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Postmodern Spain

A Cultural Analysis of 1980s-1990s Spanish Culture

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Antonio Sanchez

Postmodern Spain examines the cultural transformation experienced by Spanish society during the late 1980s and 1990s. By looking at specific aspects of culture, the representation of the human subject, the past, and the transformation of the city this book critically re-assesses the validity of postmodernism in Spain.
Focusing on the novels written by Juan Goytisolo during this period this book examines the representation and development of the human subject and its identification with the marginalized ‘other(s)’. It further analyses various representations of the Spanish Civil War, challenging the prevalent view of post-Franco Spain as suffering from amnesia, and thereby vindicates postmodern historical representations as a valid dialogue with the past.
The third chapter examines Barcelona’s urban redevelopment, analysing the transformation effected in some of its popular sites as a postmodern re-formulation of the city as a fluid, flexible public space. Finally it brings its previous findings to bear on an analysis of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. It argues that these celebrations constituted a performance of Spain’s ‘new’ cultural identity designed for global, national and local consumption. Thus, these cultural celebrations corroborated the emergence of postmodernism as a cultural dominant which has exceeded modern and pre-modern cultural practices while, paradoxically, containing and enhancing both.
Contents: The transformation of Spanish culture in the last decades of the XX century – Postmodern culture and theory – The fragmentation of the self – Juan Goytisolo’s narrative – The representation of the past – History and amnesia – The recuperation of a Historical memory – The redevelopment of the city – Open public spaces – Postmodern architecture – 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.