By Deborah L. Parsons
Regardless of its foreign value, Madrid has been virtually completely neglected by means of city, literary and cultural experiences released in English. A Cultural historical past of Madrid: Modernism and the city Spectacle corrects that oversight through featuring an city and cultural background of town from the flip of the century to the early 1930s.Between 1900 and 1930, Madrid’s inhabitants doubled to nearly a million, with under part the inhabitants being indigenous to the town itself. faraway from the ‘Castilian’ capital it used to be made out to be, Madrid used to be quick changing into a socially magnetic, more and more secular and cosmopolitan city. Parsons explores the interface among elite, mass and pop culture in Madrid whereas contemplating the development of a latest madrile?o identification that built along city and social modernization. She emphasizes the interconnection of paintings and pop culture within the production of a metropolitan character and temperament.The booklet attracts on literary, theatrical, cinematic and photographic texts, together with the paintings of such figures as Ram?n Mesonero Romanos, Benito P?rez Gald?s, P?o Baroja, Ram?n Gomez de los angeles Serna, Ram?n Valle-Incl?n and Maruja Mallo. furthermore, the writer examines the advance of recent urban-based artwork types and entertainments corresponding to the zarzuela, song halls and cinema, and considers their interplay with extra conventional cultural identities and actions. In arguing that conventional points of tradition have been integrated into the standard lifetime of city modernity, Parsons exhibits how the limits among ‘high’ and ‘low’ tradition grew to become more and more blurred as a brand new id stimulated by means of glossy consumerism emerged. She investigates the interplay of the geographical panorama of town with its expression in either the preferred mind's eye and in aesthetic representations, detailing and interrogating the hot freedoms, wants and views of the Madrid modernista.
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Additional resources for A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle
For of all Galdós’s criticisms of Madrid society – its false values, intolerant and conservative Catholicism and poor quality – 34 – The Nineteenth-Century Capital of education – the most relentless is his condemnation of its common pretence to a material status and power it does not possess. The conception of the new Madrid by the liberal order was that of a planned and rational space, with an infrastructure that facilitated the circulation of both people and goods. The arrival of the railway heralded a new era of modernisation, and by 1865 the city’s rail network extended throughout Spain and into France, encouraging economic and urban growth.
Within the part-material and part-imaginary Madrid of the novel, he attempted to reconcile the two. In the era of the costumbre, Galdós states in his novel Fortunata y Jacinta (1886), ‘For all its ridiculous vanity, Madrid was a metropolis in name only’ (FJ, 28), masquerading as a European capital. ‘[A] bumpkin in a gentleman’s coat buttoned over a torn, dirty shirt’, it was yet ‘about to become a real gentleman’ (FJ, 28). The city that Galdós observed from the tower of Santa Cruz in 1865 was no longer that of 1828, but instead a new secular landscape rising from the land cleared by disentailment and on the point of expansion.
As is often the case with generic categorisations, those writers generally regarded as most representative can also be those whose work is also the most idiosyncratic and self-questioning. Mesonero’s writings are more than just examples of a comic picturesque, and alongside pieces of pure costumbrismo are hints that the city, sometimes, even for its supreme scholar, can be uncanny. In ‘La Capa Vieja y El Baile de Candil’ (‘The Old Cape and the Dance of Candil’), for example, El Curioso visits the Rastro fleamarket with a companion, don Pascual Bailón Corredera, who suddenly recognises and purchases an old cape that he remembers owning as a young man.
A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle by Deborah L. Parsons