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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


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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A Civil War of Words in Italy: Italian intellectuals from Interventionism into WWI to Engagement into Fascism


In August 1914 war broke out in Europe. On 2 August 1914 Italy declared neutrality and remained temporarily loyal to the Triple Alliance, a treaty with the Habsburg and German Empires, which had been renewed in December 1912 and which did not require her to enter into a war alongside her allies. Thus opened a troubled gestation, lasting nine months, of the decision to take part in the European conflict, until the repudiation of the Treaty on 4 May 1915 and the official declaration of war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 23 May. In this long armed vigil, intellectuals and artists played an important role in giving expression to the clash of ideas and politics throughout the country.

Italian historiography on the Great War has had a deep-seated renewal from the mid-1970s, which has also been reflected in new works being written on the occasion of the centenary, but specific contributions on the role which the Italian intellectual classes had in the European conflict are still few in contrast to what is happening in other countries, especially in France and Spain.1 The excellent works of Mario Isnenghi still remain a point of reference which, since their first appearance in the 1970s, have centred on the ‘myth’ of the Great War, created mainly by individuals and by intellectual currents,2 even if recently Mario Mondini has disseminated ← 55 | 56 → themes and timelines in the chapter ‘scrivere della guerra’ [‘writing about the war’] in his innovative summary.3 Italian...

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