A Cultural and Literary Companion
ISBN : 978-190-2669-27-4
Cities of the Imagination Other Distributed Titles
256 pages, 5.25″ x 8″
For sale in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR only
Planted by royal whim in a harsh, sun-drenched tableland, Madrid flaunts its distinctive Spanish identity as the most vibrant of Europe’s capitals. An imperial court, remote from external influences, produced durable curiosities like the siesta, the paseo and a joyously hectic nightlife. A city where decorative display and lunching are often rated above industry and money-making, Madrid’s exuberant style nonetheless flourishes in the modern world.
Elizabeth Nash explores the chaotic jumble of a city built by in-comers eager to serve or use a court by turns austere and ostentatious. In squares, parks, streets and monuments old and new, she tracks down aristocrats and artisans, servants and chancers who bred a unique urban culture combining deference and insolence, conformity and flair.
CITY OF ARTISTS AND WRITERS: Velázquez and Goya, realism, the erotic and the macabre; Cervantes, Cela and Hemingway, satire, the picaresque hero and the novel of war.
CITY OF POWER POLITICS: the heart of the Spanish Empire; the scars of civil war and dictatorship; democracy and the movida of hedonistic excess and liberation, celebrated by film-maker Pedro Almodóvar.
CITY OF PASSIONS: the intellectual debates of café society; fiestas sacred and profane; the cult of bullfighting and the capital’s love affair with football.
“Elizabeth Nash, a long-term resident of the Spanish capital, has mixed the obvious tourist attractions with some unexpected pleasures . . . . This is a book to read before you go and then take with you.” —Sunday Times
“as good on Goya as it is on Real Madrid.” —The Times Higher Education Supplement