Brings to bear an extraordinarily rich array of materials on the notion of modernization as a deep set of dislocations. Bergero covers the subject with encyclopedic sweep and in a truly interdisciplinary way. No work that I know of covers this material as completely.
In the early part of the twentieth century, Buenos Aires erupted from its colonial past as a city in its own right, expressing a unique and vibrant cultural identity.
Intersecting Tango engages the city at this key moment, exploring the sweeping changes of 1900-1930 to capture this culture in motion through which Buenos Aires transformed itself into a modern, cosmopolitan city.
Taking the reader through a dazzling array of sites, sources, and events, Bergero conveys the city in all its complexity. Drawing on architecture and gendered spaces, photography, newspaper columns, schoolbooks, “high” and “low” literature, private letters, advertising, fashion, and popular music, she illuminates a range of urban social geographies inhabited by the city's defining classes and groups. In mining this vast material, Bergero traces the profound change in social fabric by which these diverse identities evolved, through the processes of modernization and its many dislocations, into a new national identity capable of embodying modernity.
In her interdisciplinary study of urban development and cultural encounters with modernity, Bergero leads the reader through the city's emergence, collecting her investigations around the many economic, social, and gender issues remarkably conveyed by the tango, the defining icon of Buenos Aires. Multifaceted and original, Intersecting Tango is as rich and captivating as the dance itself.
A serious, deep, wonderful endeavor to understand how a complex construction of identities helped to create Buenos Aires as we know it today. What the author has done beautifully is to invite the reader to reconnoiter and understand a city and a culture.
Reveals to the reader a fascinating variety of social texts. A wealth of rich material.
'Intersecting Tango' will entice, perhaps frustrate, but certainly unearth a number of sources and themes which beg greater scholarly study, returning us once again to the tumultous socio-political context of the city during its belle epoque.
Adriana J. Bergero is professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of El debate politico: Modernidad, poder y disidencia en Yo el Supremo de Augusto Roa Bastos; Haciendo camino: Pactos de la escritura en la obra de Jorge Luis Borges; and co-editor, with Fernando Reati, of Memoria colectiva y politicas de olvido: Argentina y Uruguay, 1970-1990.