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Generation X Rocks

Contemporary Peninsular Fiction, Film, and Rock Culture

Christine Henseler

Publication Year: 2007

Essays in this volume explore the popular cultural effects of rock culture on high literary production in Spain in the 1990s.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page

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pp. vii-ix

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Introduction: Generation X and Rock: The Sounds of a New Tradition

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pp. xi-xxiii

While various labels have been used, discussed, and in many cases rejected, it is evident that in the 1990s several Spanish writers, who are significantly different from their predecessors and from many of their contemporaries, became famous and attracted critical attention: among others, Lucía Etxebarria...

Part I: Rocking the Academy: Generation X Narratives

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pp. 1-56

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1. A Distopian Culture: The Minimalist Paradigm in the Generation X

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pp. 3-14

In 1946, Jean-Paul Sartre published a controversial and highly influential work, L’existentialisme est un humanisme (Existentialism Is a Humanism), in which he provides a comprehensive foundation to his philosophical program, which is based on the rejection of universal axiological principles. In the book, he...

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2. The Pistols Strike Again! On the Function of Punk in the Peninsular "Generation X" Fiction of Ray Loriga and Benjamin Prado

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pp. 15-32

The Clash, the Ramones, and the Sex Pistols, especially Sid Vicious—these are just some of the references to 1970s British and U.S. punk music that have made their way into Peninsular Generation X fiction of the 1990s. If this penchant for 1970s punk seems strange, contrived, or even “inauthentic,” it is because these...

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3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Dirty Realism in Spain

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pp. 33-56

In recent decades, the object of literary studies (i.e. a once upon a time Canon) has come into question resulting in a foregrounding of the political valuations attached to “literary value.” The notion of the narrative text that is discussed within literary studies has broadened to include texts that are verbal only in part...

Part II: Can Anyone Rock Like We Do?: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, Then and Now

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pp. 57-111

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4. Can Anyone Rock Like We Do? Or, How the Gen X Aesthetic Transcends the Age of the Writer

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pp. 59-77

Criticism of the emerging canon of Generation X writers has emphasized the importance of a sex, drugs and rock and roll aesthetic linked to Anglo-American popular culture. What has tended to elude study is the prevalence of controlled substances in works by previous generations of Spanish novelists. Indeed, some...

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5. Apocalypses Now: The End of Spanish Literature? Reading Payasos en la Lavadora as Critical Parody

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pp. 78-96

The beginning of the 1990’s in Spain is distinguished by an unprecedented flux in the editorial market, together with the irruption of a new mass readership and a group of young writers who have come to be known as “Generation X” (Moret, Gullón, Bernardell...

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6. Not Your Father's Rock and Roll: Listening to Transitional/Eighties Writers and Generation X

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pp. 97-111

Rock music has a history in Spanish literature that predates Generation X. A comparison of its appearance in narratives of the previous generation of writers helps to define the position it occupies in narratives by authors born between 1963 and 1979. Some of the fiction of the...

Part III: Historias del Kronen on the Rocks

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pp. 113-150

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7. Between Rock and the Rocking Chair: The Epilogue's Resistance in Historias del Kronen

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pp. 115-125

Epilogues present themselves as superfluous (the main events are over) and necessary (since they are included), delivered with a different voice, impatient with details and satisfying the idle curiosity of the reader for the characters’ life after the novel itself has ended. Movies resort to a few lines on the screen...

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8. Realism on the Rocks in the Generational Novel: "Rummies," Rhythm, and Rebellion in Historias del Kronen and The Sun Also Rises

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pp. 126-150

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” declares the awkward and withdrawn everyman, J. Alfred Prufrock, in T.S. Eliot’s famous 1917 poem (481). His uninspiring days, set as they are to the humdrum rhythm of monotonous deskwork and coffee breaks, are as steady as a metronome. Substances...

Part IV: Rocking the Road with Ray Loriga

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pp. 151-200

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9. Reckless Driving: Speed, Mobility, and Transgression in the Spanish "Rock 'n' Road" Novel

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pp. 153-169

The literary production of Spain’s Generation X abounds in protean narratives that are open to the influx of other signifying systems.1 Film, music, and comics merge with literature generating a body of aesthetic codes that illuminates recent fiction in Spain. Unlike avant-garde novelists...

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10. Television and the Power of Image in Caidos del cielo and La pistola de mi hermano by Ray Loriga

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pp. 170-183

Television plays a crucial role in defining popular culture and, as Rob Owen explains, crosses cultural boundaries creating a common perspective. Although Owen is writing about Xers in the United States, his observations pertain to the Spanish Generation X as well. Ray Loriga...

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11. Rocking around Ray Loriga's Héroes: Video-Clip Literature and the Televisual Subject

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pp. 184-200

When Héroes appeared in 1993 with the image of Ray Loriga himself on its cover holding a bottle of beer, his long hair partly shading the provocative look in his eyes, many believed this new kid on the block was trying to buy into the recording business instead of navigating his way into the literary...

V. The Soundtrack of Gender: Violating Visions and the Psychological Power of Rock

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pp. 201-245

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12. Watching, Wanting, and the Gen X Soundtrack of Gabriela Bustelo's Veo Veo1

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pp. 203-215

While the precise contours of Spain’s Generation X remain hotly debated (and debatable)2 critics on both sides of the Atlantic have been quick to seize upon a specific subset of the generational cohort in order to illustrate Peninsular youth culture. This group has been described as hard realists...

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13. Saved by Art: Entrapment and Freedom in Iciar Bollain's Te doy mis ojos

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pp. 216-234

Much of the literary and cinematographic production of Spain’s Generation X has been characterized by its nihilism, disengagement from an agenda for social and political change, dependence on the image as a basis for identity formation, and interest in representing different forms of popular culture...

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Afterword: The Moment X in Spanish Narrative (and Beyond)

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pp. 235-245

The convergence of preoccupations and narrative strategies which brought young authors such as Lucía Etxebarria, Ray Loriga, José Ángel Mañas, Benjamín Prado, and Roger Wolfe to the forefront of the Spanish literary panorama during the early- and mid-1990s was almost immediately used to...


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pp. 247-250


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pp. 251-262

E-ISBN-13: 9780826592293
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826515643

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2007