August 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
This Website is a companion to the book, Cultures of the Erotic. Spain 1898-1939 (Maite Zubiaurre, Vanderbilt University Press, 2011), in the same way in which the book is a companion to the Website. They enhance each other when they work together.
The main purpose of the book/website is to unearth the wealth of popular erotic materials that animated the urban life of Spain during the first half of the Twentieth Century, and which was later forcefully repressed and thus “forgotten” during the Franco era. By erotic materials I mean a multifarious collection of cultural artifacts, from the erotic novelette, the philosophical essay, the sexological treatise, and the nudist manifesto, to the erotic postcard, the risqué illustration in erotic magazines, and the first manifestation of pornographic cinema.
August 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
Stéphane Mallarmé is renowned as being one of the most influential poets in the French Symbolist movement. Born in 1842, his creative and critical work inspired many of the radical artistic movements in the 20th Century, including Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism.
Notoriously misunderstood, obsessively ‘difficult’, accused of obscurity, pretence and genius: still, Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) was arguably the greatest, and most innovative, of the French Symbolist poets. His story is not as passionate as that of Verlaine and Rimbaud’s scandalous love affair. Neither were his habits as decadent as Baudelaire’s penchant for opium, women and the senses. No; Mallarmé lived in financial and matrimonial modesty, writing as a means to escape and to nourish himself.
With the 19th century being a time of great excitement, and a paradigm shift in French poetry, it is no wonder that ever since his adolescent years Mallarmé had envisaged a life as a poet. Baudelaire had just published his revolutionary Flowers of Evil (1857), free-verse was cracking the shell of traditional versification, and some of the greatest voices of French literature – Hugo, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Valéry, Zola, Balzac – were publishing one masterpiece after another. Mallarmé had married out of some higher sense of responsibility, and he disdained- yet maintained- his job as a provincial teacher. He wanted desperately to take part in this explosive creation.
August 9, 2014 Comments Off