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Barcelona's Vocation of ModernityRise and Decline of an Urban Image$
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Joan Ramon Resina

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758321

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758321.001.0001

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A Sojourn with the Dead

A Sojourn with the Dead

(p.119) Chapter Four A Sojourn with the Dead
Barcelona's Vocation of Modernity
Stanford University Press

In her 1962 novel The Time of the Doves (La plaça del Diamant), Mercè Rodoreda, ignoring the totalizing images of the city, looks into microhistory and explores the “maternal” intimacy of the neighborhood, domestic space, and the square that organizes the city's collective life. Her story is set in Gràcia, a worker's town absorbed by Barcelona in 1897. As the major scene of socialization, the oblong square situates the action with precision, even as it functions as the privileged site for the elemental scenes of human life: innocence and experience, wooing and mourning, celebrations and tragedies. The novel bears the name of the square because, through the main character Natàlia's sojourn with the dead, the Plaça del Diamant turns into the threshold of the city.

Keywords:   The Time of the Doves, Mercè Rodoreda, square, Barcelona, mourning, dead, city, Plaça del Diamant, domestic space, socialization

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