Imperial Emotions

BookOpen AccessImperial Emotions

Imperial Emotions

Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain

Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 10


November 13th, 2013


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An Open Access edition of this book is available on the Liverpool University Press website and the OAPEN library.
Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain reconsiders debates about historical memory from the perspective of the theory of emotions. Its main claim is that the demise of the Spanish empire in 1898 spurred a number of contradictory emotional responses, ranging from mourning and melancholia to indignation, pride, and shame. It shows how intellectuals sought to reimagine a post-Empire Spain by drawing on myth and employing a predominantly emotional register, a contention that departs from current scholarly depictions of the fin-de-siècle crisis in Spain that largely leave the role of both emotions and imperial myths in that crisis unexplored. By focusing on the neglected emotional dimension of memory practices, Imperial Emotions opens up new ways of interpreting some of the most canonical essays in twentieth-century Iberian literature: Miguel de Unamuno’s En torno al casticismo, Ángel Ganivet’s Idearium español, Ramiro de Maeztu’s Hacia otra España, and Enric Prat de la Riba’s La nacionalitat catalana. It also examines the profound implications the emotional attachment to imperial myths has had for the collective memory of the conquest and colonization of the Americas, a collective memory that today has acquired a transnational character due to the conflicting emotional investments in the Spanish empire that are performed throughout the Americas and Spain.

Author Information

Javier Krauel is Assistant Professor of Spanish at University of Colorado Boulder.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Half-title 2
Title page 4
Coyright page 5
Contents 6
Dedication 8
Redressing the Silencing of Empire17
Imperialism and Nationalism23
The Spanish Empire’s Embattled Legacies30
Imperial Legacies and National Reform32
Imperial Emotions and the Essay on National Character38
Chapter 1 54
Columbus in 189254
Nationalist Uses of the Imperial Past61
Freethinkers and Empire74
The Failure of the Federalist Critique79
Chapter 2 94
Addressing the Post-Imperial Condition94
Empire and casticismo97
Mourning Imperial Values105
Chapter 3 114
Theorizing Imperial Ambivalence114
Independence, Expansion, Modernity117
The Paradox of Empire and Melancholia127
Chapter 4 135
Anger and Indignation135
Nietzsche’s Critical History146
The Conquest of the meseta as a Second (Imperial) Nature151
Chapter 5 158
Catalanist Mood circa 1906158
The Subdued Emotions of Cognition and Controversy160
Imperialism and the Creation of National Pride166
Witnessing the Spanish Empire’s Shame175
Conclusion 186
The Vanishing of Ambivalence187
The Moral Implications of Imperial Emotions190
Works Cited195