Comparative Cities: Travel Literature as Urban Experience in Catalan Culture
Comparative reflection on travel literature, focused on some major Western cities, taking as a starting point the reflections on travel by some of the most prominent Catalan writers in the 20th century. Catalan travel literature, whether autobiographical or in essay form, is often related to literary journalism and exile. The foremost Catalan authors take notice of cities like Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Venice, Buenos Aires and New York, at historically decisive times: the two World Wars, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain and Germany, the Cold War, the emergence of the United States as a world power. In this sense, travel writers offer a double comparative vantage point: on the one hand, between their own literature and that of other European travel writers; on the other hand, between Barcelona and some of the greatest cities in the world. These contrasts, perceived through the literary lens, help us understand the cosmopolitanism and modernity of Catalan culture. Taught in Spanish; all readings available both in Catalan and Spanish, some readings also available in english.