New Spain, New Literatures
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
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Introduction: Contemporary Spanish Literatures: Enduring Plurality
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It is common knowledge that Spain’s transformation during the last several decades from an authoritarian, centralist State with a homogeneous population into a democratic, plurinational, and multicultural society has also been marked by a thriving cultural production, which highlights “difference” as a major asset. To a great extent,...
Part I: New Mappings / New Cartographies
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1: On Rivers and Maps: Iberian Approaches to Comparatism
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For many years, scholars have studied the case of Spain, and even the entire Iberian Peninsula, as a separate entity within the confines of Europe.1 Countries such as Portugal and Castile, that were once leaders in the transformation of the Western world, opening up new and poignant ways of relationship with the Other, have become modern...
2: Peripheral Being, Global Writing:The Location of Basque Literature
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The state in which the Center for Basque Studies is located, Nevada (USA), has, as its motto, a phrase that applies well to the journey taken by literature written in the Basque language up to the present time: “All for Our Country.” At the very least, it highlights the motivations to which many Basque writers ascribe when explaining...
3: Galician Writing and the Poetics of Displacement: Ramiro Fonte’s A rocha dos proscritos
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Displacement, whether through forced or economic migration, political exile, or even leisure tourism, is a fundamental feature of modern life.1 As the quotation at the head of this essay from the Martiniquean scholar
4: Memory and Urban Landscapes in Contemporary Catalan Theater
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In contemporary Catalan theater, memory figures largely as a hermeneutic of the cultural and political processes of the past sixty years. Within these coordinates, it rethinks the past and projects a future inside and outside of Catalonia. The history of drama and performance in Catalonia is intimately related with the memory of a...
5: The New Capital of Spanish Literature: The Best Sellers
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“Nosotros no somos nada en el mundo, y las voces que aquí damos, por mucho que quieran elevarse, no salen de la estrechez de esta pobre casa” (84) (We are nothing in this world, and whatever we say here, as much as we want to elevate our voices, does not leave the narrowness of this poor house). With this sentence taken from Benito Pérez Galdós’ prologue...
Part II: Institutions and Literatures
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6: A Hispanist’s View of Changing Institutions, or About Insects and Whales
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Balzac’s dedication of his 1846 novel about envy and revenge, Cousin Bette, to Michele Angelo Cajetani, Prince of Téano, comes from a generous motivation, since it wishes to celebrate a scholar, a “learned commentator of Dante” who had revealed to him “the marvelous framework of ideas on which the greatest Italian poet constructed his work”...
7: Political Autonomy and Literary Institutionalization in Galicia
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The so-called “transition period” to democracy began in Galicia, as in the rest of Spain, after the death of Franco in 1975, although there is little consensus about the chronological order of an intrinsically labile and diffuse phenomenon (Vilavedra, “Unha achega ao discurso narrativo”). Some scholars insist that the beginning...
8: Tensions in Contemporary Basque Literature
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It is always difficult to explain in so few pages the complex and ever-changing reality of a minority, or minoritized (depending on who is writing), literature, such as Basque literature.1 Dealing with a literature that is naturally less stable and more changing than so-called normalized literatures poses an added danger. Minoritized...
9: The Persistence of Memory: Antonio Gamoneda and the Literary Institutions of Late Modernity
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The rise of Antonio Gamoneda to his current position of pre-eminence in contemporary Spanish letters requires some explanation. Although he was born in 1931, and hence ought to belong—chronologically—to the cohort of poets who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s, the famed “Generation of the 1950s,” Gamoneda was...
Part III: Challenging Identities
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10: The Curse of the Nation: Institutionalized History and Literature in Global Spain
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11: Postmodernism and Spanish Literature
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To understand what has happened in Spanish literature from the time of the Transition to the present, the only truly comprehensive way to proceed is by accepting postmodernity as the episteme (in the Foucaultian sense of the word) of democratic Spain; that is, by assuming that the structure of knowledge in that country...
12: African Voices in Contemporary Spain
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The two former Spanish colonies in Africa, Morocco and Equatorial Guinea, provide ambivalent literary responses towards autonomous, indigenous, and national identities. The fact that Spain had been in those countries for quite a long time, and that nowadays, the presence of the Spanish government has been replaced by private...
13: From Literature to Letters: Rethinking Catalan Literary History
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The 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair was perhaps the most important event in the history of modern Catalan literature.1 When two years earlier Catalan culture was formally invited to what is, arguably, the world’s most important book fair, Catalan politicians, writers, and cultural commentators alike greeted this honor as a unique opportunity to present...
14: The Space of Politics: Nation, Gender, Language,and Class in Esther Tusquets’ Narrative
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Esther Tusquets’ writing has consistently been studied in relation to questions of gender, with a particular emphasis on gender identity. While a number of critics have acknowledged, more or less in passing, that social class is also a determining factor in the lives and identities of Tusquets’ protagonists, it is arguably the case...
Afterword: Regarding the Spain of Others: Sociopolitical Framing of New Literatures /Cultures in Democratic Spain
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An artifact sums up perfectly the intersection of forces established in the first years of Spanish democratic culture: El imperio contraataca (1985), a video clip by the musical group Los Nikis in which Philip the Second appears in the garden of the Retiro de Madrid, accompanied by three electric guitarists, all in the dress of the...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2010