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International Yearbook of Futurism Studies

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Futurist Social Critique in Gabriel Alomar i Villalonga (1873–1941)

David W. Bird
Published Online: 2013-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.47


The sui generis futurist Gabriel Alomar i Villalonga (1873-1941) wrote political journalism and speeches that expressed his militant desire to emancipate the Catalan people from the dominant forms of economic and cultural hegemony, in particular from the interventions of the Castilian-speaking government in Madrid. In this study, I show how Alomar’s early essays deploy literary tropes as a narrative intervention in the material world, synthesizing regionalist and cosmopolitan elements in the elaboration of a critical social and political agenda for Spain after 1898. While many writers of the avant-garde were primarily occupied with aesthetics, Alomar’s political writing was aimed more at espousing an entirely new idea of where Spain as a notional political unity was headed. Alomar envisioned and actively worked in the political arena towards a wholly secular Spain, a federalist state wherein the good of all could be considered while the rights of minorities could be preserved. Alomar is mentioned in historical accounts of Catalan and of Spanish literature, but generally in a subordinate role in discussions of the influence of Italian Futurism in Spain. “El futurisme” is the best-known of Alomar’s writings, being simultaneously an aesthetic manifesto and an instantiation of the values it propounds. For a study of Alomar as futurist, though, it is instructive to broaden the field of inquiry to a selection of his early political essays, all of which were creative interventions in the wider Catalan and Spanish political spheres in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Keywords: : Futurisme/futurismo/futurism; modernisme; noucentisme; Catalan nationalism; Escuela mallorquina

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Published Online: 2013-05-22

Published in Print: 2013-05-01

Citation Information: International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 47–63, ISSN (Online) 2192-029X, ISSN (Print) 2192-0281, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.47.

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