Gender and Modernization in the Spanish Realist Novel

Overview

This new interdisciplinary study argues that the late-nineteenth-century Spanish realist novel not only documents but also forms part of the contemporary nation-formation process. Drawing on a wide range of recent cultural theory from largely English- and French-language sources, it relates their insights to contemporary Spanish debates in the fields of economics, politics, medicine and town planning, showing that the cultural anxieties dominant in other western nations at the time found acute expression in Spain...
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Overview

This new interdisciplinary study argues that the late-nineteenth-century Spanish realist novel not only documents but also forms part of the contemporary nation-formation process. Drawing on a wide range of recent cultural theory from largely English- and French-language sources, it relates their insights to contemporary Spanish debates in the fields of economics, politics, medicine and town planning, showing that the cultural anxieties dominant in other western nations at the time found acute expression in Spain precisely because of the imperfect nature of the modernization process. In particular the book studies the ways in which women function in canonical Spanish realist texts as a cipher for anxieties about modernization, and especially about its conversion of reality into representation. The consequence is an intense self-reflexivity which mirrors contemporary critiques of flawed systems of monetary and political representation, as well as the emphasis by social reformers on self-making.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Labanyi covers wide ground in this unique, well-thought-out work.... Offering much fresh interpretation, the author successfully relates the novel to other cultural and social phenomena... This work belongs in every undergraduate and graduate library supporting the study of Hispanic literature and history."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198160090
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Series: Oxford Hispanic Studies Series
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Labanyi is Professor of Modern Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing the Nation 1
Pt. I Redefining the Public and Private Spheres
1 Liberal Political Theory: Freedom and the Market 31
2 The Construction of 'the Social': Reform and Regulation 52
Pt. II The Urban Novel: Female Adultery and the Exchange Economy
3 Mapping the City: Galdos's La familia de Leon Roch (1879), La desheredada (1881), Lo prohibido (1884-1885) 91
4 Excess and the Problem of Limits: Galdos's Tormento (1884) and La de Bringas (1884) 139
5 The Consumption of Natural Resources: Galdos's Fortunata y Jacinta (1886-1887) 165
6 Pathologizing the Bodily Economy: Alas's La Regenta (1884-1885) 209
Pt. III The Rural Novel: Husbandry or Keeping It in the Family
7 Making Caciquismo Respectable: Valera's Pepita Jimenez (1874) 265
8 Patriarchy without the State: Pereda's Penas arriba (1895) 299
9 Problematizing the Natural: Pardo Bazan's Los Pazos de Ulloa (1886) and La madre naturaleza (1887) 337
Conclusion: Modernity and Representation 385
References 417
Index 453
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