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
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.
The Motives of Francophilia: History of a Frustration
Between Catharsis and Fresh Fields
In the context of a growing number of confrontations that had given rise to fears of an imminent conflict between the democracies and the German Reich, some young intellectuals were convinced that violence would be a purifying force and conflict would engender progress. After the crisis in Tangier (1905) and Agadir (1911), the tension triggered by a number of nationalist actions in the Balkans and, the following year, by the occupation of Libya by Italy, was beginning to worry the governments, who saw themselves being pushed into wanting a war perhaps to regain control of a society that was slipping out of their hands.2 There were plenty of members of the younger generation eagerly proclaiming the purifying necessity of the coming war. When it came, it was, for most citizens, an unquestionable duty, an interesting moral experience, if not a patriotic necessity (the futurist, Marinetti would proclaim war to be ‘Guerra sola igiene del mondo e sola morale educatrice [the world’s only hygiene, the world’s only moral governess]’);3 the inevitability and regenerative nature of the war had the ← 227 | 228 → literati claiming that a just and honourable war would merely release the heroic virtues of the people.4
In Germany, where, after Wagner’s nationalism and the vitality of Nietzsche, direct action had become a fashionable cult, certain young intellectuals began to draw up an inventory of what needed destroying. They found an incentive and a compendium of...
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