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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

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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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Fighting and Writing for Catalonia and France: Frederic Pujulà and the Catalan Volunteers in the Trenches

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At the beginning of 1914, political nationalism in Catalonia was a genuine mass movement. This was a state of affairs that had been achieved at a time when European societies were mobilizing and the nation states were locked in a dynamic of confrontation that culminated, when summer came, in the relentless sequence of declarations of war. The growth of Catalan nationalism into a mass movement stemmed from its cultural roots and was spurred on by a small number of initial expressions of a regional particularism and a defence of local interests that were typical of nineteenth-century thinking. But the circles of poets and scholars, protectionist industrial associations and jurists who advocated for a Catalan civil code of law had now definitively won over the Catalan middle classes and certain sectors of the workers and lower classes. They had been carrying out this task since 1892, first by disseminating a number of initial policy proposals known as the Bases de Manresa (which laid down a Catalan Regional Constitution) and then they had swept into the arena of electoral politics, with the conquest of municipal power in Barcelona in 1901.

Thus, by 1914, Catalan nationalist activity in its various guises was operating on three main fronts, none of which were much different from those of any other nationalist movement of the time. On the one hand, they aspired to build a nation out of Catalonia with a systematic exercise in nation-building, and they aimed to do so by...

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