author Melissa Garr

institute Purdue University

(Un)Masking Barcelona

Recontextualizing Urban Interaction in Eduardo Mendoza’s El misterio de la cripta embrujada, El laberinto de las aceitunas and La aventura del tocador de señoras

This article outlines two types of progressive relationships the protagonist of Eduardo Mendoza’s detective trilogy (El misterio de la cripta embrujada, El laberinto de las aceitunas, and La aventura del tocador de señoras) has with his urban space. These evolutions highlight the ability of the protagonist to represent Barcelona as its mask – an identity marker that resets the guidelines that condition interpersonal interaction – over time. By applying the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin, the author argues that masking at various textual levels allows the image of Barcelona to be a Thirdspace of possibility in which the characters are able to achieve liberty and resolution, rather than merely an unchanging city brimming with social injustices. Ultimately, it is an anonymous protagonist, rather than political leaders, who most completely embodies Barcelona’s heteroglossia and multiculturalism, and resolves the tension between the city’s social (dialogic) and programmed (monologic) functions.


University of California at Berkeley | 11/15/2011 12:00:00 AM

LUCERO is a journal published by the graduate students of the Departmant of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Berkeley.

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