Only two cities in Spain have over one million inhabitants, and these same two cities often seem at odds with each other. One city is geographically and politically central, the seat of the royal family, while the other is on the periphery. Architecturally, one is largely neoclassical and monumental, while the other can seem dreamlike and surreal. One speaks what Antonio Nebrija called the ‘language of empire’ while the other is profoundly bilingual. One is often called ‘more European than Spanish,’ while the other might be the most ‘Spanish’ city of all. That is to say, theirs is not simply a fútbol rivalry, but also a cultural and political one. Understanding this dynamic is essential to understanding contemporary Spain, and to understand the dynamic, we must also consider historical influences. In both cases, urban identities profoundly impact literary creation; both cities have inspired and produced great works. This advanced-level course will be a virtual tour of Madrid and Barcelona through several of these texts. Conducted in Spanish; advanced level.
Corequisite: Students are required to attend Language Series.