Given its highly interdisciplinary approach, which combines cultural theory, social and intellectual history, political analysis, and textual criticism, this book serves as an ideal introduction for anyone seeking to understand the underlying dynamics of the so-called nationalities problem in today’s Iberian Peninsula.
This book provides a detailed analysis of the core concepts of national identity articulated by Iberian writers during the period between 1900 and 1925. It is centered on four "pedagogical" essays written in these decades previous to the onset of authoritarian dictatorships in Spain and Portugal, works that are absolutely central to understanding the discursive architecture of collective identity in these same places today. They are as follows: Enric Prat de la Riba's La Nacionalitat Catalana (1906), Teixeira de Pascoaes' Arte de Ser Português (1915),Vicente Risco's Teoría do Nacionalismo Galego (1920), and José Ortega y Gasset's España invertebrada (1921).
The study consists of a discussion of some of the more important theoretical issues connected to social articulation of cultural identities, four chapter-long analyses of the textual manifestations of national identity within the major Romance-language communities of the Iberian peninsula, and a conclusion which underscores the key function played by these public intellectuals in establishing the parameters of the “Imagined Communities” with which they felt primarily identified.
On the most basic level, the study of these “catechistic” visions of national individuality provides a heightened sense of both the differences and commonalities inherent in the cultural traditions of these core nationality groups of the Iberian Peninsula. On another level, the study reminds us of the important pedagogical function of literature (understood here in the broadest possible sense) in the formation and maintenance of nationality identities then, as well as now.
Notes on Translations
One: Peoples, Pedagogies and the Reemergence of Iberian Pluralism
Two: Enric Prat de la Riba’s La nacionalitat catalana: Merging Tradition and Modernity to Create a New Basis for the Institutional Reconstruction of Catalonia
Three: A Manual of “Supra-Modern” Nationhood: Pascoaes’s Arte de Ser Português
Four: Building the Nation through Appropriation: Vicente Risco’s Teoría do Nacionalismo Galego
Five: The Castilian Counter-offensive: Ortega’s España invertebrada
Six: The Essential Role of Nationalist Catechists in the Elaboration of the Contemporary Iberian Discourses of Identity
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