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Cross-Cultural Encounters between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking Worlds

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Edited By Christine Reynier

The Mediterranean world has long had strong cultural links to Great Britain as well as to the United States. Through the analysis of artistic objects and critical writings that crystallise this encounter, the essays in this volume demonstrate the variety and complexity of the connections between two geographical zones and two or more cultures.
Mediterranean cultures are shown to haunt American and British culture and artistic productions. The relation between British and American literature and art on the one hand, and Mediterranean arts on the other goes beyond the mere inscription of British and American culture in a Mediterranean tradition. British and American culture and art come out as unearthing a wide variety of Mediterranean artistic forms, renewing and transforming them.
This collection shows how lively the encounter between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking worlds still is. It highlights how much English as well as American culture and art owe today to the Mediterranean ones; how, mainly in the fields of literature and art, the two civilisations have never discontinued the dialogue they adumbrated centuries ago.

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ANNE-MARIE MOTARD AND HUBERT PERES - George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War:The Discovery of Totalitarianism - 163

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ANNE-MARIE MOTARD AND HUBERT PERES George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War: The Discovery of Totalitarianism George Orwell is most renowned for his two novels, 1984 and Animal Farm, in which he exposed the mechanisms of totalitarianism in a mas- terly fashion. But the account of his experience as a member of a left- wing anti-Stalinist militia, the POUM (Workers’ Party of Marxist Unifi- cation) during the Spanish Civil War is less famous. In the book entitled Homage to Catalonia (1938) he recounts his six-month stay in Republi- can Spain, his experience on the Aragon Front and the rivalries and in- fighting in the Republican movement. The Spanish Civil War has long been presented as the fight of Republican Spain for democracy against Fascism. Most people have images of the International Brigades val- iantly defending Madrid against Franco’s troops, of a rather simple struggle between the brave forces of democracy and the evil of fascism. However, Orwell was one of the first and few public figures to debunk this overly simple view of the Civil War. But he was not really success- ful as the presumed unity of the Spanish Republican movement has been an enduring feature of 20th century popular political mythology. Only recently has the film by Ken Loach, Land and Freedom, questioned this prevailing view.97 Quite paradoxically, Orwell seems to have discovered the key com- ponents of totalitarianism in Republican Spain, mostly among the left- wing groups, rather than in the ranks of the Nazis or the...

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