Catalan Review

Sense, Landscape, Stimmung: Eco-Epistemology in the Work of Toni Sala and Víctor Català

Catalan Review (2014), 28, (1), 19–38.

Abstract

The central concern of this essay is not to simply delineate the myriad resemblances between Sala and Català's fiction, though there are many. Instead, I first postulate that Sala's Rodalies, by re-presenting Català's Solitud from a twenty-first century perspective, produces a double time that demonstrates the breach between the archetypal and historical reality of a key symbol of the Catalan literary and political imaginary: the mountain. Secondly, I put forth that Rodalies artfully portrays how the disorder and fragmentation of a runaway, globalized world implodes what the sociologist Joan Nogué calls a differentiated geography of les emocions. The putative homogenization of a flattened out globalized world is shown in Rodalies to actually be a chaotic mosaic of sights and sounds without the clear demarcations of place featured in Nogué's geographical concept. Borrowing from the Romanticist merging of the aesthetic and the newer terrain of eco-criticism, I will put forth that the hybridization of sensorial experience in Rodalies degrades the breadth and effectiveness of recollection and contemplation. The differentiation of space, in other words, intimately preconditions cognitive processes.

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Viestenz, William