Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Community and Resistance: On the Uses of Carlism in Miguel De Unamuno's Paz En la Guerra

Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Community and Resistance: On the Uses of Carlism in Miguel De Unamuno's Paz En la Guerra

Article excerpt

Abstract

This article analyses a key concept of the young Unamuno: Carlism. Drawing on previous studies by Ereño Altuna, Luján Palma, and Juaristi, I propose an understanding of Carlism as composed of three intertwined concepts: intrahistoria, socialism, and fuerismo. My article ultimately attempts to study the uses of Carlism in Miguel de Unamuno's first novel, Paz en la guerra (1897), as a means to explore what Sebastian Balfour has called 'turn-of-the-century conservative myths of stability', that is to say, ideological constructions of resistance to the unstable processes of national modernization.

Resumen

Este artículo analiza un concepto clave en el joven Unamuno: el Carlismo. Cimentando mis ideas en trabajos previos de Ereño Altuna, Luján Palma y Juaristi, propongo entender el Carlismo como un compuesto de tres conceptos profundamente relacionados entre sí: intrahistoria, socialismo y fuerismo. En última instancia, mi artículo se propone estudiar los usos del Carlismo en la primera novela de Miguel de Unamuno, Paz en la guerra (1897), como un modo de analizar lo que Sebastian Balfour llamó los 'mitos conservadores de estabilidad del fin de siglo', es decir, construcciones ideológicas de resistencia a los inestables procesos de modernización nacional.

One of Miguel de Unamuno's earliest memories was the bombing of his native town, Bilbao, during the Carlist siege of 1874. In his Recuerdos de niñez y mocedad (1908), the Basque writer admits that 'el suceso que dejó más honda huella en mi memoria, fue el bombardeo de mi Bilbao, en 1874, el año mismo en que entré al Instituto. En él termina propiamente mi niñez y empieza mi juventud con el bachillerato' (1966-1971, 8: 129). The bombing of Bilbao during the second Carlist war will also be the setting of his first novel, Paz en la guerra (1897). In spite of growing critical attention to the earlier literary production of the Basque writer (from the publication of his first article in 1879 until his spiritual crisis of 1897), the topic of Carlism in the ideological configuration of the young Unamuno and in the elaboration of Paz en la guerra has been largely under-analysed. This novel opposes two Basque families in the Bilbao of the last Carlist war: the Iturriondos and the Aranas. The Iturriondos were Carlist; Pedro Antonio, the father, fought in the first confrontation (1833-1840), while the Aranas supported the Liberals. Furthermore, the geographical and economic backgrounds of the families reinforce this ideological division: the Iturriondos had rural origins in the Vizcaya province, while the Arana were urban bilbaínos. The novel shows the experience of the war as seen through the eyes of Ignacio, Pedro Antonio's son, and the hardships of the Bilbao siege through the everyday life of both families.

This article explores the topic of Carlism,1 as it is used in the construction of Miguel de Unamuno's first novel, arguing that this movement is composed of three related but interdependent ideologies of a crucial importance in the development of the early Unamuno: intrahistoria, socialism, and fuerismo. The article begins by relating the use of Carlism in the novel to the notion of intrahistoria, as it was developed in the collected essays of En torno al casticismo (1895). It then links Unamuno's notion of Carlism with that of socialism and with the protonationalist ideology of fuerismo. The present study examines the intrahistorical, socialist, and fuerista dimensions of Carlism in Unamuno's first novel, arguing that the uses of Carlism in Paz en la guerra are intimately entwined with questions of modernity and mass politics that came to define the Spanish fin de siglo.

In a passage of En torno al casticismo, Unamuno defines Carlism as 'un irrumpir de lo intrahistórico en la historia' (2005, 1: 868). As Michael Tratner has argued in Modernism and Mass Politics, the growing socio-political importance of the urban proletariat implied new forms of thinking the nation. …

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