The Aesthetics of the Ephemeral

Memory Theaters in Contemporary Barcelona

By Jennifer Duprey

Subjects: Hispanic Studies, Literary Criticism, Cultural Studies
Paperback : 9781438452340, 294 pages, July 2015
Hardcover : 9781438452333, 294 pages, July 2014

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Aesthetics of the Ephemeral
1. The Journey in the Desert
2. Ruins, Loss, Rebirth
3. Tragedy, Violence, Justice
4. Immigration, Displacements, Actualities
5. Inheritance, Memory, Natality
In Place of a Conclusion: A (Dys)functional Body Politic
Works Cited

Analyzes theatrical texts and performances while providing political and historical mappings.


In The Aesthetics of the Ephemeral, Jennifer Duprey examines five contemporary plays from Barcelona: Olors and Testament by Josep Maria Benet i Jornet, Antígona by Jordi Coca, Forasters by Sergi Belbel, and Temptació by Carles Batlle. She argues that in both the theatrical text and its performance an aesthetics of the ephemeral materializes that is related to specific manifestations of cultural and historical memory in Spain and Catalonia. These manifestations of memory include historical concerns such as the possibility of another form of justice in predicaments of violence after the Civil War, and they also include contemporary issues such as the production of ruins by the processes of gentrification in Barcelona, the complexity of immigration in Spain, and the destruction or preservation of Catalan cultural legacies. In her analysis of these topics, Duprey engages and expands on theories related to questions of subjectivity and identity in late modernity. This book will be of interest to those concerned with Iberian cultural studies and with how theater reflects on and contributes to contemporary political dialogue.

Jennifer Duprey is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Catalan Studies at Rutgers University–Newark.