Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2021-947845   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2021-947845    Full Text (PDF)

Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile

Zeynep Önal

1939 is a fundamental date in the history of Spain: it is the beginning of a totalitarian regime. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Spanish people were forced to leave their homeland. Writers, philosophers, artists, scientists, and people from different cultural fields scattered around the world. The writers who were forced to leave their lands behind were members of three generations of intellectuals who led the literary and cultural life of the country since the end of the 19th century until 1936, the year the civil war commenced. In the beginning of the exile, the majority of the intellectuals dreamed of returning to their homeland they had left by obligation, but as time passed, their hopes were lost and the refugees recognized that the exile could be everlasting. However, the exile did not affect all in the same way. For some of them, it was the beginning of a new life, and for others, it meant putting up resistance. In the beginning, there was an inevitable nostalgia, melancholy, and the sorrow of uprooting in the works of republican exiles; however, as time passed, certain divergences were revealed between them. Consequently, the literature of the exile reflected common themes such as the memories of the abandoned lands, the desire for return, and the resistance but as well as the personal experiences of each one of them. This work aims to highlight the experience of the exiles through the poems composed during the exile.

DOI :10.26650/LITERA2021-947845   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2021-947845    Full Text (PDF)

Poesía española del exilio: crónica sentimental de un destierro

Zeynep Önal

1939 es una fecha fundamental en la historia de España: es el comienzo de un régimen totalitario. Al final de la guerra civil española, cientos de miles de españoles se vieron obligados a abandonar sus tierras. Escritores, filósofos, artistas, científicos y españoles de distintos ámbitos culturales se dispersaron por el mundo. Los escritores que se vieron obligados a dejar atrás sus tierras formaban parte de tres generaciones de intelectuales que habían dirigido la vida literaria y cultural del país desde finales del siglo XIX hasta 1936, el año del inicio de la guerra civil. Al inicio del destierro la mayoría de los intelectuales soñaba con volver a las tierras abandonadas por obligación, pero al pasar los años se perdieron las esperanzas y los refugiados llegaron a comprender que el exilio podría ser permanente. Este exilio, sin embargo, no afectó a todos de la misma forma. Para algunos significaba comenzar una nueva vida, para otros significaba resistencia. Aunque al principio se veía en la producción de los exiliados republicanos una inevitable nostalgia, melancolía y la pena del desarraigo, con el transcurrir del tiempo se fueron manifestando ciertas divergencias entre ellos. Como consecuencia, la escritura de los exiliados reflejó temas comunes como la memoria de la tierra abandonada, el anhelo del regreso, y la resistencia, pero también las experiencias personales de cada uno de ellos. Este trabajo se centra en poner de relieve la vivencia de esta migración forzosa a través de los poemas escritos durante los años del exilio.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


From 1936 to 1939, Spain witnessed the most cruel and crucial time of its history: The Spanish Civil War. At the end of the Civil War, writers and artists, philosophers and scientists, professors and historians, that is to say, the intellectuals of major name and the remarkable minds of the country, were forced to abandon their homeland and search for a new life in remote lands all over the world. During the period between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the members of three generations of writers and philosophers – the Generation of ‘98, the Generation of ‘14, and the Generation of ‘27 – pioneered the literary and cultural life of Spain. This period that lasted from 1898 to 1936 has been called The Silver Age of Spanish literature. The intellectuals of The Silver Age were exiled, accompanied by nearly half a million of Spanish people; they fought together in a relentless war, lost together, and left together. 

Considering the exile from a cultural perspective, two fields seem to stand out: poetry and science. Almost all members of the latest generation – the Generation of ‘27 – went into exile. Some of them initially settled in European countries, a few went to the United States, but the majority headed for Latin American countries, where they all found protection and a chance for a new life, far from the native land. A small group returned to Spain shortly after the civil war had finished; some of the refugees returned after a while; the rest of them lived in their respective countries of asylum until they passed away. In the beginning, they all thought that the exile would be temporary and they would eventually return to the homeland, but as time passed, they all became aware of the fact that the exile would be long-lasting. 

The Spanish intellectuals had an intense political, literary, and academic life at the beginning of the exile. The experience of the exile had been different for each of them, but the grief was a common sentiment for all. The exiles anguished over the loss of their country and of their loved ones; they felt the uncertainty of beginning a new life in a foreign land. The poetry written in the first years of exile reflected generally the pain for their lost country and for all that had been left behind. A violent anger and resistance directed towards the new owners of Spain and a deep melancholy and nostalgia were observed in the poems in the first half of the 1940s. Alongside the common themes developed in the poems, as painful as they were, there was always hope of returning home. However, hope was working against the possibility of a complete integration at all levels. 

As of the second half of the decade of the forties, when the migrant intellectuals of the Spain realized that return was no longer possible, they decided that it was time to reorganize their lives. As time passed, the topics diversified; each and every one of them took a different path regarding poetic tendency. Facts of everyday life were still there in the works of the poets as testimony of their lives, but as time went by, they felt more peaceful and this growing state of serenity was reflected as well in their works. 

As a result, the history has been recorded and saved in the literary works of all the Spanish writers who had to leave their country at a critical moment of their history to settle in another. There is a lot of pain- a great sorrow- in the lives of the Spanish people of that time. The lives in those remote lands and all their experiences are present in their literary production. 


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APA

Önal, Z. (2022). Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(1), 379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


AMA

Önal Z. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2022;32(1):379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


ABNT

Önal, Z. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 32, n. 1, p. 379-406, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Önal, Zeynep,. 2022. “Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32, no. 1: 379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


Chicago: Humanities Style

Önal, Zeynep,. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32, no. 1 (Dec. 2022): 379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


Harvard: Australian Style

Önal, Z 2022, 'Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 379-406, viewed 5 Dec. 2022, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Önal, Z. (2022) ‘Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(1), pp. 379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845 (5 Dec. 2022).


MLA

Önal, Zeynep,. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, 2022, pp. 379-406. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


Vancouver

Önal Z. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 5 Dec. 2022 [cited 5 Dec. 2022];32(1):379-406. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2021-947845


ISNAD

Önal, Zeynep. Poetry of Exile of Spain: Sentimental Chronicle of an Exile”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32/1 (Dec. 2022): 379-406. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-947845



TIMELINE


Submitted04.06.2021
Accepted08.02.2022
Published Online17.05.2022

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