Imperial Emotions

Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain

Javier Krauel

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ISBN: 9781846319761

Publication: November 13, 2013

Series: Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 10

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain reconsiders debates about historical memory from the perspective of the theory of emotions. Its main claim is that the demise of the Spanish empire in 1898 spurred a number of contradictory emotional responses, ranging from mourning and melancholia to indignation, pride, and shame. It shows how intellectuals sought to reimagine a post-Empire Spain by drawing on myth and employing a predominantly emotional register, a contention that departs from current scholarly depictions of the fin-de-siècle crisis in Spain that largely leave the role of both emotions and imperial myths in that crisis unexplored. By focusing on the neglected emotional dimension of memory practices, Imperial Emotions opens up new ways of interpreting some of the most canonical essays in twentieth-century Iberian literature: Miguel de Unamuno’s En torno al casticismo, Ángel Ganivet’s Idearium español, Ramiro de Maeztu’s Hacia otra España, and Enric Prat de la Riba’s La nacionalitat catalana. It also examines the profound implications the emotional attachment to imperial myths has had for the collective memory of the conquest and colonization of the Americas, a collective memory that today has acquired a transnational character due to the conflicting emotional investments in the Spanish empire that are performed throughout the Americas and Spain.

Javier Krauel is Assistant Professor of Spanish at University of Colorado Boulder.

Introduction: Emotions, Empire, and the Tradition of the National Essay 1. Redressing the Silencing of Empire 2. Imperialism and Nationalism 3. The Spanish Empire’s Embattled Legacies 4. Imperial Legacies and National Reform 5. The Emotions of Empire and the Essay on National Character Chapter One: Imperial Myths and the National Imagination 1. Columbus in 1892 2. Nationalist Uses of the Imperial Past 3. Freethinkers and Empire 4. The Failure of the Federalist Critique Chapter Two: An Incomplete Work of Imperial Mourning: Miguel de Unamuno’s En torno al casticismo 1. Addressing the Post-Imperial Condition 2. Empire and casticismo 3. Mourning Imperial Values Chapter Three: Fin de Siècle Imperial Melancholia: Ángel Ganivet’s Idearium español 1. Theorizing Imperial Ambivalence 2. Independence, Expansion, Modernity 3. The Paradox of Empire and Melancholia Chapter Four: The Anatomy of Imperial Indignation: Ramiro de Maeztu’s Hacia otra España 1. Anger and Indignation 2. Nietzsche’s Critical History 3. The Conquest of the meseta as a Second (Imperial) Nature Chapter Five: The Politics of Imperial Pride and Shame: Enric Prat de la Riba’s La nacionalitat catalana 1. Catalanist Mood circa 1906 2. The Subdued Emotions of Cognition and Controversy 3. Imperialism and the Creation of National Pride 4. Witnessing the Spanish Empire’s Shame Conclusion: Toward an Ethics of Imperial Emotions Bibliography Index

Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de Siècle Spain is a dazzlingly brilliant book, which weaves together theories of the emotions, archival research, and intricate textual analysis to paint a convincing picture of the multiple and complex intellectual reactions to the loss of empire after the debacle of the Spanish-American War. While Krauel does not downplay the importance to Spanish thinkers of Spain's 1898 loss of its remaining colonies, he dispenses with the stale shibboleths about the so-called "Generation of '98." Krauel's is the most original and thoughtful book on turn-of-the-twentieth-century Spanish writers since Inman Fox's widely cited La invención de España: nacionalismo liberal e identidad nacional published in 1997. Imperial Emotions will be read, and it will have a significant impact on the field.
Roberta Johnson  
University of Kansas

A serious, rigorous and original contribution to diverse disciplines: history, literary history and criticism, and Iberian Studies.
Elisa Martí-López  
Northwestern University

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

206 Pages

ISBN: 9781846319761

Publication: November 13, 2013

Series: Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 10

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