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Spanish Reception of Russian Narratives, 1905-1939

Spanish Reception of Russian Narratives, 1905-1939: Transcultural Dialogics

Series: Monografías A
Volume: 318
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Spanish Reception of Russian Narratives, 1905-1939
    Book Description:

    Drawing upon theories on the novel in Bakhtin's 'Dialogic Imagination', this book examines Nuevo Romanticismo through the lens of Russo-Soviet 'littérature engagée'. The term Nuevo Romanticismo originated in José Díaz Fernández's eponymous essay and has been applied to a group of writers who exemplified a rehumanization of the field of Spanish cultural production. In contrast with the dehumanized tendencies noted by Ortega y Gasset, writers César Arconada, Ramón J. Sender, and Lusia Carnés combined avant-garde aesthetics and a deep preoccupation with the human condition, creating a model of politically engaged art in part through transcultural dialogues with Russian literary models. This study explores the deep connection between Spanish and Russian narratives immediately before and during the Second Republic, as well as themes as relevant today as nearly a century ago: the ethics of war, the new woman, and responses to machine culture in the modern age. Lynn C. Purkey is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-107-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Lynn C. Purkey
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction Towards a Definition of Nuevo Romanticismo
    (pp. 1-8)

    This book examines Spain’s reception of Russo-Soviet literature, and its relationship with Nuevo Romanticismo, through the lens of Bakhtin’s theories on the novel, claiming ultimately that these writers were in dialogue with Russian models of social art. A number of unique historical circumstances made such dialogues appropriate, not the least of which were the socioeconomic similarities between pre-Revolutionary Russia and Spain and the complete reorganization of life that followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. By the mid-1920s, writers such as José Díaz Fernández, Joaquín Arderius and César Arconada were responding to revolutionary currents in Russian literature as a means of...

  6. 1 Dialogics through Translations and Travelogues
    (pp. 9-44)

    The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the new Soviet state had enormous ramifications for modes of cultural production throughout Europe, as universalist and arguably utopian ideals united a group of cultural workers across international borders. This was particularly true in the case of Spain, where a generation of young writers such as Rafael Alberti, Miguel Hernández and Ramón J. Sender turned their gaze east in search of models of politically-engaged literature. One of the main vehicles for the migration of culture and ideology into Spain was through the translation and proliferation of Russian and Soviet political and...

  7. 2 The Novel of Consciousness: Gorky, Díaz Fernández, Arderíus and Benavides
    (pp. 45-76)

    A prolific source of political literature in the Soviet Union and Spain, “novels of conscience” are a sort of Bildungsroman, in which the hero becomes a “new man” as he achieves a social or political awakening. This model, particularly in its revolutionary application found in early twentieth-century Russian literature, was a productive source for narratives in Spain for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the lengthy religious history of the country, which was conducive to appropriating religious models, even in the face of the anticlericalism of their authors. Perhaps the author who figured most prominently in...

  8. 3 Utopia and Dystopia: Factory Narratives
    (pp. 77-108)

    Factory narratives capture the violence of the revolution and the exhilaration of the race to achieve the industrial and agricultural production levels of capitalist nations. While works like Sergei Eisenstein’s Сmачка (Strike, 1924) articulated the destruction of capitalism from the workers’ perspective, other works depicted the young state’s struggle to build socialism made manifest in the construction of a factory or plant or expressed through fulfilling or exceed ing production norms, evident in Fedor Gladkov’s Цеменm [Cement, 1925] and Nikolai Ostrovsky’s Как закалялась сmаль [How the Steel was Tempered, 1932–4]. Leftist writers in Spain were in dialogue with Soviet...

  9. 4 The New Woman and the Second Republic
    (pp. 109-134)

    The position of women in society was one of the most important topics of the “other” Generation of 1927, and females figure prominently in the prewar social novels (Fuentes, La marcha 88). This concern is reflected in Díaz Fernández’s El nuevo romanticismo, which lamented the lack of the intellectual participation by women in Spanish society. As a solution to this state of affairs, he proposed that Spaniards look to the Soviet Union, where gender-based stereotypes were being dismantled, and women participated fully in intellectual life. One such example is Alexandra Kollontai, writer, politician and ambassador immediately following the Revolution (Farnsworth...

  10. 5 Pacifist and War Prose
    (pp. 135-162)

    In Chapters 2 and 3 of this book, the relationship between Nuevo Romanticismo and the two main archetypes of Socialist Realism, Gorky’s Mother and Gladkov’s Cement, was established. From an aesthetic standpoint it was noted that Mother differed radically from Spain’s avant-garde social narratives of the 1920s and 1930s, while the earliest version of Cement displayed some Modernist tendencies, and a greater attention to language and style, although it was not perhaps the exquisite prose of the avant-garde. This chapter will examine another important area of dialogue between Hispanic and Russian letters: narratives of the Spanish military campaigns in North...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 163-166)

    In the previous chapters a pattern of novelistic dialogue has been established between Spanish and Soviet letters during the 1920s and 1930s, in which Spaniards adopted and adapted models of social art, while neglecting other aspects of Russian literature that did not suit their particular needs. Given the sociopolitical climate and the politicization of letters taking place during this period, it should come as no surprise that leftist writers in Spain looked to the Soviet Union for models of politically engaged literature. Yet these works also examined other social constructs, including gender, industrialization and war.

    Spanish writers did not insist...

  12. Works Cited
    (pp. 167-188)
  13. Index
    (pp. 189-204)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 205-205)