The Generation of 1898: Imagining Spain (MLS1021)

15 credits

Works of literature have a special relationship with landscape, as anyone familiar with Wordsworth’s Lake District or Thomas Hardy’s Wessex will know. The landscapes of Spain similarly take on a different and enriched imaginative existence when viewed through the prism of their historical and/or literary associations. Machado and Azorín looked at Castile as containing and expressing something of Spain’s cultural tradition in its very fabric, in its physical relics of an historical past or simply in its being the place where literary characters lived and loved, worked out their thoughts, hopes and dreams. These writers themselves contributed, through their work and in their personal lives, to how subsequent generations of Spaniards would regard their own country’s heartland, inextricable from the poets and writers who inhabited it and gave it fresh imaginative life. We shall seek to probe that organic process by which literature and landscape interact.