The Invention of Politics in the European Avant-Garde (1906-1940)

By Sascha Bru; Gunther Martens | Go to book overview

A Europeanizing Geography. The First Spanish
Avant-Garde's Re-Mapping of Castile (1914-1925)

Renée M. Silverman

The critical discourse surrounding modernity – the end of empire, the displacement of the self from the territory of the nation, Europeanization and its discontents – has tended towards the spatial and perceptual. From Foucault and Lefèbvre to Cultural Geography and Franco Moretti's 1998 Atlas of the European Novel, the organization and representation of space have been attributed to the same ordering factors to which the nation is subject (cf. Foucault 1972; Foucault 1994; Lefèbvre 1984; Moretti, 1998; Rabinow 1984). Recent scholarship has changed course from the Foucauldian view of space as coextensive with the nation-state's consolidation of power to focus on the perceptual mechanisms that inculcate the values of nationalism and the marketplace. New theories of apperception – consider work by Jonathan Crary, David Michael Levin, Martin Jay, Rosalind Krauss, and Hal Foster – raise the possibility of regarding the psychology and physiology of the specular as parallel to the production of political and social modernity. From this perspective, the mutual approximation between subjects (the human agents that create a mental picture) and the objects of vision becomes paradigmatic of intersubjective relations – the exchangeable views of self and other that develop concurrently with the organization of the social sphere (Crary 1990; Crary 2001; Foster 1988; Krauss 1994; Levin 1993).

In light of the correlation between the history of perceptual and political discourses, the envisioning of space as national and the national as space in aesthetics of Spanish modernism has rich implications for how the development of our concept of national

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