Over the last twenty years there has been a growing international interest in the city of Barcelona. This has been reflected in the academic world through a series of studies, courses, seminars, and publications. The Barcelona Reader hinges together a selection of the best academic articles, written in English, about the city, and its main elements of identity and interest: art, urban planning, history and social movements. The book includes scholarly essays about Barcelona that can be of interest to the student and the general public alike. It focuses on cultural representations of the city: the arts (including literature) provide a complex yet discontinuous portrait of the city, similar to a patchwork. The authors selected create a kaleidoscope of views and voices thus presenting a diverse yet inclusive Barcelona portrait. The Barcelona Reader offers a multifaceted assessment that will be essential reading for anyone interested in this iconic city.
Bou and Subirana offer us a great collection of articles on the city of Barcelona written in English (...) in a book with a wide approach to the subject. The city is, by definition, a complex creation and its interpretation therefore demands a plurality of views ("ways of seeing" according to John Berger). Barcelones, in the words of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, expresses this multifocal attitude to observe reality and face the object of study. (...) With the help of twenty-one top-level essayists, they have turned Barcelona into a field of study of increasing interest. The complexity of the city demanded, as we say, multiple knowledge. The look that the texts present to us is the result of an interpretative framework that the authors define in so far as they practice it.
Toni Mollà, L'Espill