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Cartographies of disappearance: Thresholds in Barcelona’s metro

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This article proposes an analysis of Barcelona’s metro system following David Pike’s threshold concept, key to the topography of the ‘vertical city’. This will be done through reading maps and literary texts that illustrate three closely related issues: an interpretation of Barcelona’s metro network and its meanings; the disappearance of some metro stations and underground spaces, such as hidden connecting corridors, which create a shallow presence of the past into the present, examples of urban spaces that are buried and forgotten; and subway life as portrayed in some literary texts with particular emphasis on the use of mythology.
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Keywords: Barcelona; disappearance; everyday life; ghost stations; maps; metro systems; urban literature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universit√† Ca’ Foscari Venezia

Publication date: 01 September 2016

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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