Beyond the Nation

Spanish Civil War Exile and the Problem of Iberian Cultural History

Authored by: Sebastiaan Faber

The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415722834
eBook ISBN: 9781315709895
Adobe ISBN:


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The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in the summer of 1936 and the defeat of the Republic three years later forced a half million citizens of the Spanish state to leave their country. An estimated 160,000 of them would end up in a form of long-term exile (Alted 2005, 52; Rubio 1977, 206–207). Although this amounted to less than 1% of the country’s population at the time, the displaced included a significant portion of Spain’s cultural elites: writers, artists, academics, politicians, and professionals. Among them were many of the individuals who had shaped two decades’ worth of extraordinary intellectual flourishing since the 1910s and helped devise and implement the wide-ranging reforms of the failed Second Republic (1931–1936), which envisioned the Spanish state as a modern, secular, and multinational democracy.

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