Kiosk Literature of Silver Age Spain (Book)

Modernity and Mass Culture

The 'Silver Age' of Spain ran from 1898 to 1939 and was characterized by intense urbanization, widespread class struggle and mobility and a boom in mass culture. This book offers the most detailed scholarly analysis of kiosk literature, one of the mass culture's manifestations, examined through the lens of contemporary interdisciplinary theories. 


The so-called 'Silver Age' of Spain ran from 1898 to the rise of Franco in 1939 and was characterized by intense urbanization, widespread class struggle and mobility and a boom in mass culture. This book offers a close look at one manifestation of that mass culture: weekly collections of short, often pocket-sized books sold in urban kiosks at low prices. These series published a wide range of literature in a variety of genres and formats, but their role as disseminators of erotic and anarchist fiction led them to be censored by the Franco dictatorship. This book offers the most detailed scholarly analysis of kiosk literature to date, examining the kiosk phenomenon through the lens of contemporary interdisciplinary theories of urban space, visuality, celebrity, gender and sexuality, and the digital humanities.

Jeffrey Zamostny is assistant professor of Spanish and director of the minor in gender and sexuality studies at the University of West Georgia. 

Susan Larson is professor of Spanish and Charles B. Qualia Chair in Classical and Modern Languages at Texas Tech University. She is the author of Constructing and Resisting Modernity: Madrid 1900–1936.


Note on Translations

Commonly Cited Literary Collections


Introduction Kiosk Literature and the Enduring Ephemeral 
Jeffrey Zamostny

Chapter 1 Literary Collections
Alberto Sánchez Álvarez-Insúa

Chapter 2 Between Secrets and Simulations: Women Writers in La Novela de Noche
Carmen M. Pujante Segura

Chapter 3 Backward Modernity? The Masculine Lesbian in Spanish Sicaliptic Literature
Itziar Rodríguez de Rivera

Chapter 4 Literary Medicine, Medical Literature: César Juarros and La Novela de Hoy
Ryan A. Davis

Chapter 5 Celebrity, Sex, and Mass Readership: The Case of Álvaro Retana
Noël Valis

Chapter 6 Virtual Álvaro Retana: Recovery and Fandom in the Digital Age
Jeffrey Zamostny

Chapter 7 Cinema Literacy in Cinema Fan Magazines and the Novela Cinematográfica
Eva Woods Peiró

Color Section

Chapter 8 Technology, Cosmopolitanism, and Female Sexuality in La Novela Semanal Cinematográfica (1922–32)
Patricia Barrera Velasco

Chapter 9 La Novela Femenina: A Collection by Women Writers in the 1920s
Ángela Ena Bordonada

Chapter 10 Getting Away with Wife Murder: Article 438 in the Press and Popular Fiction
Leslie Maxwell Kaiura

Chapter 11 Carmen de Burgos: Teaching Women of the Modern Age
Michelle M. Sharp

Chapter 12 Sports-Themed Kiosk Novelettes and the Silver Age Debate on Tradition and Modernity
Luis F. Cuesta

Chapter 13 Joaquín Belda’s “Tourist Postcards”: The Origin and Foil of His Novels (1924–31)
Manuel Martínez Arnaldos

Chapter 14 Reading and the Street: An Inventory of Madrid Kiosks in 1911
Edward Baker

Chapter 15 Modeling Kiosk Literary Collections for the Mnemosyne Digital Library
Dolores Romero López, José Luis Bueren Gómez-Acebo, Joaquín Gayoso-Cabada

Conclusion Kiosk Literature as a Geography of Cultural Objects
Susan Larson

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