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Exile and Cultural Hegemony

Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939-1975

Sebastiaan Faber

Publication Year: 2002

After Francisco Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, a great many of the country's intellectuals went into exile in Mexico. During the three and a half decades of Francoist dictatorship, these exiles held that the Republic, not Francoism, represented the authentic culture of Spain. In this environment, as Sebastiaan Faber argues in Exile and Cultural Hegemony, the Spaniards' conception of their role as intellectuals changed markedly over time. The first study of its kind to place the exiles' ideological evolution in a broad historical context, Exile and Cultural Hegemony takes into account developments in both Spanish and Mexican politics from the early 1930s through the 1970s. Faber pays particular attention to the intellectuals' persistent nationalism and misplaced illusions of pan-Hispanist grandeur, which included awkward and ironic overlaps with the rhetoric employed by their enemies on the Francoist right. This embrace of nationalism, together with the intellectuals' dependence on the increasingly authoritarian Mexican regime and the international climate of the Cold War, eventually caused them to abandon the Gramscian ideal of the intellectual as political activist in favor of a more liberal, apolitical stance preferred by, among others, the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. With its comprehensive approach to topics integral to Spanish culture, both students of and those with a general interest in twentieth-century Spanish literature, history, or culture will find Exile and Cultural Hegemonya fascinating and groundbreaking work.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press


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p. 1

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xv

This book is about Spanish intellectuals who were exiled to Mexico during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939–75) that followed the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), and about their struggle for cultural hegemony based on the claim that the Republic, not Francoism, represented the “true” culture of the Spanish nation. The account of the Spaniards’ ...

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pp. xvii-xviii

All shortcomings, weaknesses, and limitations of this book are mine. But I could not have written it without the generous help of many people and institutions. I am especially grateful to Neil Larsen, whose enthusiasm, scholarly rigor, and wealth of knowledge greatly helped improve my original manuscripts. Thanks, too, to Roberto Ruiz and Carlos Blanco ...

I. Exile and Cultural Hegemony

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pp. 1-2

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1. Introduction: Intellectuals in Exile

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pp. 3-11

What is it about exile that makes it such a catalyst for cultural production? The list of major literary and academic works produced in situations of displacement is seemingly limitless, ranging from Ovid’s Tristia and Dante’s Il convivio, to Auerbach’s Mimesis, Adorno’s Minima moralia Mann’s Doktor Faustus, Cortázar’s Rayuela, and García Márquez’s Cien años ...

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2. Mexico and the Spanish Civil War

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pp. 12-27

For twentieth-century Spain and Mexico, the arrival of thousands of Spanish Civil War refugees between 1938 and the early 1940s was the most important but not the first moment of mutual contact and influence. In fact, Spain became for postrevolutionary Mexico, and for Latin America as a whole, something of a political mirror image in which both ...

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3. The Struggle for Cultural Hegemony

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pp. 28-52

It is one of this book’s contentions that the discursive and institutional practices of the Spaniards in exile can be best seen as a struggle for cultural hegemony. I use this term for several reasons. Most importantly, the concept of hegemony invokes the writings of Antonio Gramsci. As is well known, Gramsci’s strategic proposals for achieving social change in the ...

II. Hope, Defeat, and Delirium

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pp. 53-54

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4. The Popular Front and the Civil War

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pp. 55-91

After the end of a Cold War that largely suppressed or distorted the period, the significance of the 1930s for the history of Western art and politics continues to be the object of heated debate. For part of the Western left, the Popular Front has become a source of nostalgia or even inspiration. The short-lived alliance of Communists, socialists, and liberals to fight ...

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5. Paulino Masip: Nationalism, Moralism, and the Limits of the Popular Front Revolution

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pp. 92-119

The death of Paulino Masip in September 1963 prompted Max Aub, his friend, colleague, and fellow exile, to write a melancholy note in his diary. In one single paragraph of indignant resignation, Aub pointedly summarized the tragedy of the Spanish Republicans in Mexico: ...

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6. The Republican Countercanon and the Dream of Pan-Hispanist Unity

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pp. 120-148

In March 1939, when it had become clear that the fall of the Spanish Republic would only be a matter of time, Jos

III. Left out in the Cold (War)

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pp. 149-150

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7. A Changed Political Landscape: The Appropriation of Liberalism and the Return of the Detached Intellectual

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pp. 151-185

In June 1958, the exile poet Le

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8. Ortega’s Legacy in Mexico: Elitism and Gaos’s Myth of Transtierro

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pp. 186-217

On November 21, 1955, José Gaos entered the Casino Español in Mexico City to give a lecture on his teacher José Ortega y Gasset. The location was strangely appropriate. The Casino was a social center for members of the old Spanish “Colonia” in Mexico, the community of economic immigrants who, ever since 1936, had been fervently opposed to the Republic— as had Ortega. “Don José Ortega y Gasset,” Gaos confessed, ...

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9. Max Aub: Exile as Aporia

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pp. 218-266

In March 1963, Max Aub wrote a note to the young Spanish scholar José R. Marra-López, author of the first comprehensive study of literature by Spanish exiles, entitled—as Francoist censors forced him to term it— Narrativa española fuera de España [Spanish Narrative Outside of Spain]. In his letter, Aub gave some insights into the hardships that burden a ...

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pp. 267-274

And the reason they are giving him one is because the president went to visit him] (Diarios 430). Indeed, the deceased exile poet was extensively honored by the Mexican regime. President Díaz Ordaz expressed his sadness “por la dolorosa pérdida de un gran amigo, de un excelente poeta, el mejor de habla española en nuestra época” [with the painful loss of a great ...


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pp. 275-286


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pp. 287-304


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pp. 305-322

E-ISBN-13: 9780826591661
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826514226
Print-ISBN-10: 0826514227

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2002

OCLC Number: 62195247
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Exile and Cultural Hegemony

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Mexico -- History -- 20th century.
  • Frente Popular (Spain).
  • Political refugees -- Mexico -- History -- 20th century.
  • Pan-Hispanism.
  • Nationalism -- Spain -- History -- 20th century.
  • Politics and culture -- Spain -- History -- 20th century.
  • Political refugees -- Spain -- History -- 20th century.
  • Spaniards -- Mexico -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
  • Intellectuals -- Mexico -- Attitudes.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Refugees
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