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July 2, 2009
9780813217376
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v2.1 Reference

The Subject in Question

Early Contemporary Spanish Literature and Modernism

**OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE selected by Choice magazine 2007"**

The Subject in Question presents the first systematic study of "Spanish modernism" in an attempt to end Spain's literary isolation from the mainstream of early contemporary European literature. Traditionally, Spanish literature has been approached by the "literary generational model," an ultra-nationalist perspective that separates Spanish writing from its larger European modernist context. C. Christopher Soufas argues against further adherence to the generational groupings, establishing instead solid criteria for embracing the period category of modernism as a more appropriate model.

Offering a refreshing and original approach, Soufas studies various key works from late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain to demonstrate their important modernist characteristics. He considers the evolution of modernism in all the major genres beginning with novels by such authors as Pío Baroja, Miguel de Unamuno, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, and Rosa Chacel; the poetry of Jorge Guillén, Vicente Aleixandre, Luis Cernuda, and Rafael Alberti; and the theater of Federico García Lorca.

Soufas maintains that the basis for associating Spanish literature with modernism centers on modernist attitudes toward subjectivity—that is, the modernist critique of the autonomous thinking subject. He argues that Spain had been engaging in a critique of the subjective model for centuries, long before European modernists did. Therefore, modernism marks a point of convergence and rapprochement between Spain and Europe, and Spain makes a significant contribution to that international movement.

"This work is very significant, in that it establishes the ground for a basic rethinking of how Spanish literature is to be viewed not only from a purely national and chronological perspective, but also from an international and comparatist point of view."—Margaret Persin, Rutgers University

C. Christopher Soufas, professor of Spanish at Tulane University, is author of Conflict of Light and Wind and Audience and Authority in the Modernist Theater of Federico García Lorca.



"This cogent study challenges the reader to approach Spanish letters from a different and broader perspective, one that begets a fuller awareness of the complexity and richness of contemporary Spanish literature. This groundbreaking work will have enormous import in the appreciation of Spain's considerable role in 20th-century European literature. Summing up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." — F. Colecchia, Choice



"The Subject in Question makes a valuable and knowledgeable contribution to the ongoing debate about Spain's inclusion in the European cultural mainstream in the early twentieth century, through the exploration of new models of subjectivity in Spanish Modernism, and the wide-ranging revision of early twentieth-century Spanish literature." — Katherine Murphy, Bulletin of Spanish Studies

The Catholic University of America Press

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