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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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The Great War as an Expression of the Dispute between the ‘Two Spains’


Alexandre Deulofeu, a republican intellectual, was briefly the acting mayor of Figueres at the outbreak of the Civil War on 18 July 1936. He had won his seat on the city council after the electoral victory in April 1931 and, just weeks after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic, at the dawn of what seemed to be a new era, he retraced the historical steps that had led to it in an attempt to contextualize the ongoing events and declared: ‘La guerra europea senyala el començament de la fi dels règims monàrquics i d’alliberació de les nacionalitats oprimides’ [‘The European War marked the beginning of the fall of the monarchist regimes and the beginning of freedom for the oppressed nations’]. Although Spain had remained neutral in the war that had begun in August 1914, the consequences of the conflict had finally arrived:

Avui amb la proclamació definitiva i pròxima de la República Federal Espanyola, s’obre en aquesta zona mediterrània, la més negra fins avui de la carta europea, una clariana grandiosa, per on surt un esclat de llum vivíssim com mai havien presenciat els pobles. […] El pes de la balança s’ha decantat definitivament en el sentit de la llibertat absoluta; de la llibertat dels homes i de la llibertat dels pobles

[‘Today, with the imminent and definitive proclamation of the Spanish Federal Republic, in this area of the Mediterranean which has long been the...

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