Cities in Ruins

Cities in Ruins

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The presence of urban ruins in modern poetry awakens readers to the real-life remains of violence and destruction in our cities. The attacks in New York on September 11.2001. and in Madrid on March 11.2004. provoked diverse political reactions, but the imminence of the ruins triggered a collective historical awakening. An awakening can take the shape of bombs in Kabul and Baghdad. or political change in government policies, but it is also palpable when poetry voices a critique of the technological warfare and its versions of progress. Contemporary events and modern ruins are reminiscent of the political impact that the Spanish Civil War and two World Wars had on poetry. In Cities in Ruins: The Politics of Modern Poetics. Cecilia Enjuto Rangel argues that the portrayal in poetry of the modern city as a disintegrated, ruined space is part of a critique visions of progress and modernization that developed during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. Enjuto Rangel analyzes how Charles Baudelaire, Luis Cernuda. T. S. Eliot. Octavio Paz and Pablo Neruda poetizized ruins as the cornerstones of cultural and political memory, and used the imagery of ruins to reinterpret their historical and literary traditions. As a literary commonplace, the topos of ruins has been thoroughly examined in Baroque and Romantic literary studies, but Enjuto Rangel's study investigates the virtually unexplored map of modern ruins in modern poetry. For Enjuto Rangel. images of ruins empower text and reader with political and historical agency. This triggers a conscious re-evaluation of the past, as exemplilied by the Transatlantic poetics of the Spanish Civil War and the current politics of memory. Enjuto Rangel's book offers an original interpretation of how modern poems historicize ruins and avoid narcissistic readings of destruction. qThis work is a brilliant composite of Modernity's major poetic quests for meaning, The notion of ruins brings the literary, historical. and political issues to the fore with a scholarly depth that is matched by the breadth and urgency of the poetic statements examined.q---Ronald Puppo, University of Vic Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures publishes studies on topics of literary, theoretical, or philological importance that make a significant contribution to scholarship in French. Italian. Luso Brazilian, Spanish, and Spanish American literatures.The Feminization of Spain and Its Ruins: Antonio and Manuel Machado, Rafael Alberti, CAcsar Vallejo, and Miguel ... or as in a cartoon in the Syracuse Herald, an old woman throwing stones at a menacing hat/submarine carrying the US Navyanbsp;...

Title:Cities in Ruins
Author: Cecilia Enjuto Rangel
Publisher:Purdue University Press - 2010

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