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Miguel de Unamuno (1864 – 1936)  

Spanish philosophical writer, of Basque descent, b. Bilbao

The chief Spanish philosopher of his time, he was professor of Greek at the Univ. of Salamanca and later rector there. His criticism of the monarchy and especially of the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera caused his removal from the university in 1920 and his exile from Spain (1924–30), but with the establishment of the republic (1931), he was reinstated as rector. At first a supporter of the republic, he became critical of it and sided briefly (1936) with the rebels, only to rebuke them sharply just before his death. In his chief work, Del sentimiento trágico de la vida en los hombres y los pueblos (1913; Bollingen Series tr., The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, 1968), he expresses his highly individualistic philosophy—one of faith in faith itself, not in any affirmation or denial of faith. Other important volumes are La vida de don Quijote y Sancho (1905; Bollingen Series tr., Our Lord Don Quixote, 1958–59) and La Agonía del cristianismo (1925; Bollingen Series tr., The Agony of Christianity, 1973). His poetry, as serious as his essays, includes Poesías (1907), Rosario de sonetos líricos (1911), and El Cristo de Velázquez (1920). His novels also express his impassioned concern with life and death; they are Niebla (1914; tr. Mist, 1928), Tres novelas ejemplares y un prólogo (1920; tr. Three Exemplary Novels and a Prologue, 1930), and La tía Tula (1921). His complete works were published in Spanish in 1951–52.

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