The concept of uneven modernity had already been used by Julio Ramos to describe parts of Latin America. The Painting ofModern Life. Felski, Rita. The Gender ofModernity. Guillory, John. Minnich, Elizabeth. Transforming Knowledge. Mukerji, Chandra and M. Schudson eds. RethinkingPopular Culture. INMAN FOX Spain as Castile: Nationalism and national identity A salient characteristic of the European nation-state is its multiple cultural identities which share a socio-political space - laws, economy, values, symbols, and traditions - where the activities of the state endow the population with a corporate sense and the intellectual or elite create an identity by defining and promoting a nationalist language, or discourse, and a culture which provides images and ideas for ordering ways of thinking and believing.
The separate cultural identities co-exist in the overarching nation-state, but they seek local power and cultural parity. In the case of Spain, toward the end of the nineteenth century the country found itself in transition between a proto-industrial economic structure and industrialization, a transition that brought with it a changing social structure defined by the consolidation of a monied middle class, an emerging organized working class, and the instability of the traditional petit bourgeois.
On the other hand, the political structure, characterized by an ineffective administration, a corrupt electoral system, an illiteracy of some 75 percent, and an antiquated educational system, was unable to develop in Spain a capitalist democracy of the level of the rest of Europe. At the same time, the country found itself entangled in colonial wars which it lost - the so-called Disaster of - leaving the national treasury seriously diminished.
All of this brought forth an extraordinary group of intellectuals devoted to defining the "problem of Spain" in the context of an historical national identity and to national regeneration through modernization, always, however, in the spirit of national unity. This crisis also led to a resurgence of ideological movements seeking autonomy, unity, and identity in the "historical" regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galicia. The economic development in Catalonia was characterized by a dissatisfaction with the politics and the administration of the Restoration and its Castilian-centric ideology, the basic thesis of the Catalan nationalists being related to the idea that the problem of Spain was founded in Castilian primacy and that the weaknesses and virtues of Castile were interpreted as if they were those of Spain.
In addition, the evolution of the political nationalism of the Catalans coincided with a purely cultural one throughout the later years of the nineteenth century the Renaixenga. On the other hand, the ideological hegemony of Basque nationalism, with a political program informed by conservative Catholicism, was a defensive reaction against what was seen as a harmful influence of liberalism in Basque society and the Spanish immigrants who were considered to be agents of change with socialist and secular values. There are also marked differences between the Basque and the Catalan situation arising from their national histories and from the historical relationship of the Basques to the nation-state of Spain, closer and more active than that of the Catalans.
Toward the turn of the century, Galicia was less developed than Catalonia and the Basque Country, and its emerging nationalism was characterized by a revival of its traditional culture and of Galician as a literary language, and claims that its Celtic origins distinguished the Galician from the other peoples of Spain.
In spite of the fact that the concepts of "nation" and "nationalism" are often ambiguous, one can safely say that during the latter half of the last century and the first half of this one, there existed in Spain a political nationalism with a functional and pragmatic sense of generating loyalty toward a nation-state which in its form was essentially liberaldemocratic; and that at the same time there was an accompanying cultural nationalism, of more emotional and ideological characteristics, which was an artifact in the service of political life.
My approach is more or less theoretical, with an emphasis on the definition and role of national culture. As an introduction, I will lay out my understanding of the concepts "nationalism," "nation" and "culture," and their interconnection. Ignacio Zuloaga, The Mayor ofTorquemada Parenthetically, it is not without significance that the use of the words together became common only toward the end of the nineteenth century, when there was a change in Europe in the importance of the relationship between state and cultural identity.
Benedict Anderson proposes that the age of nationalism was born with the secular transformation of the eighteenth century, when the idea of "civilization" as the way of understanding historical continuity replaced the ideas based on religion. For Anderson, then, "nation" and "nationalism" are cultural artifacts; and to understand them we need to know how they have come into historical being. That is, the "nation" is denned as an imagined political community. Ernest Gellner goes even further, by arguing that nationalism is not the awakening of nations to selfconsciousness, but rather the opposite: that nationalism invents nations where they do not exist.
It is understood, then, that people belong to the same nation if and only if they share the same culture, where culture in turn means a system of ideas and signs and associations and ways of behaving and communicating. In other words, nations are the artifacts of a people's convictions and loyalties and solidarities. Therefore, there exist groups which will themselves to persist as communities, where nationality is defined in terms of a shared culture. It is nationalism which engenders nations, not the other way round.
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And the fusion of will, culture and polity becomes the norm. In this respect, nationalism often imposes a high culture on society where, in fact, previously a popular culture dominated. While nationalism often establishes itself in the name of a putative folk culture, the diffusion of the invented culture is founded on a school-mediated, academy-supervised idiom.
Nations are made by human will; a nation is a "moral consciousness.
CAMBRIDGE COMPANIONS TO CULTURE
The modern nationalist, therefore, wills his or her identification with a culture, which has been and is promoted as a collective identity. Now, the equation of "state-nation-people" impressed its character on Europe with the rise of liberalism and the making of the liberal state, particularly during the period It is significant that in these years the European balance of power was transformed by two great powers based on the "principle of nationality": Germany and Italy.
It turns out, however, that the decisive criteria for liberal nation-making were not necessarily ethnicity, language, or common history. Nobody ever denied the actual multi-nationality or multi-linguality or multi-ethnicity of the oldest and most unquestioned nation-states: that is, Great Britain, France, and Spain. Common language was often not a criterion for nationhood, except, of course, insofar as it was used by the rulers and the educated.
Nevertheless, language became central to the modern definition of nationhood. For where an elite literary and administrative language exists, it can become an important element of national cohesion. When it is put into print, it becomes even more powerful. In this context, we should remember that a common language does not naturally evolve, but is constructed and when forced into print appears more permanent, more "eternal" than it really is.
And even then, discovering popular tradition and converting it into "national tradition" was the work of the ruling class or the elite. We now know, for instance, that the German folk tales, supposedly collected by the distinguished philologist Grimm and his brother, were, in fact, written by them.
Other examples of another ilk of national tradition as the work of the ruling class are Catalan and Basque nationalisms. With what has been said up until now, it is not surprising, then, to find that Hobsbawm, an acute analyst of nations and nationalism, talks about them in terms ofprogram, myth, and reality.
Nationalism, then, is intimately related to culture, often even defining it or inventing it. The concept of culture used here - and that pertinent to nationalism - is not that which derives, in anthropological circles, from social life or a theory about the way in which a group of people in fact behave or the social legacy the individual acquires from his group i. Rather it is the interpretation - like all definitions of culture - of a way of thinking, feeling and believing: an interpretation which is derived from the cultural products themselves - history, literature, art - which provide images and ideas for ordering behavior; or for defining ways of thinking and believing.
To avoid the danger of turning cultural analysis into a kind of "aestheticism," by ignoring the political, social, and historical realities which contain all people, we must understand nationalism and identity in a socio-political context. Hence nationalism wills its identification with a common or shared culture on the people or "nation"; and this shared culture is "invented," or derived from cultural artifacts or cultural products like history, literature, or art.
As we have stated, the rise of nationalism and the search for national identity in Europe was a phenomenon of the nineteenth century, related in a way to liberal polity. According to Jiirgen Habermas, bourgeois society created at the same time a public sphere of private people who came together as a public to engage in a debate over the general rules governing the relationships between the state and the interests of a basically privatized, but publicly relevant sphere of liberal capitalism.
The concept involves the notion of an elite civil society - growing out of the eighteenth-century salons and coffee houses - which institutionalizes not only a set of interests and an opposition between state and society, but also the practice of a rational-critical discourse on political matters as central to democratic polity.
The idea of "public opinion," for example, came from the bourgeois public sphere's self-interpretation of its function.
As the public sphere develops and the need for public information increases, the printed word - particularly in the form of newspapers and j ournals - undergoes important changes. So also do cultural products like literature and history, which are associated with the middle class public sphere inasmuch as they represent a mutual understanding among citizens in their human relations.
It follows that the institutionalization of a cultural public - through mediation between the critic and the reading public literary criticism and newspapers, for instance - can influence social or political conflicts and have a significant role in the promotion of nationalism or the definition of a national culture. This brief version or adaptation ofHabermas's ideas on the transformation ofthe publicsphere provides a suggestive framework for a study of the institutionalization of the relationship between history, culture, and political problems in the nineteenth-century debate on nationalism and national culture.
The concept of "general history" - or the history of civilization, combining cultural history with political history - became established in nearly all European countries with the aim of providing reliable written testimony on the origins and development of a national consciousness in the context of political history that is, the history of the people within their history. National history was no longer seen from the point of view of political absolutism, of the privileged, and of religious fanaticism, but rather from that of liberalism in which the nation's people are considered active subjects and from all that the new order stood for: the secularization of society, suffrage, and representation, the idea of progress, and the norms of the middle class, such as objectivity, justice, and collective legalized morality.
The nationalist character of the genre of "general history" was defined by its treatment of the events of a people or nation from their origins, normally integrating into the "external" political history those facts related to the "internal" history of the people or nation. As an example, then, we find in the histories of Spain from then on an emphasis on the Reconquest, the Germanias factions which rose up against King Carlos V in Valencia and the Comunidades factions which rose up against the same king in Castile of the middle ages and the sixteenth century, and on other popular uprisings against the reigning authority.
For the sake of brevity, I will resort to a composite of three histories as an outline of the development of Spanish liberal historiography and of its relationship to nationalism, culture, and politics: the Historia general de Espana A General History of Spain , published in thirty volumes between and , by Modesto Lafuente, perhaps the most widely read historian in Spain throughout the last half of the nineteenth century; the work of Antonio Canovas del Castillo on the reign of the Habsburgs and the decadence of Spain, written between and ; and Historia de Espanay de la civilization espanola A History of Spain and Spanish Civilization published between and by Rafael Altamira, the best Spanish historian writing around the turn of the century.
Thus, the medieval history of the Spanish people is symbolized by the constitutional legal codes of thefueros and the Cortes Parliament of Castile and Leon. We also see that the historiography under consideration gives special attention to the unification of the nation-state. To the medieval monarchs corresponds the entry of the popular element into political history the democratic Cortes, the fueros, and the municipalities and the beginning of arbitration with the aristocracy.
The Catholic Monarchs are esteemed for bringing about the supposed unification of Spain, for their defense of the third estate and for cultural rebirth, although they are criticized for introducing the Inquisition into Spain. The rule of the Habsburgs is considered as the most negative aspect of Spanish national history, because of absolutism, the abolition of representative institutions, intolerance, and economic decline.
Therefore, Spanish liberal historiography gives special importance to the history of the medieval municipalities and the revolt of the Castilian comuneros, or "communities," including the nobles, against the imperialist politics of Carlos V and his abuse of the Castilian laws. In this context we find another aspect of nineteenth-century Spanish historiography: the history of the process of the decadence of Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came to be considered fundamental to an understanding of Spanish nationalism.
Its emphasis reaches its peak toward the turn of the twentieth century and is decisive in its contribution to the definition of the national culture that becomes institutionalized and politicized during the first half of this century. In the sixteenth century, the amortization and donation of land to the church, which was exempt from taxes, and the privileges of the Mesta sheep owners' union led to the stagnation and neglect of agriculture.
In addition, religious fanaticism, which was permitted to become inflamed, particularly under Habsburg rule, progressively undermined the economy and the culture of the country. Imperialism, expansionism, and wars during Habsburg rule led to depopulation, poverty, idleness, and bankruptcy of the national treasury, which, when coupled with religious fanaticism and lack of unity, finally caused the decadence of Spain as a power.
The result was that by the end of the sixteenth century, the administrative, political, economic, social and moral conditions of Spain, particularly in the dominant Castile, were in total decline. And the great historical institutions of the middle ages - the Cortes, the fueros, the municipal councils - had fallen into disuse.
Spain did not begin to recreate a culture of the level of the rest of Europe until the Enlightenment, nor a spirit of self-decision and self-determination until the War of Independence. Also emerging from Spanish nationalist historiography is the idea of Castile's centrality to the shaping of the Spanish nation, an idea widespread in histories written until the middle of this century but certainly at odds with the autonomous nationalisms that emerged in Spain at the turn of the century.
It was developed as follows. Castile was born affirming its personality vis-d-vis the kingdoms of Leon and Navarra, at the same time that it fought successfully against the enemy to the south, the Moors. In this way, it demonstrated an unusual vitality for a small kingdom, leading to extraordinary expansion which was characterized by the assimilation of the cultures with which it came into contact. By , Castile represented some 75 percent of the territory and population ofSpain. As mentioned, Castilian culture was characterized by its assimilation of elements of the cultures with which it came into contact: the intimacy of the mudejarismo style influenced by Arabic elements , the French elements of the Provengal school and chivalric poetry, and the Italian and classical influence.
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This process produced a literature which reflected these assimilated elements, but which progressively became more national in its form and content, availing itself, through instinct and inclination, of a decidedly popular tendency. In this way, the Castilian spirit manifested an originality in its literature which distinguished it from other cultures.
We can see, for instance, how the Castilian genius renewed Galician-Portuguese poetry through the introduction of popular and realist themes and the use of a variety of metrical combinations, a development which can be traced in Spanish poetry from the Cantigas de Santa Maria Songs of Saint Mary of Alfonso X thirteenth century to the Cancionero de Baena The Baena Songbook, sixteenth century.
Another example of Castilian assimilation can be found in the marriage of erudition the tradition of the mester de derecia with the satirical aspects of the Provencal school. According to this historiographical conceptualization, it was Castile that set the tone for Spanish history and society during the four generations of the literary and cultural Golden Age, while Catalonia and the kingdom of Valencia went through a relatively impotent period characterized by debilitating internal social struggles and the disastrous demographic consequences of the major epidemics in the fourteenth century.
All of this, then, was used to explain that the apex of Spain was above all the apex of Castile, as was likewise the decadence of Spain. In the words of Ortega y Gasset - a pro-Castilian of the first order - "Castilla ha hecho a Espana y Castilla la ha deshecho" Castile has made Spain and Castile has unmade it.
It is to be found in the pervasive influence of Francisco Giner de los Ri'os's philosophy of history, derived from German thought - more specifically that of Krause - which deals with the formation and transformation of society in the context of a conceptualization of culture. It is founded not only on the concept of the formation of the Spanish nation and the reasons for its decadence, but also on the definition of a national spirit or consciousness, with distinguishing characteristics, which is revealed through the expression of the people's "fantasy" and which subsists throughout history.
The reason for the study of the decadence of Spain was not only to seek its causes, but rather to discover what could have been in the context of the national spirit. As we know, the idea - belonging to the school of cultural relativism that each nation possesses specific characteristics and a defined destiny, which evolve throughout history and which can only be interpreted in terms of internal norms unique to each culture, was propagated by Johann Gottfried Herder and his followers at the end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth.
Added to the Herderian notions of understanding history as no less powerful or real than nature and of the singularity of creative activity in a concrete context of space and time, we find in Giner's thought the influence of German Idealism principally Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling and its ideas on the philosophy of history, establishing a difference between external history and internal history, often giving more significance to internal history.
The study of history, therefore, should not focus exclusively on the external historical event, but also on the internal evolution of the ideas and sentiments which are perpetuated and on the study of those factors -literary, linguistic, artistic-which express them. This way one can gain access to the intimate world of a people and arrive at a constellation of traits which define unequivocally the psychology of a people, a national spirit.
It is not enough that literary criticism study the composition of the work and how it relates to canonical precepts; it has the responsibility as well to reveal and comment on the intimate historical reality manifested therein. They share as a fundamental principle the idea that configurations of the world which define the "spirit of a people" are expressed in language, literature, and art.
And they maintain the principle that there exists a national mentality - of Castilian origins - which has been continuous throughout the centuries. So it is that the emergence and evolution of a nationalist historiography in Spain, which encompassed specific ideas on the relationship between history and culture - of both a political and a purely cultural nature - and which emphasized a Castilian-centered interpretation of Spanish history, engendered the conception of a national culture, providing the framework for the definition of a national identity and the creation of a "nation.
They were all intellectuals whose cultural production was aggrandized, who at one time or another were active in important cultural institutions newspapers and journals, publishing houses, universities, and research centers , and of whom several were at times politically important. In many cases it is clear that their inquiry into Spanish origins had social and political implications, in the sense that they were regenerating Spain by reviving a more promising past. It was reinforced or influenced, as well, by the European preoccupation with the scientific description and interpretation of national characters and mentalities.
The defeats of the Spanish, and of the French and Italians in Sudan and Ethiopia, and the triumphs of Bismarck's Germany and Victorian England led to the diagnosis, in some quarters, of the decadence of the Latin nations and races and the superiority of the others. In any case, there is evidence that the insistence among Spanish intellectuals in this century on the existence of a national character is related to moments of social or political tension during Spain's evolution toward Europeanism: the crisis of the turn of the century, the international community's reaction to the Semana Tragica Tragic Week of , the strike of and its aftermath which led to the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the Second Republic, and, finally, the dictatorship of Franco.
That is, the invention of the national culture I have been describing is historical-political in inspiration. Among the most influential contributions to the definition of the Spanish national character, of both individual and institutional origins, one finds Krausist philosophy of history; the "regenerationist" texts of Joaquin Costa, Rafael Altamira and others; the ideas of Unamuno on "intra-history," Quixoticism, and the tragic sense of life; Azorin's sketches of Spanish literature, society, and geography; Ramon Menendez Pidal's studies on the epic and the middle ages and the school of philology founded by him; the poetry of Antonio Machado, especially Campos de Castilla Fields of Castile ; the "Spanish i.
Castilian way of looking at things" which occupies most of Ortega y Gasset's essays on literature and art, as well as his interpretation of the history of Spain; the Spanish school of landscape painting; the work of painters like Ignacio Zuloaga and Dario de Regoyos, and the rediscovery of El Greco and Diego de Velazquez; and the publication of a new series of classical Spanish texts called the "Clasicos Castellanos" - these invented a collective national identity, by identifying a Spanish character and the forms in which it manifested itself in history.
They all shared the belief that there is a sense of unity among Spaniards, not only as a state, but as a people who, beyond local differences, have common interests, ideas, desires, and attitudes which differentiate them from the psychology of other nations. And they affirm the historical originality of Castile as the unifying force of the peninsula and the creator of its culture. The critics viewed these works as examples of what they considered to be the national character. The characteristics of the Spanish collective identity which are propagated by the cultural artifacts I have referred to, all ofwhich are canonized pieces of Spanish art and literature - and all of which serve to suggest that the appropriate nation-state for Spain would be essentially liberal-democratic, or even republican - can be summarized as follows.
First, Spaniards are characterized by an individualism or a sense of independence which leads them to value principles of personal freedom and human dignity and freedom of conscience and thought.
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For this reason, Spaniards are more spontaneous than reflexive and they disdain conventionality. Because of their individuality, they are not inclined to social solidarity, except where justice is involved. This leads them, at the same time, to a strong sense of equality and fraternity. But Spanish civic-mindedness is characterized by an oscillation between benevolence and generosity, and envy. From this, the conclusion is drawn that since Spaniards do not value the work of others, Spain is a land of precursors.
Second, the Spanish people are essentially democratic in nature, enemies of absolutism of any kind, and, as we have said, respectful of justice. More than in other nationalities, liberal tones have never ceased to resonate in the history of Spain. This democratic spirit has extended from the nobility to the lowest strata of society; as expressed in literature: "a hacer que cada villano pudiese llegar a ser hidalgo" so that every vassal can become a noble or "el buen vasallo que no tiene buen seiior" the good vassal who does not have a good lord.
On the other hand, this elevated conception of justice often manifests itself in an over-zealous fulfillment of moral codes. Spanish fanaticism - or the manifestation of the predominance of form over substance - was due to a violation of the innate mentality, leading to decadence, immorality, hypocrisy and indolence. Nevertheless, Spaniards do have a spiritual nature, dominated by a way of thinking which does not consider life the supreme good.
For this reason, they think about the afterlife, place importance on reputation, and are religious in a general way. Above all, there abides in the Spanish character a sort of duality immortalized by Cervantes and the Spanish playwrights of the Golden Age - which gives rise to opposed tendencies: between the spiritual and the sensual, the passionate and the skeptic, the real and the romantic.
We find this in the writing of the dominant figures of early twentiethcentury Spanish thought, for example, in the alliance between idealism and practicality in Jose Martinez Ruiz Azorin ; in Azoriris attachment to concrete reality and the melancholy which surfaces from the painful consciousness of the passing of time; in the conflict between faith and reason and the resulting heroism in Unamuno; and in the imagination of El Greco inspired through the historical reality of Castile by an authentic, but contemplative realism, akin to Castilian mysticism.
Finally, we come to the popular and realist inclination of Spaniards: a sort of carefree attitude as opposed to a formal or erudite one. Spanish aesthetics is not contrived; it is founded in popular tradition, expressing the customs and ingenuity of the times. Ortega y Gasset characterizes Spaniards as apathetic toward transcendental ideas. Unamuno says they possess a poor imagination, that they are materialists in the extreme. Spanish culture is almost impressionistic, little given to reflection and abstraction.
All of this is associated with the influence on the Castilian mentality of its desolate and inhospitable landscape whose infinite expanses point up human insignificance. If so, we are faced with rewriting cultural history. In addition, it is clear that Spain has been left with a sense of itself which was essentially cultural - and often ontological - in nature, in a state which is no longer centralized and which is, in fact, multi-cultural and in transition.
It is, perhaps, in this context that we can best understand the Catalan Jaime Vicens Vives's socio-economic critique of the Castilian-centered interpretation of Spanish history, albeit, I must confess, from the point of view of a Catalan nationalist. His Historia social y economica de Espana y America A Social and Economic History of Spain and America was the first work in this century to challenge seriously the established historiography.
He goes on to say, however, that it was not necessary to study history in order to explain Spain's inability to follow the path of western civilization toward capitalism, liberalism, and rationalism and Castile's failure to make Spain a harmonious community, at ease with itself. Whatever the case, the ideas outlined in this essay are still embedded in the way many understand Spain's cultural identity. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism 2nd edn. Ernest Renan, "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?
Oeuvres completes, vol. An Inquiry into a Category ofBourgeois Society. Modesto Lafuente, Historia general deEspana 30 vols. Ruiz, ; Rafael Altamira, Historia deEspanay de la civilizacion espanola 2nd edn. Francisco Giner de los Rios, Estudios de la literatura 2nd edn. Also in his Obras completas, vol. Jaime Vicens Vives, Aproximacion a la historia deEspana 2nd. Literatura e historia de las mentalidades. Aranguren, Jose Luis. La cultura espanolay la cultura establecida. Madrid: Taurus, Beyrie, J.
Qu'est-ce qu'une litterature nationale? Ecriture, identite, pouvoir en Espagne. Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, Calhoun, Craig ed. Habermas and the Political Sphere. Diaz, Eh'as. Notaspara una historia delpensamiento espanol actual Madrid: Cuadernos para el Dialogo, Fox, E. La invencion deEspana. Lopez-Morillas, Juan. El krausismo espanol.
Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, Smith, A. National Identity. London: Penguin, Teich, M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, According to Ferrater, the Catalan language was also in mortal danger since it was being expressed culturally - by which he meant in the printed word - only in "high" literary texts, chiefly poetry. But spoken Catalan was in everyday use, and we can say, borrowing the words of the later writer and journalist Montserrat Roig, that Ferrater expressed in this article "a fatal divorce between the life of culture and science In , two decades after his statement, and a mere two months after General Franco's death, Roig could affirm emphatically that "Madame vit encore" "Madame is still alive" ibid.
Roig's post-dictatorship optimism is in clear contrast to the pessimism of Ferrater, who committed suicide in and therefore was unable to see the changes in post-Franco Spain. In the post-Franco era, the hopeless divide that Ferrater saw between cultural literary representation and scientific life - which in Francoist Catalonia found expression exclusively in Spanish - and the everyday sphere or "collective life" in Roig's words in which Catalan was mostly used, came to seem perfectly negotiable. Montserrat Roig and many other representatives of Catalan culture in the years of political transition saw it as their collective task to bridge this divide.
From on, both older and younger generations united in a spontaneous movement concerned above all with reconstructing and reconfiguring Catalan national identity. I cannot here detail the intense political and cultural effervescence of those years.
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Representatives of different generations, tendencies, and ideologies joined forces in a collective desire to demand the open cultural expression of Catalan identity, for so long denied and repressed under Spanish Castilian hegemony in general, and under Franco's dictatorship in particular. This dynamic collective desire found formal expression in the celebration in Barcelona of the Primer Congres de Cultura Catalana First Congress of Catalan Culture in which representatives from local politics, the social sciences, and the humanities met to sketch the first outlines of the cultural politics to be followed in the next few years.
Conceived as a space for multi-disciplinary reflection, the Congress presented itself as "an open, academic and popular process, with Catalan roots but sensitive to all cultural initiatives of a universal quality" Roig, "Catalunya," p. Following this premise, the Congress considered many areas of study ranging from education to the economy, from the health system to the media, from industrial production to land ownership, and from agriculture to the influence of Catalan culture abroad.
The political realignments that followed Franco's death shaped the revival of Catalan language and culture. In this Suarez and his Cabinet were merely responding to the age-old Catalan demand for cultural and political independence from the central Spanish government. After the post-Franco political changes that culminated in the election victory for a watered-down Marxist party PSOE under the leadership of Felipe Gonzalez, and in view of the new European realignments that were starting to shape at that time, Catalonia's political aspirations as an independent nation were not seen as urgent or even necessary.
Cultural differentiation from the Spanish central state was nevertheless another story. Immediately after Franco's death Catalonia started to claim its space in the united Europe of the future through the radicalization of Catalan cultural differentiation from the Castilian one. It did so by coupling differentiation with a universalizing claim that would allow political partnership with the Spanish central government if needed, while at the same time giving Catalonia the possibility of becoming an economic and cultural player in the European market.
This need for differentiation and universalization was already clear in the Congress, and it was also later reflected in in what is known as the "Llei de Normalitzacio Lingiiistica" Law of Catalan Linguistic Normalization. The law of linguistic normalization shared the Congress's open spirit and had the express intention of closing the linguistic divide denounced by Ferrater through the restoration of a Catalan identity separate from Spanish. In one sense, the universalizing spirit of the Congress aided the process of democratic consensus in post-dictatorship Spain and helped to ease the ancient but still very much alive hostilities between Catalonia and central Spanish castellano power.
Twenty years after the celebration of the Primer Congres de Cultura Catalana much has changed. It is clear that Catalonia is currently experiencing the benefits of the politics of autonomy, of the law of linguistic normalization and of the various cultural and economic practices initiated in the first years of post-Franco Spain. The universalizing of Catalan culture and identity, simply stated in the Congress in terms of an ambiguous and generalized desire for "universal cultural influence," has to confront issues then very much unforeseen. At both the national and the international level Catalonia still has the status of a "minor" language and culture.
Catalan has a small number of speakers - around six million - and it is confined to a restricted geographic area with a relatively small economic capacity. As such, the global effectiveness of its political and cultural impact is clearly limited. It is therefore impossible to understand the processes of building and protecting Catalan national and cultural identity apart from the national politics of the Spanish state and the geopolitics of the economic culture imposed by the global post-industrial market.
This is particularly important because national identity is no longer used as the banner for ideological self-identity. Market forces in post-industrial Catalonia seem to require the survival of Catalonia as a "nation", determined by its capacity to supply a specific demand in the market. At present, and at least partially, Catalonia caters to the market's demand. Moreover, it not only satisfies this demand, but it also tends to maintain and even generate it.
The synchronization between the rise of Catalan industry and global post-industrial demand reflects the route followed by western above all European cultural capital over the last two hundred years. If, as Fredric Jameson suggests, realism is the form of cultural representation generated or favored by capitalism in its initial stage;8 and if modernism, as Colin MacCabe following Jameson says, is "the attempt, after a loss of innocence about representation, to invent forms which will Later, Catalan modernism which includes modernisme, noucentisme and postnoucentisme movements responded to the high point of Catalan industrial capital at the turn of the century.
Modernism redefined in political terms the cultural proposals outlined in the Renaixenga, setting strategies ofboth resistance and accommodation to the industrial class that had initially developed the national Catalan project. The popular revolts of the Setmana Tragica Tragic Week , the anarchist bombings of the Liceu - Barcelona's Opera House - and the foundation of the first socialist collectives, for example, all took place at the height of industrial development, and also participated in the making of modern Catalan identity.
It was entangled in them, to the point that only the establishment of the Second Republic in allowed political space for the Catalan Generalitat government. Likewise, the Republic's defeat in by Franco's military force also marked the end of Catalan self-government. After the devastating interruption of Franco s dictatorship , Spanish cultural politics of posfranquismo gave room to the reconfiguration and reappropriation of Catalan nationalist cultural capital. VILAROS assumptions and adapt, at least partially, to the realities imposed by the circulation of post-industrial capital. It is the moment that fully assigns mythical literary qualities to Aribau's poem, and that, in spite of the scarcity of romantic writing in Catalan, rewrites romanticism as a turning point in the making of Catalan nationalism.
Another was the celebration of two International Exhibitions in Barcelona: thefirstExposicio Universal of , and the second exposition of for which the Montjiiich Exhibition Park was built. The grand avenues, with their geometric and symmetrical layouts, the new tall buildings, the electric grids, and the new tramtracks served to express contemporary modernity in architectural and conceptual terms.
Though the integrationist and ecological aspects of architect Ildefons Cerda's initial plans were substantially cutback, Barcelona's urban plan still provided the modern Catalan bourgeoisie with the broad, open urban spaces demanded by the circulation of its new cultural and economic capital.
At the same time, while the Renaixenga was seen by some as mostly a commercial possibility, modernism and the subsequent avant-gardes formed, simultaneously with instructional and commercial possibilities, "an area of art constitutively opposed to commerce" MacCabe, "Preface," p. Oppositional representations in both high and popular cultural production can be seen in allfieldsas expressions of the conflictive aspects of the period's industrial reality. Catalan nationalist sentiment catalanisme was strongly shaped by modernism, and especially the noucentisme and postnoucentisme movements in the s and s, which cashed in on the cultural and economic capital that came out of the Renaixenga.
While the renaixentista movement was not highly concerned with theorizing about the relations between culture and economics and as such politics present in the circulation of catalanisme, the noucentistes and their later representatives were very much aware of the need to do so. Noucentisme and postnoucentisme movements, while not necessarily conservative, religious, or reactionary, were markedly elitist and didactic. The popular sector was targeted accordingly: whether in Josep Maria de Sagarra's theater; in Josep Maria Folch i Torres's compilation of Catalan moralizing stories for children; in the creation of the Catalan Boy Scouts Escoltes ; in the ongoing work of the choral groups called "Cors de Clave," which had been founded at the end of the previous century and continued their program to impart Catalan national identity through music among the working class; or in the reaffirmation of the sardana folk dance as expression of Catalan identity Marfany, Catalanisme, pp.
The ideological, political, and pedagogic motivation of such activities contrasted with the direction taken by avant-garde movements. Generally espousing internationalism, the avant-garde often separated itself from the circulation of nationalism. In some ways, and while of course recognizing its differences, there is, paradoxically, a connection between the avant-garde desire for separation from nationalism and the fiercely internationalist politics of the anarchist groups. Curiously, we find in this alternative and often contradictory space some of the most wellknown "Catalan" artist names.
They range in an eclectic pot-pourri from Salvador Dali and Joan Miro and also the young Picasso in painting, to Fructuos Gelabert in cinema. An exception would probably be the avantgarde poet J. Foix who always espoused his "catalanitat" in exile but has never been well known outside Catalan circles. On the other hand, the internationally recognized 'cellist Pau Casals, although not an avantgarde artist, always presented himself as Catalan while in exile in Puerto Rico. The long years of the dictatorship marked a painful struggle for Catalan cultural survival.
Though constantly on the verge of defeat, during the Franco years men and women worked together to keep Catalan culture alive. After the harsh repression and censorship of everything Catalan during the s and s, Catalan culture started to reappear in the s, if still in a timid, shaky way. If we think of the precarious situation of Catalan culture under the Franco regime, its present vibrancy cannot be but amazing.
Still, if we accept that modernization was absolutely crucial to the task of the reconfiguration of Catalan national culture, we can therefore not evade its contemporary, post-industrial implications. Just as we cannot speak of the modern without registering, as Jameson says, "the informing presence of a range of other historically novel phenomena. The parameters that molded and propelled Catalan national identity since modernity have now been reconverted and recycled.
Current media technology has been in the forefront of the attempt to reconstruct Catalan nationality and identity in recent years. One only has to look at the most successful cultural products in Catalan in recent years to appreciate the extent to which the present postindustrial paradigm affects, indeed structures, a model of Catalan nationality that is recycled from the previous modern nationalisms.
We cannot simply ignore the intimate relation that exists between the social viability of revived Catalan national identity and the global processes of commodiflcation characteristic of our time. As much in literature as in cinema, theater or any other form of cultural interaction music, television, design, etc. Nowadays, communication technology forms a structure inextricably linked to the commodity that it promotes. This is likewise the case with Catalan national identity, which is no longer a "historical essence" or "truth" ideologically appropriated. Thus we see a relation between, for example, cultural phenomena as apparently disparate as the decision made in the early s by the then recently established Catalan television station TV3 to broadcast the US series Dallas in Catalan, and the performance staged for the opening of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, under the supervision of the theater group La Fura dels Baus.
Events such as these are not without consequence. The social impact achieved by Dallas was one of the most important factors contributing to the normalization of the language. The series's success in promoting the popular and massive rebirth of the Catalan language contributed toward the later international presentation of Catalonia in the Olympic Games as a distinct cultural region, a minor nation located in Europe within the Spanish state. Here we also have to remember the advertising series promoting Catalonia that was printed in international magazines such as Time or Newsweek during the pre-Olympic months: "[Question]: Where is Barcelona?
In a way the series did what had never been achieved before, what Ferrater had considered impossible: it built a post-modern bridge between the everyday lives of viewers and the sphere of science. But the "scientific" sphere to which Ferrater had referred in is nowadays a space occupied by the media and indistinguishable from the post-industrial market. The Catalan project of linguistic normalization and revival of national identity in part complies with and is dependent upon the new global market's demands of commodifkation and commercialization. It cannot escape the culture of the media to which it remains assimilated and from which it is undifferentiated.
Feeding off each other, both are founded and confounded in what Jameson calls an "immense dedifferentiation of the traditional levels" Geopolitical Aesthetic, p. Catalan cultural politics cannot escape the inevitable process of globalization. As a result it is "impossible to say whether we are here dealing any longer with the specifically political, or with the cultural, or with the social, or with the economic" ibid.
Commercial promotion of Catalan national identity provides us again with an example of this process. On 23 April the Generalitat government placed advertisements in different languages in widely read European and US newspapers such as the New York Times. These publicized to their diverse international readership the Diada de Sant Jordi 23 April , probably the most symbolic of all Catalan national holidays.
To reach the public they target white, middle class, of European background with their "I am Catalan" motto and their corollary "so you could be," these paid ads follow the rigid economic lines of global advertising. If these times are definitively no longer those of the lyric, but rather those in which visual communications technology is dominant, it comes as no surprise that the former modern national identity should be reconverted, recycled, and marketed as an image commodity.
Following the success of Dallas it was natural that the politics of linguistic and cultural normalization begun in the post-Franco era should have fallen back onto the use of the communications media - especially television - to generate the circulation in Catalan of cultural products destined for the mass market. Catalan television, knowing the success that such series achieved in Spanish-speaking areas, broadcast other series and programs such as game shows, talk shows, and reality shows, mostly bought from US entertainment corporations.
Adapted to the local culture and language, they have proved to be extremely valuable for the project of Catalan language standardization. In literature, the most recent best-selling books also demonstrate the current dedifferentiation between market and cultural politics. Though their subjects are quite distinct, they work as post-modern cultural artifacts. Roca's book narrates the saga of a bourgeois Catalan family in a soap opera format; Poble nou gives a nostalgic, super-idealized vision of life in a pre-war, working-class neighborhood of Barcelona; while Ballarin's novel presents the tribulations of a likable mossen turned detective.
To the phenomenal popular success of these products we could also add examples of earlier literary best-sellers such zsAmorrada alpilo, Maria Jaen's erotic novel, or Quim Monzo's stories and short novels. If we also consider the relatively high circulation boasted by the Catalan daily Avui or the Valencian magazine El temps, the healthy audience figures enjoyed by TV3 and TV5 both Catalan networks , and the many other forms of Catalan expression present in everyday life, everything now seems to point towards a moment of splendor for Catalan letters and culture.
Nevertheless, it may be that the miracle of the Catalan resurrection comes at a high price. Apart from Maria Jaen's novel, whose acceptance and rejection are related to other market parameters given its erotic characteristics, we realize immediately that the majority of the works published in the last few years follow a common pattern. A subtle construction is in the making: they present a particular social and historical construct the recycled modern nationalist values , and they target a huge middle-class audience with no strong political affiliations- although in fact the politics of no participation could be labeled as capitalist, or post-capitalist.
The Catalan intelligentsia might stir uncomfortably in their seats when faced with the overwhelming popular demand for products such as Poble nou, Secrets defamilia or Mossen Tronxo - the latter of which, while not written for television, provides ideal material for its commercialization through TV. However, the political and economic role that such products play in the remaking and relocation of Catalan national identity, and in the normalization of the Catalan language, greatly alleviates such discomfort. The extraordinary revival of Catalan language and culture of the last twenty years is a phenomenon closely linked to the geopolitical repositioning of the new post-modern paradigm.
For him, the definition of "who is Catalan" as all individuals who "live and work in Catalonia" Nations, p. Catalan cultural production is implicated with global corporate economic power. Now, at the end of the millennium, Catalonia is no longer the "poor, dirty, sad, hopeless land" described by the poet Salvador Espriii in his moving poem "Assaig de cantic en el temple. In an era when Europe has to deal with new immigrations from the east and south; when information and communications technology blur former territorial limits; and when the modern nation-states, with their origins in the last century, seem to be disappearing, the issue of "being Catalan" might take an unexpected turn since it is difficult to see how a simulacrum of the nineteenth-century bourgeois nationalist model disseminated through corporate entertainment networks, and in alliance with the corporate global market, will be integrated or understood by new immigrants.
Reclaiming cultural partnership with the rich, northern countries, the Catalan cultural elite forgot Espriu's powerful call for solidarity: and here I shall remain until my death, for I too am wild and cowardly. And, what is more, I love, with a despairing sorrow this my poor, dirty, sad, hapless homeland. VILAROS To foster solidarity in the face of the global corporate market, a possibility might lie in rethinking Catalonia's historical hybridity, in knowing that culture and language Catalan language, la llengua, a.
There are already examples of cultural production in the making in which Catalan language and culture work towards achieving national solidarity based on Catalanism: the popular poetry of the singer Albert Pla, committed to a politics of linguistic contamination; the early stories of Quim Monzo, which point towards the hybridity and fragmentation of the urban post-modern; Jaen's erotic writing, and Lluis Fernandez's L'anarquista nu The Naked Anarchist , which daringly open up experimental sexual transgressions; the harsh writing of Jesus Moncada or Maria Barbal, both far removed from the nostalgic complacency toward idyllic working classes pervading the market; or, finally, the works of many small alternative theater groups currently working outside the mainstream.
Such efforts find an echo in the resistance to commodification long offered by some of the Catalan writers and artists who express themselves in Castilian: from the older authors Juan Marse, Esther Tusquets, Manuel Vazquez Montalban, and Juan and Luis Goytisolo, to the new La Cubana theater collective. If Catalan culture assumes its historical hybridity, bilingualism and diglossia, the apparently small question of their inclusion as "full" Catalan artists, as well as the bigger one of how to relocate Catalan culture vis-a-vis Spanish multi-cultural and multilingual configuration, and in the face of the widespread immigration from north Africa, eastern Europe, and the Middle East present nowadays in western Europe, have to be resolved both with and beyond the issue of language used.
The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture (Cambridge Companions to Culture)
If a politics of solidarity is to be sought, it is now up to her to keep the option of a Catalan culture open to hybridity, linguistic variety, and resistance to late capitalist commodification. Gabriel Ferrater, "Madamesemeurt.. See "Paul Reboux," Madame se meurtl Madame est morte. Recit historique Paris: Flammarion, Montserrat Roig, "Catalunya hacia el Congres de Cultural pp. The Catalan struggle for independence from Spanish rule had been constant since the union of the kingdoms of Castilla-Leon and Aragon-Catalonia formalized by the wedding of Isabel and Fernando in the fifteenth century.
In the Catalans and the Portuguese rebelled against the centralizing tendencies of Castile. While Portugal survived as an independent nation in , Catalonia was defeated in The Catalans made another bid for independence at the end of the Habsburg era. The year marked the end of Catalan hopes for an independent Catalonia. The defeat was followed by intense reprisals. The new Spanish Bourbon king, Felipe V, inflicted a heavy punishment on the Catalans along with the Valencians and the Aragonese : physically through political assassinations and culturally through abolishing their laws and institutions.
The dawn of the modern period in Europe signaled by the Treaty of Utrecht in quashed Catalan aspirations. Castilian Spain, on the other hand, burdened by imperial and spiritual issues, precariously adjusted to modern demands by trying to complete the cultural and linguistic unification of Spain initiated in the fifteenth century. An example of this Castilian hegemony is the Real Academia de la Lengua Castellana, established by Felipe V in following strong measures against the other peninsular languages, in the main against Catalan. Mercade, Cataluiia: intelectuales politicos y cuestion nacional Barcelona: Peninsula, , p.
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