Quim Monzó and contemporary Catalan culture : innovation, politics and public image

Colom-Montero, Guillem (2016) Quim Monzó and contemporary Catalan culture : innovation, politics and public image. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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This thesis analyses the work of Catalan author Quim Monzó in relation to the transformations that Catalan culture has undergone from the early 1970s until the present day. Despite the undeniable complexity and diversity of Monzó’s oeuvre, critical studies have tended to follow set patterns, often focusing on his literary production and discussing postmodernist aesthetics in his fiction, while tending to avoid engaging with the political ideologies underpinning it. This thesis, by contrast, explores the multifaceted nature of Monzó’s trajectory by focusing on a wide range of materials (his fictional texts and regular opinion pieces in the Catalan press, his political cartoons, his translations and his participation in mass media and social networks) through a methodology that combines cultural analysis as well as sociocultural and political commentary with the critical tools provided by Bourdieu’s sociological theories of culture, gender studies and postmodernist cultural theory. With the overarching aim of driving forward a new understanding of Quim Monzó’s trajectory and of the contemporary Catalan cultural field, this thesis concentrates on two interrelated strands of analysis. Firstly, it argues that Monzó’s literary and intellectual programme both accelerated and critically responded to the decline of the resistentialist cultural model and the advent of the discourses of Catalan cultural normalisation under postmodernism and its associated framework of cultural marketisation. Specifically, the thesis analyses Monzó’s public trajectory from countercultural artist in the 1970s to celebrity author and intellectual in the present day as a phenomenon that has brought to the fore some of the contradictions in the discourse of Catalan cultural normalisation vis-à-vis postmodernist attitudes towards the symbolic roles of culture and the public intellectual. Secondly, the thesis addresses the unremitting presence of a series of political themes and debates in Monzó’s work, with a view to examining how the author’s work interacts with some of the socio-cultural and political transformations of his time, in particular the ongoing Catalan-Spanish national debate and its centrality during the Spanish Transition to democracy, the emergence of libertarian and neoconservative ideologies in Spain and the growing influence of feminist thought. All in all, the thesis contributes both to Monzonian scholarship and the study of the contemporary Catalan cultural field by arguing that there is a singular, intricate and productive relation between the author’s work and its cultural and political context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Modern Languages
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 11:47
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2016 11:47
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6597
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