who is miguel de unamuno and what is his association with the university? This is a topic that many people are looking for. savegooglewave.com is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, savegooglewave.com would like to introduce to you Leslie Harkema: Miguel de Unamuno and . Following along are instructions in the video below:
To the macmillan report. Im marilyn wilkes your host and our guest is leslie leslie harkema. An assistant professor of spanish at yale university.
Her research focuses on 19th 20th century peninsular literature with a particular interest in how post enlightenment literature in spain response to political religious and scientific discourses within modernity today. Well talk with professor harkema about her current book project. Which is a study of the relationship between the prolific essayist and poet.
Miguel de unamuno and a group of writers known in the 1920s as the young literature. Welcome professor harkema thank you very much for having me so tell us about miguel de unamuno. Who is he uh.
Well. You know. Mona was one of the central intellectual figures in early 20th century spain.
The period leading up to the spanish civil war he actually died while under house arrest at the very beginning of the civil war. And he was under house arrest and he was there due to the francoist forces. Who are keeping him under house arrest.
He was born in the 19th century in the basque country and actually spent most of his adult life in salamanca. Which is closer to the center of spain in madrid. And he was a professor of greek actually at the university.
There and became the rector of the university of salamanca so pretty high profile figure. Hes most well known today for his novels. Which are read fairly widely throughout the world as well as for his philosophical work kind of in the existentialist tradition.
He was very influenced by soren kierkegaard for example. Theres an anecdote that he taught himself danish in order to read kierkegaard in the original. But he was also a poet.
A dramatist obviously a pedagogue. A teacher and also a frequent commentator on all kinds of social issues in spain in this period. Im particularly interested in him as a public intellectual as an essayist and also as a poet.
Okay. So what is it about him that led you to study him what speaks to you um. Its interesting.
I hes one of the spanish authors that everyone reads when theyre studying hispanic literature. But i first got into namu know when i was translating some of his early poetry into english. While still working on my doctoral degree.
And when you translate literary texts. Especially poetry. You have to reach a sort of intimacy with the the author of the original work and i became fascinated with the munoz poetics his relationship to poetry.
Which is something i hadnt heard much about but which ive come to recognize is fundamental for his thinking about art and and really across the board and his work this led me to realize that he actually has a poetic legacy in spanish literature. In this period. The early 20th century which hadnt really been studied or it might be better to say.
It was forgotten by scholars and this led me to thinking about his impact on writers who grew up reading him in the 1910s and 1920s and especially. This issue that i talk about in my my book of youth and the rise of youth culture. In the early 20th century.
And so lets talk about your book project. Tell us about it sure the title of the book in progress is spanish modernism and the aesthetics of youth and in it. I analyzed the way kind of a broad obsession or a fascination with youth in early twentieth century europe affected spanish literature during whats known in spanish cultural history as the silver age laila de plata which dates from the turn of the century to about again the civil war and during this whole period in europe youth is really ubiquitous.
If were thinking of the founding of the boy scouts in 1906 or the premiere of jm barries peter pan. The play or james joyces novel. A portrait of the artist as a young man jesus all over the place also in war propaganda during world war one or even later in the fascist movements of the 1920s and 30s.
I argue in my book that youth had a special metaphorical significance for spain during this period. Because for many years even centuries. Before this spain had been seen as somehow immature or underdeveloped as a nation.
The idea was that it was modernizing more slowly than other countries such as germany england or france primarily of course. This wasnt really the case a lot of recent scholarship has shown that modernity came unevenly to all of these countries and in some ways. Spain was really on the cutting edge of whatever we mean by modernity.
But it was certainly perceived that way by many intellectuals in europe and especially within. Spain as well two of them no. Munoz contemporaries joaquin.
Costa. And the philosopher and jose ortega. I guess set both while they talk a lot about you think they argue that spain in some way is too immature and that it needs to grow up as a nation be be more mature more adults okay so lets talk about the young literature and its relationship to oh.
No mona. Sure sure my argument in the book is that you know munot really embraces this idea of spain as a mature young relative to other parts of europe and but why do you think that is its weird. The way that he talks about youth in general.
Its all over the place in his work. He celebrates it he uses it as a metaphor for talking about religious faith. One aspect of spanish culture.
That sometimes the scene is holding spain back in terms of the enlightenment and she talks about it in the context of politics. He sees new political movements especially socialism in spain at the time as young movements and also in in poetics its itself. So hes always for him youth is always the term.
Hes going to hold up as positive against an old civilization. Okay so with these younger writers who were actually were younger than he was this group called la habana that i thought at a young literature that forms in the 1920s. What happens is all of these writers were reading unamuno especially at the age when they were adolescents.
Wow. And they were inspired by what he wrote and also by the interaction they had with him in person so they didnt just read him they also met him at places like the residencia days through the end days. Which was the center in spain where garcia lorca federico garcia lorca lived along with salvador dali and luis bu uel a few years ago.
There was a movie made called little ashes that talks about their the time that these artists spent there in any case. The residencia estudiantes was a meeting point for all of these younger artists. And when im unna also spent a great deal of time there as well mm hmm.
Giving lectures. Talking with these younger writers. He wrote to many of them extended correspondence with them and all of them.
Whether they had a closer relationship with moon a moon or not and i study. Some of those who are closest to him book all of them recognized him as a kind of poetic predecessor and a maestro so they were publishing his poems and their own journals. They were including him in their anthologies.
So its interesting that these writers who are often not associated with unamuno whos a who was older than actually look to him quite a bit and had a great deal of intimacy with him surrounding this idea of youth as central to poetic creation and artistic creation and did that continue as he grew older and also the young literature group grew older thats a great question actually well in some ways. When the young literature was forming. He was already an old man which may well what do you mean by old man.
Another question he was in his 60s at this time okay. Which certainly wouldnt be considered all necessarily today. But in the span of that period.
What search for nine words and then howard how old were the young writers they were in their 20s and 30s yeah. So and as i said they were started to read him probably in their teens already so when theyre aging. Thats a great question.
What happens in spain is that the civil war hits that puts an end to know munoz life puts an end to some of the younger writers lives like federico garcia lorca. Its well known that he was killed by the nationalists at the beginning of the war. That was killed.
Unum uno. Died. Under house arrest.
Okay. Lorca. Whos maybe.
The best known poet. Outside of spain. Today.
Was killed roughly just a few months before monroe died. Im a nationalist so the war puts an end to youth in spain in some ways and those who survive are either they either remain in spain. Some of them become fascist and and work within the government actually some are exiled.
But in my book. I argue that all of them take this idea of youth from unamuno and use it in different ways. So its fascinating to see in the late 20s and early 30s for example.
You have young writers who are both of communist leanings and fascist leanings. Who are citing munoz early work to justify their visions for a rejuvenation spanish culture. Very interesting so how did ona monas concept of youth shape.
Spains silver age well i would say again it really reaches very wide in the period. But i think unamuno more than any of his contemporaries really those of his same generation. If you will strove to invert the hierarchy between earth.
A hierarchical relationship between adulthood and youth as i said before youth for him was always conceptually preferable preferable to age in his vindication of youth and young people inspired. Many writers to to run with their own ideas. Lets say so his impact in a way anticipates the importance of youth culture.
Throughout the twentieth century. Because what he was doing was encouraging young people in a sense to use the term from the 1960s to question authority. Right and thats what made his work interesting to young people in the in spain in the early 20th century.
And i think its also what makes them interesting to readers today into my students who read him in college. Classrooms. And and basically.
I guess readers. Today is there a certain universal appeal to his writing. I think so i think in that sense.
Especially his writing is so playful. And again this is seen in some of his best known novels and people often read his novel nabla mist. Which really is very playful and in which he actually makes himself into a character in the novel.
And has a debate with one of the characters over who is the real author of the story who really has control of this story this kind of play with authority in the text. I think is very interesting and its something that worked throughout his the various of genres in which he wrote so his poetry as well. I do think that is the timeless appeal of work and the reason.
Why so many young people are attracted to it right well very interesting. Thank you so much for being here with us. Today and sharing some of your work thanks again for having me for more information about professor harkema please visit our website at yale edu slash mcmillan report be sure to join us again for another episode of the mcmillan report made possible through funding from the whitney and betty mcmillan center for international and area studies at yale.
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