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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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We have formed a small group, which we call the Committee of Friends for the Moral Unity of Europe. The idea we shall use as our starting point is that the war which today seems to be tearing apart this higher unity is, by definition, a Civil War. — (EUGENI D’ORS, in the Barcelona newspaper La Veu de Catalunya, 15 December 1914)

As a result of the commemoration of the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, there has been a huge expansion of academic reflection on the War and of its origins, its dynamics and its outcomes, all of which has been duly reflected in the mass media. Collective international works have been published that are destined to be essential reference works in the years to come, such as the imposing Cambridge History of the First World War edited by Jay Winter, along with books that, despite dealing only with national issues, have already become required reading. International conferences, books of greater or lesser importance, special-issue history journals, documentaries, movies and novels, even video games, have all been promoted and discussed in the pages of the magazines and newspapers and have taken up hours of television and radio. As a result, fresh perspectives for research – and new and old debates – have commanded the centre stage of contemporary history, of the history of ideas and of cultural studies. Furthermore, the fact that the centenary has coincided with current events in the Middle East and the...

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