Political Revolution and Literary Experiment in the Spanish Romantic Period (1830-1850)

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This book dismantles key misconceptions about the Spanish Romantic period, such as its supposed timidity and conservativism, or exceptional hostility to Victor Hugo. Instead, it stresses the strength of Liberal and Progressive ideas, and the presence of innovative literary writers. It does so through a parallel examination of political and literary thought. The study concludes with an analysis of important experimental works by Espronceda, Alvaraz, and Ros, and includes the first major account of the highly inventive poet and theorist of fragmentation, Ovejas.


& a detailed and erudite study&. Central to the authors concern here is his perception that although there has been academic study of politics and its relationship to literature in Spain, not so much has been done to draw into the discussion studies of political ideology.  British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain

"As an intellectual history it is shrewd and illuminating, and revises and amends earlier interpretations of some of this material in questions of detail , going towards fulfilling its stated intention of re-opening debate, from a different angle, on the vexed question of the definition of Spanish Romanticism." -- Prof. Derek Flitter, University of Birmingham

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Part 1: Revolution and its Aftermath
1. Maux du siècle: The Moderate Liberal Party; The Heart of Darkness; The Neo-Platonic Journey; The Problem with Multiplicity and the Dawn of ’48; The Spanish Dimension
2. On a Point of Principles: Introduction; Continuity in Ideas – The Figure of the Common Man; Against Eclecticism; Revolutionary Rhetoric; The Surging Principle of Liberty; The Rival Model of History; The Integration of Spirit and Matter; Socialism and the Attempt to Organize Things; An Hypothesis and Possible Evaluation
3. A Spanish Hope; A Spanish Tragedy: Reaffirming the Enlightenment; A Uniquely Spanish Problem; The Problem with National Identity; The Problem with the People; Is Nationalism at Fault?; Larra in Context
Part 2: Liberalism and Literary Rebirth
4. Spain Revisited: Freedom or Madness; Durán and Self-direction; Donoso, Historiography and the Aesthetic; Exile, Nostalgia, and Spanish Historicism
5. Brave New World: Freedom and Rebirth; The New Order; Freedom and Nature; Ethics and Romanticism
6. Social and Artistic Disintegration: The Critics’ Fears; God the Liberator; Augustinian Confessions; Gil y Carrasco and Universal Sympathy; Eclectic Aesthetics
7. Spain Reborn: The Progressive Nation; Rebirth and the Spanish Imagination; The Eclectics, The Mystics, and the Quixote; The Political and the Literary
Part 3: An Experimental Literature
8. Sueños de la razón: Espronceda and Friends; Miguel de los Santos Alvarez; Ros de Olano; Ildefonso Ovejas and Contemporary Thought; Ovejas’s Theory of the Imagination
9. ‘But I Have Bad Dreams’: El estudiante de Salamanca;The State of the Question; Rebellion and Irony; Ideological Significance; Literary Tradition; The Role of the Imagination: The Significance of the Aesthetic
10. Miguel do los Santos Alvarez and the Object of Laughter: The Bearable Lightness of Being; The Limits of Laughter
11. Delirium and Disordered Prose in Antonio Ros de Olano: Los niños expósitos [The Foundlings]; Celos [Jealousy]; La noche de máscaras [The Night of the Masquerade]; Towards an Assessment and Conclusion
12. Fragments and Images: Ildefonso Ovejas’s ‘Ensueños de una virgen’: Mysteries of the Poem; The Wash of Allusion; The Flow of Structure; Evocative Meaning
Appendices: I - Some Useful Dates, II - Brief Glossary of Terms; III - ‘Ensueños de una virgen’ (1845) by Ildefonso Ovejas;
Bibliography: Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers of the Romantic Period; Primary and Secondary Texts

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