Obsession, Aesthetics, and the Iberian City
The Partial Madness of Modern Urban Culture
This book investigates the social relationships implied in our urban modernity by concentrating on four cities that are in broad strokes representative of the cultural and linguistic heterogeneity of the Iberian peninsula. Each chapter introduces but moves well beyond an identifiable urban area in a given city, noting the cultural obsession implicit in its reconstruction as well as the role of obsession in its artistic representation of the urban environment. These areas are Barcelona’s Eixample district, Madrid’s Linear City, Lisbon’s central Baixa area, and Bilbao’s Seven Streets, or Zazpikaleak. The theme of obsession—which as explored is synonymous with the concept of partial madness—provides a point of departure for understanding the interconnection of both urbanistic and artistic discourses.
Chapter 1: The Partial Madness of Modern Urban Culture
Chapter 2: Disfiguring Barcelona: Geometry and the Grid
Chapter 3: Madrid Mania: Linearity and the Zig-Zag
Chapter 4: Shattering Lisbon: Destabilization and Drudgery
Chapter 5: Bilbao Rebuilt: Urban Fixations and the After-Image
"This is a compelling and groundbreaking book at the crossroads of urban studies, disability studies, cultural studies, and aesthetics. As such, it is a potent illustration of the possibilities opened up by intertwining a disability-inspired approach to urban and cultural studies and vice versa."
—Silvia Bermúdez, author of Rocking the Boat: Migration and Race in Contemporary Spanish Music
"Benjamin Fraser's analysis of multifarious cultural texts shows an extensive theoretical knowledge and an easiness in the exploration of the most diverse artifacts. The examination of various urban aesthetical depictions from an interdisciplinary perspective makes the project stimulating and engaging for a wide audience."
—Encarnación Juárez-Almendros, author of Disabled Bodies in Early Modern Spanish Literature: Prostitutes, Aging Women, and Saints