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A Civil War of Words

The Cultural Impact of the Great War in Catalonia, Spain, Europe and a Glance at Latin America


Edited By Xavier Pla, Maximiliano Fuentes and Francesc Montero

The Great War did not only mark the history of the twentieth century: to a large extent, the conflict also affected culture and literature in Europe and the rest of the world. This collection of essays aims to provide the reader with a broad and transdisciplinary perspective on the cultural and political impact of the Great War. Using a comparative approach and focusing on Catalonia and Spain, this volume reflects the enormous variety of representations of the ‘theatre of war’ in both neutral and belligerent countries, causing a significant rejuvenation in fiction and journalistic genres in the subsequent decades.
This book features essays by some of the most important specialists in the First World War from Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Latin America, who, in the centenary of the conflict, provide an innovative critical approach to this crucial event in contemporary history.
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Europe before and after the Great War


European dominance over the world before 1914 reached extremes that are difficult to imagine today. Europe, far and away beyond any of the world’s regions, was the richest, most populous and most culturally influential; it was the world’s political and economic centre, enjoying a level of wellbeing greater than anywhere else except for the United States (although the Europeans were hardly aware of that) and also incomparably greater than that enjoyed by the Europeans themselves at any other point in history. London and Paris were the financial and cultural capitals of the world; Britain ruled the waves and had an enormous empire on land, having been the hegemonic power, both politically and militarily, since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. And before that, France had held the same position from the mid-seventeenth century. Taken together, the colonial empires dominated by the European powers covered three quarters of the planet. The exception among these European powers was Spain, which had already lost most of its empire in the early nineteenth century and, by the end of it, had lost what remained.

The technological developments in the second half of the nineteenth century had been remarkable and although many came from the United States, it was the Europeans who most visibly profited from them. After the first industrial revolution of 1780–1800, the technological advances of the second half of the nineteenth century transformed daily life in a way never seen before. Examples would include steamships, steel, photography,...

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