Barcelona Doc ´ 592 pages ä Robert hughes

Doc ☆ ✓ Robert Hughes

Doc ☆ ✓ Robert Hughes Barcelona is Robert Hughes's monumentally informed and irresistibly opinionated guide to the most un Spanish city in Spain Hughes scrolls through Barcelona's often violent history It’s hard to imagine a better guide to a city than this Hughes’s account spans nearly two thousand years “from the emergence of Barcelona as a tiny Augustan colony in the first century AD to the death of Antonio Gaudí in 1926” The book is divided into two large sections Part I The Old City which tells the story of Barcelona from prehistory through Roman settlement the arrival of Christianity the Arab conuest the reconuest the union of the kingdoms of Aragon and Catalunya that enabled Barcelona to resist Madrid and made the city a great sea power of the Mediterranean—and so on down to the nineteenth century There is an interesting digression on Ramon Llull c 1235 1316 credited with creating Catalan as a literary languagePart II The New City begins in the middle of the nineteenth century and concludes with a fascinating chapter on Gaudí “The Hermit in the Cave of Making” a reference to the architect’s unfinished Sagrada Familia “the obsession of his last years”Throughout Hughes makes clear the different historical trajectories followed by Castilian Spain and Catalunya; while not hesitating to criticize “the obtrusive sense of Catalan specialness” As Hughes explains Catalunya’s natural political affinities were with states north of the Pyrenees the polities of Provence and Burgundy Feudalism with its corporate loyalties and its belief in negotiationwould transform itself in the Catalan political world straight into modern capitalism what happened in Catalunya was not unlike the conversion of Japan from a feudal samurai society into a manufacturing one But Catalunya was the only part of Spain in which this happened In the four chapters of Part II Hughes describes in exhaustive detail how “the project of nineteenth century Catalan culture—in poetry prose the evocation of history and before long in architecture and the decorative arts—wasto find and if need be invent a stable sense of identity through which it could define itself against other parts of Europe including in Catalunya’s case the rest of Spain itself” As Hughes himself observes of the Catalan Renaixença “neither sincerity nor patriotism however desirable in life are uite enough in art” and I confess I found some sections of these chapters overly detailed and only skimmed themBy no means does Hughes ignore the economic basis of the city “the ruling industry was textiles” or the social conditions of people’s lives “the machines were used in the mills the demand there was for women to run them since the machinery did not reuire as much physical strength and women could be paid far less But the vile calculus of human misery was unaltered” Hughes details how the fortunes of some of the wealthy families of Barcelona were made Gaudí’s great patron Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi 1846 1918 was the scion of one of these familiesHughes begins his chapter on Gaudí memorably Gaudí’s architecture is the delayed baroue that Barcelona never had It is mystical penitential and wildly elated by turns structurally daring and full of metaphor obsessed with its role as speculum mundi ‘mirror of the world’ Nonetheless his account is far from worshipful On the interior of the Palau Güell 1886 88 he writes Not only are its discomfort and pietism grating but most of the wood panelingthough admirably joined and carved is kitsch—a Catalan’s parody of Scots Baronial which clashes hideously with the Hispano Moresue elements elsewhere Moreover it is clear that neither Gaudí nor Eusebi Güell cared a fig for the art of painting so that the religious murals on the theme of charity are somewhere below ghastly and the family portraits if anything worse Still I cannot agree with his view of the Sagrada Familia the “building that can be said to epitomize Barcelona” but which Hughes describes as seeming “to die as it advances” Perhaps it’s simply that I grew up in Australia where most modern churches could be mistaken for airport departure lounges but I found the Sagrada Familia beautiful moving and despite the vastness of the space recognizably sacredIn sum then Hughes’s history of Barcelona is both exhaustively researched and evocatively written Tapping through my Kindle to find the passages I’d highlighted I was struck again and again by the conviction of Hughes’s writing which is vivid without ever crossing the line into self indulgent lushness His observations can be striking Architecture makes things seem stabler than they are There is a limit to one’s ability to intuit the political life of a city from its monuments because monuments always speak a language of order inheritance and shelter He makes wonderful use of metaphors to convey his points The Teatre del Liceu Barcelona’s opera house that was built to rival La Scala and opened in the spring of 1847 is described as “Barcelona’s uintessential symbol of high bourgeois culture the ornate knob on the cane of the capital” The Casa Milà apartment block 1906 10 “is a sea cliff with caves in it for people”Hughes’s history of Barcelona is not a guidebook he gives street addresses for the houses he discusses but there are no suggested itineraries Nonetheless I finished the book with a list of at least dozen places I want to visit—and linger in—next time I’m in the city that the Catalan poet Joan Maragall 1860 1911 called la gran encisera “the great enchantress”

Reader Barcelona

Barcelona Doc ´ 592 pages ä Robert hughes ä [PDF / Epub] ☉ Barcelona By Robert Hughes – Barcelona is Robert Hughes's monumentally informed and irresistibly opinionated guide to the most un Spanish city in Spain Hughes scrolls through Barcelona's often violent history; tells the stories o Barcelon Tells the stories of its kings poets magnates and revolutionaries and ushers readers through municipal landmarks that range from Antoni Gaudi's sublimely surreal cathedral to a post This is a fine little book a pared down version of Hughes’s bigger volume Barcelona For those who do not reuire a blow by blow account of Catalan history this smaller book is just the thingHughes loves Barcelona and knows it well That he often means “Catalunya” when he says “Barcelona” is not too important if you’re not reading this for academic reasons Yet it surprised me to read some other errors and inaccuracies The worst of them was his use of Castilian for several Catalan place names Espluges de Llobregat is not the only example but the only one that comes to mind Not only does he know the history of the suppression of the Catalan language that was endured during Franco years he writes about it in the book Other little annoyances were his description of castells the human castles They are not built in rings They are built on a central frame of four men who are then fortified by a great mass called a pinya pineapple which might have a choreography but looks simply like a mass to the observer And the sardanes danced in front of the cathedral are not spontaneous in that they are held weekly for most of the year and although the occasional Catalan or tourist might be surprised by the performance most people who dance or come to hear the music know to comeI lived in Barcelona for a couple of years and it is my favorite city too so I notice these little things Then again I very much appreciate Hughes's well informed description of and affection for this wonderful city

Robert Hughes ✓ Barcelona Pdf

BarcelonaModern restaurant with a glass walled urinal The result is a work filled with the attributes of Barcelona itself proportion humor and seny the Catalan word for triumphant common sen I happened on this book by accident a few years back and relished it An ode to the city and to love and is maybe accessible to readers who found the earlier and fatter 'Barcelona' fabulous but hard work Next time you visit leave TimeOut and LPlanet behind way too ponderous and beaten track in any case and instead take this lovely work with you I'm re reading it now and reflecting how much we miss Bob Hughes his prose his acerbic originality and intellect simply knowing he was there to cleverly brutally take down the pompous and popularly shallow in the art world and the wider world and to acknowledge the brave the beautiful the funny and the things that properly matter We miss that voice Vale come back