A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle

By Deborah L. Parsons | Go to book overview

6
Urban Cosmorama

‘Take refuge in the frivolity of street life’ [Sálvate en la frivolidad de la vida callejera], Ramón Gómez de la Serna states at one point in his autobiography. 1 By the 1920s Madrid was fast becoming a socially magnetic capital of modernity, increasingly secular and cosmopolitan. Castizo festivity, however, epitomised by the fiesta of San Isidro, or the verbenas of San Antonio, San Juan, San Pedro, and La Paloma, remained a significant aspect of social and cultural self-identity in the expanding and modernising city. Importantly incorporated into the everyday life of urban modernity rather than regarded as a nostalgic tradition that was opposed it, the verbena became a hybrid space in which the persistence of castizo identity alongside cosmopolitan modernity was overtly articulated. Advertising posters from the period, for example, present the verbena as a social and public space of modern vitality and change in which traditionally regional and folkloric images coincide with signs of modernity, notably in mechanical fairground rides, urban buildings and modish young women. Writers and artists, moreover, embraced the public festivity of carnival and comedy as an instinctive and vital force in response to what many modernist intellectuals regarded as the mechanicalism of the educated bourgeoisie. If the fiestas and verbenas were a common feature in nineteenth-century representations of Madrid, amongst the avant-garde of the early twentieth century they stimulated an aesthetic of the farcical carnivalesque or the ludic vernacular that was almost ubiquitous.


Carnival of Modernity

In 1928, José Ortega y Gasset organised an exhibition of paintings by a young Galician painter, Maruja Mallo, in the offices of the Revista de Occidente. The works were arranged into two groups; kaleidoscopic, carnivalesque scenes under the heading of ‘Verbenas’, and surreal images of mannequins and other objects described as ‘Estampas Populares’. Opening to great critical acclaim, Gómez de la Serna described the paintings as ‘a step forward, a new departure, a signpost’ for a new generation in Spanish art, and Mallo herself as ‘Queen of the Verbena’. 2 Dramatically juxtaposing the folkloric, Madrilenian fiesta with the technological, cosmopolitan influence of cinema, however, the exhibition again displayed a city

-93-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • 1 - Introduction: The Castizo Metropolis 1
  • 2 - Madrid, ‘Villa Y Corte’ 13
  • 3 - The Nineteenth-Century Capital 33
  • 4 - City of Contrasts 57
  • 5 - Cosmopolitan Lights 77
  • 6 - Urban Cosmorama 93
  • 7 - Epilogue 105
  • Notes 109
  • Select Bibliography 121
  • Index 127
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 129

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.