of Jean Amery’s Charles Bovary, Country Doctor: Portrait of a Simple Man. (May 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

The Sleep of Reason

Francisco Franco (center) at the inauguration of the Valley of the Fallen, Madrid, April 1959

The Valley of the Fallen

by Carlos Rojas, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
An architectural folly of colossal proportions, combining the monumentalism of Albert Speer with the Catholic bombast of a narco graveyard, the Valley of the Fallen—a basilica, Benedictine abbey, and memorial surrounded by a three-thousand-acre national park near Madrid—aptly embodies many of the contradictions of historical memory in Spain. Planned as …