The Culture of Cursileria
Bad Taste, Kitsch, and Class in Modern Spain
AUTHOR: Valis, NoÃƒÂ«l
PUBLISHER: Duke University Press
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Valis finds evidence in literature, cultural objects, and popular customs to
argue that cursiler#65533;a has its roots in a sense of cultural inadequacy felt by the lower middle classes in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Spain. The Spain of this era, popularly viewed as the European power most resistant to economic and social modernization, is characterized by Valis as suffering from nostalgia for a bygone, romanticized society that structured itself on strict class delineations. With the development of an economic middle class during the latter half of the nineteenth century, these designations began to break down, and individuals across all levels of the middle class exaggerated their own social status in an attempt to protect their cultural capital. While the resulting manifestations of cursiler#65533;a were often provincial, indeed backward, the concept was--and still is--closely associated with a sense of home. Ultimately, Valis shows how cursiler#65533;a embodied the disparity between old ways and new, and how in its awkward manners, airs of pretension, and graceless anxieties it represents Spain's uneasy surrender to the forces of modernity.
The Culture of Cursiler#65533;a will interest students and scholars of Latin America, cultural studies, Spanish literature, and modernity.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/16/2003
CATEGORY: Social Science