Introduction: The Problem of Spain and the Cultural Map of Interwar Europe

Gayle Rogers

in Modernism and the New Spain

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199914975
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980192 | DOI:

Series: Modernist Literature and Culture

Introduction: The Problem of Spain and the Cultural Map of Interwar Europe

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The introduction lays out the historical origins of the “Spanish problem,” considered both by Spanish and non-Spanish figures. I argue that this “problem” bears critically on how we write modernist scholarship in the age of global literary history. I trace the Spanish problem from its origins in the Black Legend through to Ortega’s confrontation with it in his plan to “Europeanize” Spain. I use Ortega’s renovations of his distant mentor Kant, too, to map the means by which I am approach Spanish modernism both in and beyond its European context. Finally, I follow Ortega’s career and his public works—periodicals, lectures, book presses, and more—as part of his influential effort to forge a transnational public sphere in Spain. The central focus in all of this is collaboration: I characterize the ways and means by which English- and Spanish-language modernists came to collaborate with one another in surprising ways on the question of how to reinvent post-World War I Europe through a presumably non-European Spain.

Keywords: New Spain; modernist literature; World War I; regeneration; modernist studies; internationalism; reform; Immanuel Kant; Black Legend; cultural politics

Chapter.  11420 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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