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"modernism in Spain Is a Literary Response to a Social Crisis". Discuss.

Essay "modernism in Spain Is a Literary Response to a Social Crisis". Discuss. and over other 27,000+ free term papers, essays and research papers examples are available on the website!

Autor:   •  April 10, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,007 Words (5 Pages)  •  610 Views

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The origins of Modernism in Spanish literature, or Modernismo, are traced back to Latin America. The writers of Latin America wanted to renovate their own literature. From the 1880's onwards Modernism began rearing its head amongst other literary movements. Modernism was first started by young people who refused to conform to society. They chose to rebel from the typical ways of life and yearned to make some form of escape. These young artists, writers etc., rejected Realism which was the most prominent literary movement of the time. Before the appearance of Modernism, Realism was present for 30 years and produced many forms of art.

The Modernists used their hatred of establishment as their drive. They wrote about alternative worlds, how they would like to live their lives. The term "exoticism" is widely used in relation to Modernism because of their writings on exotic worlds or get-aways. They are challenging their reality because they are not satisfied with it. They wanted to bring about a change to their society.

It was in the 1890's that the term "Modernistas" first began being used. Initially it was seen as a negative term and insulted the new generation of writers. The actual term "Modernismo" was first used in 1888 by Ruben Dario in his essay "La Literature en Centro America".# Ruben Dario is widely known as "The father of Modernism". It was two years later that Dario called Modernism a movement in is article "Fotograbado".#

However it was not just writers who formed this Modernist movement. It was overall a movement of the arts and this movement took place in art, architecture, music and interior design. Modernism was a whole new attitude on reality.

Ricardo Gullon, the author of "Direcciones del Modernismo", said that "Modernism is a way of escaping in different directions".

Modernism didn't really become relevant in Spain until the 1890's, while it was the 1880's in Latin America..

This begs the question as to why Modernism made an appearance in Spain at this time. In the title of this essay state we see the statement "Modernism in Spain is a literary response to a social crisis". Paul Valery stated that "literary mode or age is first and foremost a reaction".# During the late 19th century Spain was indeed going through a social and cultural crisis. The people of Spain lost faith in their government and their own Spanish identity for many reasons. The main reason for causing these negative feeling was "El Disastre". This refers to the Spanish-American War which took place in 1898. This event resulted in Spain losing their overseas colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. This event also marked the end to the once powerful Spanish Empire. Because of this the Spanish people felt lost, as if they had lost their identity. They had gone from being a powerful and content country but after "El Disastre" they were left dazed and confused. This caused anger amongst the people and many of whom used these feelings as their literary inspiration. The modernists write about their loss of identity and their

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