The "idle fictions" of the vanguard novel of the 1920s and 1930s in Spain and Spanish America represented a kind of interlude of playfulness--a vacation or parenthetical insertion--in what was perceived as the established course of the modern Hispanic novel's development. Yet, as Perez Firmat argues, though this genre saw itself as recreative and interstitial, it deliberately precipitated "a class war not between social classes but between literary classes." Concentrating on source material not widely available, Perez Firmat reconstructs the reception these novels received at the time of their publication, then develops a reading of them based on the intellectual context of this reception. A new preface and an appendix on vanguard biographies have been added to this paperback edition.
Gustavo Perez Firmat is Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies and Professor in the Program in Literature, Duke University. He is the author of numerous books.
Preface to the Paperback Edition ix Introduction xi Part 1: Criticism 1. The Vanguard Novel as a Discursive Category 3 2. A Pneumatic Aesthetics 40 Part 2: Novels 3. Closed World 67 4. Decharacterization 81 5. From Palimpsest to Pastiche 100 6. The Novel as Matrass 121 Conclusion: Hermes in and out of the Subway 139 Notes 143 Bibliography 154 Appendix: Vanguard Saints 169 Index 179