The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries

The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries

The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries

The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries

Synopsis

The German and Spanish-speaking worlds have, over the centuries, developed an intrinsic relationship, one which predates the Habsburg dynasty and the Renaissance and baroque periods. The cross-fertilization and challenges have been both fruitful and complex with novel inventions surfacing in one culture often achieving their greatest prosperity in the other: Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation stimulated a response in Spain that was to define the European Counter Reformation; Spanish Baroque writers were seminal in the development of German Romanticism; Carl Christian Friedrich Krause and other nineteenth-century liberals provided the foundation for Spanish reformist efforts on the one hand, while German conservatives like Novalis and Adam Müller inspired conservatvies on the other; the music of Richard Wagner transformed Spanish music and the Spanish stage at the turn of the twentieth century; Pablo Picasso and other artists of the Spanish avant-garde sparkled the enthusiasm of the Germans before the Nazi era. Today, German and Spanish intellectuals and writers share a similar commitment to the creation of a European culture in the face of resistance from other members of the European Union.

Viewed from a variety of disciplines this volume explores the relentlessly consistent, albeit often forgotten connections between the two linguistic and cultural groups revealing the myriad of ways in which they have shared and transformed literature, art, culture, politics, and history.

Conrad Kent is Professor of Spanish and Humanities-Classics, Thomas Wolber teaches German Studies in the department of Modern Foreign Languages, and Cameron Hewitt is a recent graduate, all at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Excerpt

German-speaking and Spanish-speaking lands have long influenced each other. Relationships and reciprocities between the two spheres have been profound and enduring. the Visigoths who arrived in Spain after the fall of Rome shared their culture, their institutions, and their own version of an imperial legacy with the Iberian Peninsula. the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela brought Germanic peoples and their northern culture to Iberia. Through two centuries of the Habsburg dynasty, Germanic and Hispanic ruling houses were united in yet another imperial era. Golden Age writers in Spain inspired the German romantics, and, throughout the nineteenth century, German art, music, literature, and philosophy shaped significant areas of Spanish urban culture. By the early twentieth century, Germany and Spain shared seminal roles in the creation of the avant-garde in art and literature, and yet by the 1930s they were united through totalitarian collaboration. Since World War II, Latin American poetry and, more recently, the "magic realism" of Gabriel García Márquez and his contemporaries have inspired German-speaking peoples in their search for new forms of expression.

Paradoxically, the connections between the Germanic and Hispanic lands have received only isolated critical attention. Although individual monographs on German-Spanish relations in literature, philosophy, and history have been written, notably the pioneering work of Gerhart Hoffmeister, the enduring influences between the two spheres have never enjoyed sustained or comprehensive scholarly interest. No interdisciplinary study or compendium of essays devoted to the comparative study of German and Spanish culture exists, and, as a consequence, many facets of an immense realm of shared culture and history have been neglected.

In The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries, the editors have attempted to provide . . .

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