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Unamuno’s Search for National Identity and its Mystical Implications

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2019, 56(), pp.391-412
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2019.56..391
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : August 10, 2019
  • Accepted : September 3, 2019
  • Published : September 30, 2019

Minhyun Cho 1

1대구가톨릭대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Between the end of the 19 th century and the beginning of the 20 th century, Spanish intellectuals expressed various opinions and debated about ‘what Spain is’. They discussed Spain’s national character in the face of the gradual decline of the country. Unamuno was one of the prominent thinkers on this subject. He adopted a desperate existential problematic as the starting point through which to examine the problems of Spain. Thus, Spain as a material became a central issue in the intellectual development of Unamuno, which continued throughout his literary career. Its starting point was in On Casticism, which was published in 1895. In this collection of essays, he first presents the concept of intrahistory associated with Spain’s eternal tradition, then explores various elements related to this concept. Among them, he deals with mysticism as a fundamental constituent of the Spanish spirit. This idea, which pursues the absolute and eternal beyond the visible variable world, is responsible for an axis of national identity that is closely linked with the notion of intrahistory presented by Unamuno. Thus, this study will examine what the Spanish mysticism and the methodology pursued by the mystics mean in relation to the national identity presented by Unamuno. In doing so, we aim to show that mysticism not only forms an integral part of the Spanish character, but is also closely connected with Unamuno’s ideas on Spain’s national identity.

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