A Cultural History
5 1/4" x 8" • 250 pages • maps and b&w illus.
ISBN 9781566563475 • paperback • $15.00 •
The most European of South American cities, Buenos Aires evokes exile and nostalgia. A nineteenth-century replica of Paris or Madrid set adrift in an alien continent, its identity is neither of the Old World nor the New. The Argentine capital's rootlessness has famously found expression in the melancholy of tango and, more recently, in a vogue for psychoanalysis even more widespread than New York's.
Jason Wilson explores this contradictory and culturally rich city by tracing its development from remote ranching settlement to modern metropolis. Taking landmarks, both well-known and hidden, as starting points for a journey of discovery, he looks at the events, people and writing that have shaped modern Buenos Aires and its cultural life.
• The city of Borges and Cortazar: the European literary tradition, magical realism and fantasy, the construction of an Argentine voice, writers local and foreign.
•The city of tango: the music of longing and despair, a meeting-point of machismo and sensuality, lowlife culture of the port.
•The city of passions: the cult of Evita Peron, the life-and-death matter of soccer, the totalitarian political legacy.
Jason Wilson is Professor in Latin American poetry at University College, London, and the author of books on Octavio Paz, Alexandre von Humboldt and Latin American literature.
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