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Βιογραφία συγγραφέα: Gesser Silvina Schammah

The strengthening of the public sphere came hand in hand with the emergence of the intellectual, a new social agent who appeared in Spain at the end of the nineteenth century when a culture of print differentiated the educated elites and literati from the masses of mostly illiterate peasantry and the rising proletariat cadres. Possessing for the most part no inherited wealth, they were financially vulnerable. As an economically depressed group outside traditional alliances, they were situated near the lower end of the ruling class.

Notwithstanding their lack of power in actual political decision-making, they were influential in shaping public opinion. The press that was primarily in conservative hands became a major instrument for propagating their ideas. Their relative social and economic marginality allowed them to reexamine accepted political ideals and to formulate new social goals.

The political activism of the generation led in many cases to a flirtation with socialism but produced no durable alliance.

In their view socialists were too strongly inspired by Marxism, were doctrinaire in outlook and extreme in intention. Despite their closeness to anarchism and its vague humanitarian idealism, they seemed apprehensive and fearful of becoming involved in genuine revolutionary forces or even more moderate left-wing movements.

Conversely, in their zeal to make names for themselves in the literary field the essay and the novel were used as the major tools enabling the generation to differentiate themselves from previous writers, literary genres and schools of thought. The moralist metaphysical essay and the psychological novel provided ideal forms for developing an idiosyncratic literary strategy to express their "politics of cultural despair. As a novel form of symbolic capital their cultural despair allowed them to assert their dominance in the intellectual field.

The essay provided a suitable format for insurrection against the established order and the official literature, making it an efficient instrument for spreading their new ideologies. The novel, in turn, allowed them to fully express their view of the modern predicament in a Spanish context.

As forerunners of existentialism as a philosophical outlook, they announced the dislocation of sensibilities to be seen in the rest of Europe around the period of the First World War.

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In the case of Spain, this modern angst merged with the shattering effect of the defeat that had triggered the intellectual elites' obsession with the national problem. Still, their insidious criticism on various aspects of Spanish life and behavior did not go beyond an aesthetic treatment of politics, which provided, at most, stylized images of degeneration and decay.

Notwithstanding the immediate but limited social repercussions of their predicament, they did succeed in defining themselves as capable of articulating alternatives to the exiting civic repertoires. The most famous members of the generation were known to the general reading public not only because of their literary work but also because of their massive presence in the daily press.

They voiced their more politically autonomous public opinion through a national language and culture whose images and ideas turned national identity into a central preoccupation of their writing. Because the generation was clearly a nationalist generation, as such, it claimed to be exclusively guided by higher and purer values and moral anguish, provoked by the disinterested contemplation of the passive Spanish people in the face of its rulers. Its members took upon themselves the role of supreme judges whose task was to make public what the "the people" were feeling but were unable to express.

Yet, they did not call "the people" into action a logical next step for those who were worried by the masses' sluggishness , nor did they propose an organized campaign to form a new governmental organization, followed by free elections. Actually, they were reluctant to support any type of mobilization in order to avoid false elections.

Hence they limited their political activism to making public judgments in the newspapers in order to let the public know their position. In other words, the intellectuals in Spain by the end of the nineteenth century intervened in public life not as equals but rather as the privileged carriers of universal values to a political class whom they considered inferior and inept.

The convergence of modern and essentialist discourses and practices, especially in literature and poetry in what is conventionally called in Spanish letters the Generation of '27 created fissures between competing views of aesthetics and ideology that cut across political affiliation. Author Silvina Schammah Gesser exposes the paradoxes facing Madrid's cultural vanguards, as they were torn by their ambition for universality, cosmopolitanism, and transcendence on the one hand and by the centripetal forces of nationalistic ideologies on the other.

Taking upon themselves roles as disseminators and popularizers of radical positions and worldviews first elaborated and conducted by a young urban intelligentsia, their proposed aim of incorporating diverse identities embedded in different cultural constructions and discourse was to have very real and tragic consequences as political and intellectual lines polarized in the years prior to the Spanish Civil War.

Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. About this Item: Samuel P. Trade Papeback. Condition: As New. As new, in shrink wrap. These evocative works represent the combination of utopian impulses and dystopian realities, the ruptures and new beginnings that have characterized Cuban art.

Madrid's Forgotten Avante-Garde

Although the underlying issues are serious, many of the works are imbued with a sense of humor and irony, and all demonstrate a clear commitment to the Cuban homeland. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Published by Galerie Bargera About this Item: Galerie Bargera, Seller Inventory ZB More information about this seller Contact this seller Published by Lannoo Publishers Acc.

About this Item: Lannoo Publishers Acc. Light to moderate shelf wear. Clean pages. Published by AM Editores About this Item: AM Editores, Condition: Fine. Harn Museum of Art Harn Museum of Art, Condition: Very good. Large softcover. Green illustrated wraps with yellow and orange lettering on the spine. Covers clean and unmarked. Interior free of marks of any kind.

Seller Inventory F Publisher overstock copy. Soft cover. Published by Art Publications, New York. Hard Cover. No Jacket.

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Art Publications. Black cloth hard cover fine condition! No date - probably late 60's early 70's, pages, color illustrations, biographical appendix, list of illustrations. Size: From: Alphaville Books, Inc. Hyattsville, MD, U. Soft Cover. Light wear. Very cleana and tight.


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