Intrahistory, Regeneration and National Identity, Past and Present: The Reflection of Nietzschean Unamuno on Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Luisa Castro
García-Precedo, Juan Manuel
Date: 6 September 2012
University of Exeter
Doctor of Philosophy in Hispanic Studies
This thesis analyzes the relevance of Miguel de Unamuno’s idea of Spain and its Nietzschean influence in two contemporary authors, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Luisa Castro. My work contributes to a debate that is ever present in literature and politics: what is Spain and what defines Spanish identity. This debate has continued throughout ...
This thesis analyzes the relevance of Miguel de Unamuno’s idea of Spain and its Nietzschean influence in two contemporary authors, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Luisa Castro. My work contributes to a debate that is ever present in literature and politics: what is Spain and what defines Spanish identity. This debate has continued throughout the democratic period and reveals that Spain is still a controversial idea. The Constitution of 1978 might have shaped national identity but Spanish sociopolitical evolution has indeed questioned the idea of Spain emerged in the Transition. From my point of view, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Luisa Castro evoke Unamuno’s ideological inheritance to offer a solution of what has been branded as the age-old problem of Spain. By the end of the nineteenth century, Unamuno introduced his theory of intrahistory in order to contravene the model of nation promoted by the political class during the Restoration. The author considered that this model imposed on society a metaphysical idealization, protected by reason, which distorted its actual national identity. Currently, the works of Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Luisa Castro reflect Unamunian intrahistory thus putting an end to this idealization. As seen in the chapters of this thesis, the combined analysis of the works by Pérez-Reverte and Castro reveals the implicit survival in our days of Nietzsche’s influence in Unamuno’s intrahistory. In this sense, they highlight the crucial role of individual subjectivity, work and interaction with their immediate environment, in the characterization of Spanish national identity. In so doing, their works reflect Unamuno’s implementation of Nietzschean theories on metaphysics, the Greek tragedy, the eternal recurrence and the overman. Pérez-Reverte and Castro’s works suggest that the solution to the problem of identity in Spain is to be found in Nietzsche’s influence on Unamuno’s intrahistory.
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