Capital Ruptures: Economies of Crisis and Urban Space in Javier Moreno's 2020

N. Michelle Murray


This essay asserts that the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis has re-focused scholarship onto capitalism’s tendency towards what David Harvey calls “creative destruction,” where space is continually destroyed and reproduced to serve the interests of capital. Following Harvey, my essay investigates the representation of space in relation to economic crisis in Javier Moreno’s novel 2020. I contend that in 2020, excess non-“places”—specifically, taxis, supermarkets, and airports—intrinsic to late capitalist society transform into sites of solidarity and social transformation as capital relentlessly degrades proper “places” of the urban landscape. Thus, the essay critically examines depictions of spaces, places, and non-places in 2020 to argue that Moreno "capitalizes" upon the political economy’s contradictions to represent the city’s supposedly unhistorical, asocial, excess “non-places” as sites that subvert neoliberal principles in a futuristic Madrid plagued by unfathomable crisis. This line of inquiry ultimately leads me to envision the novel in crisis as a virtual commons that encourages dialogue and cultural critique.

Palabras clave

Literature; Crisis; Javier Moreno; non-place; space; capitalism

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