Spain Literature Part II

By | January 28, 2022

In this sense, the narrative and, to a lesser extent, the theater also offer numerous and different confirmations. Indeed, it can be said that compared to poetry they act as a more immediate point of reference for a critical clarification, given the extreme eloquence of the contents that are proposed. Many uncertainties were already at the root of that reading curiosity, of that inventive and imitative capacity that allowed CJ Cela to give a courageous turn to the novel around the 40s. From his first work, La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942), to the mature and technically more perfect La colmena (1951), it was easy to notice the acute sense of discernment and overcoming of what was provincial in the old modules of the “costumbrista” novel and in the capricious surrealisms of the “greguerías”, and (much more than in Zunzunegui, moralist tragic or smiling but always with its own “bilbaína”, irrepressible “local” vein) it was possible to evaluate in Cela the breadth of the stylistic and structural attempt at renewal, implemented thanks to the grafting of European and American techniques into the uninterrupted trunk of a Spanish theme (environmental, realistic, mythical). Now, of that transplant, certain reasons for the exteriority of the first innovative enthusiasm, the unrealistic character, not always supported by adequate assimilation, do not escape the reader today. It fills it up, the symptoms of a gradual handing over of the stylistic exercise at the expense of a resolute commitment to romance. In part similar, and in part already different due to the rapid change of experiences, the problems of the last generation of writers, from the brothers Juan Goytisolo (perhaps the most translated in France and Italy) and Luis Goytisolo Gay, to J. López Pacheco, J. Fernández Santos, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, J. Hortelano, Ana María Matute, Carmen Martín Gayte; many of whom look to Cela as a teacher in the generic sense of the community of certain starting perspectives, but perhaps recognize its cultural influence rather than its expressly creative and literary one (Cela founded, among other things, in 1956 one of the more up-to-date and “Europeanised” cultural magazines Papeles de Son Armadans). And in short, while it is proved once more by the very young storytellers that the resolve and honesty of the innovative impulse, even on the technical level, is inseparable from the nagging awareness of the current crisis in the country, on the other hand there are still undulations, perplexity, naivety of theoretical approach when it is necessary to set the discourse (repeatedly, almost too many times, addressed) on the new formulas that should be adopted, on the old ones that should be rejected. As in poetry, one reacts to Ortega’s theoretical heritage, and takes a Baroja as a model of romance style without going beyond the taste for programmatic choice, an expression of an ideal homage to the spirit of ’98 rather than true descent on the level of technique. of the story, of the structure of the novel. The suspicion of sporadic information, the result of occasional fashions, often weighs on the readings of foreign authors, so it is possible to hear echoes of Truman Capote or Dos Passos, Pavese or Vittorini, rather than others, without apparent valid reasons, often for lack of entire documentation, due to the inevitable lack of free circulation of ideas and literary “cases”. Again, as in poetry, “realism” is the word in which we want to enclose the ultimate meaning of the many and different orientations. And it is an abused term, mostly unsuitable for delimiting different styles and qualities within a homogeneous poetics, such as those of a J. Goytisolo, for example, or of a Ferlosio; writer, the first, very fruitful because he was endowed with a rapid assimilative dexterity of technical ingredients (so from Juegos de manos, 1954, in La resaca, 1958), the second narrator, contained and shy of easy experiments, tending rather to a troubled complexity of style in which one also feels the reflection of readings of Spanish classics (El Jarama, 1956). But if the definition of a poetic is premature, and moreover not indispensable, there is no doubt that in the succession of forces and attempts, taste is changing and the dawning of a renewed culture is revealing itself to the eyes of the European reader. Many inconveniences will be explained by a careful analysis of the delayed condition with which the best Spanish art has made itself inclined to a protest realism, it alone still tragically locked between residual totalitarian anxieties in a Europe which has long since returned to the freedom of exchange. cultural (and, in this sense, the comparison with certain attitudes of our narrative and poetry of the fascist period will be revealing). Yet, even with these limitations, Historia de una escalera (1949). And it is an authentic cognitive effort, supported by an editorial activity that was miraculously reborn precisely in the sector of militant culture (think, in addition to the numerous magazines mentioned, especially the Seix Barral publishing house in Barcelona, ​​the Formentor prize); so that the necessary observation of the many stylistic weaknesses, of some atrocious ideological schematisms, is supported by the expectation of a maturation that seems to approximate the closer the encounter with European literatures becomes and the full and responsible moral conscience of the Spanish crisis becomes. Perhaps precisely in a balance between the renewal anxiety, which now leads to confused imitations of European and American formulas, and a prudent sense of traditional and intimately Hispanic local values ​​(from which, ultimately, the

According to EZINESPORTS, there is no lack of profound reflections of this problem, it is natural, in essayists and literary critics, whose activity has flourished in the last ten years, in Spain and in exile. If it is symptomatic that philosophers belong, mostly. at the school of Ortega, such as X. Zubiri, JL Aranguren, J. Ferrater Mora. M. Zambrano, etc., have repeatedly moved on the terrain of the cultural battle (a penetrating article on the situation of poetry is due to Aranguren), it should be noted that for some time the drama of the crisis of a Hispanic tradition, the subtle perception of the old Catholic and national institutes threatened by a secular isolation, it pervades many of those writings between philosophical and non-fiction that now possess their own structure and intonation, along the lines of Unamuno and Ortega himself, of Marañón and d’Ors. España como Problem (1949), as if to contrast it with the pseudo-philosophical concept or, rather, with the raving of a “España sin Problem”, defended by the Catholic and nationalistic right (Calvo Serer). And it will be. above any other example, full of different suggestions also for the European historian the unmistakable experience of the last volumes of A. Castro (España en su historia, 1948; La realidad histórica de España, 1954; Origenser y existir de los españoles, 1959), aimed at claiming a sort of “vital” or vivencia authenticity of the Spanish people despite the fact that they are perennial insufficient and indifferent to the aspects of European progress; furthermore, no less important will be the discussion and revision that C. Sánchez Albornoz elaborated on the concepts of Castro in his Españaun enigma histórico (1957); one and the other arousing controversy (for example with the old liberal essayist L. Araquistain), broadening and disseminating ideas not only on the “origins” and the peculiar characteristics of Spanish civilization, but, implicitly, drawing the attention of Europe on the historical “present” and on the political destiny of Spain. Liberal historiographic tradition and existentialism of Unamunian roots, reflections of German historicism (in particular of Dilthey) and influence of Ortega alternate to define these experiences methodologically. These are the guidelines that prevail to this day, although not always with valid results; and it should also be noted that a neo-positivist trend is gaining ground (we will quote, for example, the young philosopher M. Sacristán, author of a recent monograph on Heidegger) which, tomorrow,

In literary criticism and philology, while a circle of disciples was being created in America. in the field of linguistics and stylistics, around A. Alonso, who died prematurely, discoveries and events of considerable interest are to be recorded thanks to the school of R. Menéndez Pidal, always very flourishing in Spain. It will be enough to mention by Menéndez Pidal himself the great critical edition in fieri, already partially published, of the Romancero and the new enlarged edition of the studies on the French epic; the successful discovery and interpretation of the Mozarabic karge at the origin of the Castilian and Romance lyric (studies by D. Alonso. R. Menéndez Pidal, E. García Gómez); the discovery, with relative study, of a fragment of the15th century Amadís, by A. Rodrlguez Moñino; the first extracts from the Tesoro de la lengua castellana of Spain Gili y Gaya; the first volume, recently published, of the monumental Historical Dictionary of the Castilian language, edited by the “Real Academia española de la lengua” and under the direction of R. Lapesa; the first volumes of the monumental Bibliografía de las literaturas hispánicas, published by the “Consejo de investigaciones científicas” by J. Simón Díaz; and again the Gongorini studies by A. Vilanova, the Herrerian ones by JM Blecua, those on Garcilaso and Santillana by R. Lapesa; the various and notable contributions of G. Díaz Plaja, F. Lázaro Carreter, A. Valbuena Prat, M. de Riquer, P. Bohigas. E. Frutos, to name but a few; and finally the uninterrupted activity of classic philological journals such as the Revista de Filología española and the Boletín de la Real Academia española.

As for the intellectuals who remained in exile, they are still, as many examples of which have been discussed, still very numerous and industrious. Some returns, such as those of Ortega, of Bergamín, are generally explained by private needs; they were never due to ideological capitulation, despite paternalistic flattery and certain ambiguous attempts at conciliation by the Madrid government. It can well be said that a conspicuous part of Spanish cultural life during the last decade still took place far from the Iberian borders: and the names of A. Castro, C. Sánchez Albornoz suffice. Spain de Madariaga. J. Ferrater Mora, M. Zambrano, A. Alonso, J. Casalduero. J. Montesinos, F. de Onís among thinkers and philologists; by R. Sender and A. Barea among the narrators (artists of no great importance, but deserving of mention as exponents of a typical culture of emigrants, firmly linked, in fictional inspiration, to the old republican ideals); by JR Jiménez. J. Guillén, P. Salinas. R. Alberti, L. Cernuda, M. Altolaguirre, L. Felipe, among the poets. Between these cultural forces, moreover, and the “internal” ones, the circle of solidarity and reciprocal contributions does not seem to be interrupted. It is no coincidence that of the poets in exile perhaps only Jiménez (consecrated by the Nobel Prize shortly before his death) followed his very individual and closed experience to the end (Animal de fondo, 1949); and in others, instead, a crisis of the old ideal of “pure poetry” has appeared more or less peremptory, and in many of their works there is more often talk of “moral” commitment, proximity and adherence to “reality”. Nor does this happen only in artists like Alberti, Cernuda, L. Felipe, purists and symbolists, if you like, riotous from the beginning; this is something that is felt in the recent Guillén di Maremagnum (1957) and in some pages, including theoretical ones, of the last Salinas. In short, these are anxieties that surprise the great and ancient tradition of the exponents of ’25, and make us think, by analogy not remote, of the efforts of the youngest intellectuals formed within the very borders of the homeland. There seems no doubt that a history of Spanish culture of the last twenty years will be made taking into account also this relationship, which now appears nuanced and of delicate understanding, but of which there is more than one sign in the texts of the young poem.

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