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Towards a Literary Urban Cartography: Mapping Spanish Detective Fiction

Authors: Nick Phillips*, Grinnell College - Grinnell, IA
Topics: Cultural Geography, Cartography
Keywords: Spain, Detective Fiction, Literary Mapping
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper will examine the urban presence in several Spanish detective novels published since the year 2008 by utilizing web mapping platforms such as ArcGIS Web and Carto. The commercial and critical success of Spanish Detective Fiction has ushered in a popular wave of authors and series that aim to capture how people experience the contemporary urban environments of Spain, including cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville. This paper will examine how literary mapping techniques can reveal the impacts of urban development, spatial production, and the circulation of capital on contemporary Spanish society. Additionally, this paper will analyze what a geographical approach to literary studies can add to better understand these texts, both from a theoretical as well as a pedagogical perspective. At the same time, this paper will critique how literary mapping can detract from the fictional experience of the text, as well as the challenges and struggles inherent in comparing the novelistic worlds with the real mapped spaces of these urban areas.

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