Writing for New Literacies: Pío Baroja's Novela Film (1929)

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This article examines the formal novelty and generic creativity of Pío Baroja’s novela film as an original expressive mode. Thus subtitled, his short novel El poeta y la princesa o El Cabaret de la Cotorra Verde (1929) incorporates cinema’s narrative strategies and engages cinema’s associated print cultural form of the novelized film plot. As a different kind of ‘cinematographic novel,’ Baroja’s novela film launches an inquiry into notions of genre, narration, audience, and medium, revealing a unique insight into the ways in which the modernist novel was being redefined in response to cinema’s narrative possibilities. Through its exploration of what it means to fuse literature and film—and, hence, its interrogation of what it means to write for a different kind of reading—Baroja’s novela film adapts and speaks to an expanding body of cinema- literate readers. As it elicits an enhanced awareness and sophisticated critical attention on the part of a reader-viewer through metafictional disclosing, intertextuality, and parodic content, it may be considered that its formal innovation advances a new manner of intellectualized consumer reading. Ultimately, as a response to entertainment technologies such as film and cinema print culture, the novela film rethinks the very notion of what is literature.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRevista Hispanica Moderna
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cinematographic novel
  • print culture
  • reading practices
  • novelized film plots
  • Pío Baroja
  • cinema
  • modernism
  • novela film


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