Dec. 6, 2016 | Aristocrats, Tarts, and Wastrels in 1932 Barcelona: The Private Lives of Josep Maria de Sagarra

In 1930, Barcelona—an old industrial city straining under a military dictatorship—was enjoying the financial spoils of both World War I neutrality and the building explosion of the 1929 Universal Exposition. Yet a crucial political change was about to take place. When the Republic was declared in 1931, a new bourgeoisie began to supplant the old. With ironic detachment, Josep Maria de Sagarra captured the moment in an unparalleled novel, Private Life (1932). Spanning from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie to the teeming masses, the book has earned its reputation as “the great novel of Barcelona.”

To celebrate its translation into English, published by Archipelago Books, KJCC organized a panel discussion in which Josep M. Muñoz (Fall 2016 King Juan Carlos I of Spain in Spanish Culture and Civilization Chair, NYU) explored its historical context; Margarida Casacuberta (Universitat de Girona), its literary context; and Mary Ann Newman, the translation. Miriam Basilio (NYU) was the moderator.