About dictionary

About dictionary
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture. Edited by Eamonn Rodgers (Es-Es)
Ver. 1.0 (red. 17.12.2012)
Number of headwords: 759.
Number of entries: 759.
Compiled to Lingvo by EdwART © 2012
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SOURCE: Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Edited by Eamonn Rodgers
Honorary Assistant Editor
Valerie Rodgers
London and New York
First published 1999 by Routledge
11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4E
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002.
Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge
29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001
© 1999 Routledge
* * *
This Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture reflects the expansion of interest in Spanish culture which has been a feature not only of academic life but of the general public arena during the last quarter of the twentieth century. It strives to meet the needs not only of students following traditional language and literature courses but also of those studying in the broader and more flexible programmes which have emerged in universities and further education colleges, in which Spanish is studied in the context of area studies, business studies and political and social sciences. It is also relevant to students who are not specializing in Spanish culture as such, but who nevertheless need to acquire a knowledge of contemporary Spain as part of a curriculum in, for instance, European studies, European politics, popular culture or film studies. The encyclopedia is written so as to require no knowledge of the Spanish language, or of Spanish history and institutions other than what can be acquired by an educated non-specialist reader of the quality daily or weekly press.
One reason for the widespread interest in Spain, for which the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture tries to cater, is the impressively successful and, in the main, peaceful transition since 1975 from an authoritarian political system to a modern liberal democracy, a series of profound changes which have had far-reaching cultural effects. Spain up to 1975 was an anomaly in Europe, the last and longest surviving relic of the military dictatorships of the 1930s. A mere seven years later, it not only had free elections, parliamentary government and a democratic constitution, but had installed a centre-left social democrat government. It achieved this by a combination of adaptation and modernization of existing institutions, and imaginative innovations such as the replacement of the rigid unitary structure of the Franco dictatorship with a quasifederal constitution creating a system of autonomous communities, which recognized the cultural, political and economic diversity of the peninsula.
This blend of continuity and innovation has been the keynote of cultural developments such as contemporary music and dance, which have incorporated traditional forms like flamenco into new modes of expression which link Spain to some of the most adventurous movements in Europe and beyond. Moreover, developments in areas like poetry and the visual arts have reconnected with some of the bold insights of the avant-garde movements of the 1930s without in any sense being backward-looking. In addition, though cultural life has flourished in the freer conditions of democracy, the widely held view of the Franco dictatorship as a cultural desert, while partly true, is an exaggeration. Despite the difficulties imposed by censorship, writers, artists and filmmakers were still able to produce work of quality, and to maintain a tradition on which later generations could build. This is no less true of the distinctive cultures of Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque country, which were never completely stifled during the dictatorship, though they have undoubtedly been the beneficiaries of the resources devoted to the promotion of regional cultures by the autonomous communities. In its presentation and coverage, the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture endeavours to break new ground. The definition of "Spanish" includes "all cultures present within the territorial boundaries of the Spanish state". This means that due regard is paid to the Catalan, Galician and Basque languages and cultures. The definition of "culture" is similarly comprehensive, reflecting the breaking-down of the barriers that have traditionally separated "popular" and "high" culture, a development not unique to Spain, but arguably more accentuated there, given the circumstances of recent Spanish history. The reader will find entries on architecture, cinema, the economy, education, fashion, food and drink, gay culture, intellectual life, language, literature, the media, music, politics, religion, society, sport and youth culture. Overview essays give a general picture of broad areas such as politics or literature, which are extensively cross-referenced to shorter notes on individuals or movements. These are either indicated by bold type in the text, or by "see also" references at the end of each article. Readers can therefore navigate their own route through the various aspects of a topic, making their own connections as they go along. The longer entries are "facts-fronted" and have suggestions for further reading which in most cases are accompanied by notes indicating their content or relevance. Where possible, sources in English have been recommended, though the dearth of published work in English on certain topics has meant that the only material available is in Spanish or Catalan.
The chronological period covered by the encyclopedia begins with the end of the Civil War in 1939, though the emphasis falls predominantly on the post-Franco period initiated by the demise of the dictator in 1975. Some references to earlier periods are included where the needs of historical contextualization seemed to warrant this. The overall balance is as comprehensive as it was possible to achieve, having regard to considerations of space, and of the need to give proper prominence to aspects neglected in other compilations. In view of the political changes that have taken place since 1975, politics has received ample coverage, since it is necessary to understand the shifting realignments of political forces to which writers, filmmakers and the media were reacting. Overview articles on the main literary genres have been supplemented with shorter pieces on individual writers, in an effort to ensure that new developments such as the expansion of women's writing or writing in Basque are given due attention.
In general, the titles of books mentioned in the encyclopedia have been translated. Where published translations already exist, the English title is given first, followed by the original in brackets; otherwise my own translation of the title is given in brackets. An exception is made for the titles of most plays and films, since it is not always possible to know whether a performance of a play outside Spain was in the original language, in translation, or whether the same translated title was used in different performances. The English title has been used for plays printed in translation, and for a small number of films, when it is reasonably clear that the film has been distributed under this title in both Britain and the US. With the single exception of the singer Karina, for whom no available reference work yielded a date of birth, places and dates of birth and death have been given in all biographical entries. Place-names have mostly been kept in their Spanish form, save where the Anglicized form was in general use among English speakers (e.g. Andalusia, Seville). Currency presented a particular problem, both because the small size of the unit, the peseta, means that one has to handle very large figures, and also because of differences in the meaning of "billion" (a thousand million in America, and now almost universally in Britain) and billón (a million million). To avoid confusion, I have opted to quote large sums as, for instance, 20,000m (twenty billion, US/UK) or 20m2 (twenty billion, Spain) as appropriate.
I would like to thank all the contributors to this volume, particularly those who generously took on a higher than average number of articles, and those who undertook to write on topics outside their subject areas. At Routledge, Fiona Cairns and, particularly, Denise Rea have been unstinting in their advice, practical support and encouragement. Finally, and not least, I have an incalculable debt to my wife, Valerie, who not only provided moral support, as always, but carried out a large share of the primary research and initial drafting, and translated the articles which were submitted in French. Without this, the project would have taken two or three times as long.
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