Few would doubt that Spain has for several centuries made a thrilling and important contribution to Europe’s culture. We all carry in our heads a complex and seductive sense of what Spain stands for and what it looks like: its music, painting, buildings, history. But what we do not understand is how almost all of this was the achievement not of one group, but of the Spanish in exile. “The Disinherited” is an extremely important as well as enjoyable work of cultural recovery. Spain’s strange path has created a ‘virtual’ culture, one imagined by men often thousands of miles from home – its impact on the world has been incalculable.
his learned and wide-ranging book surveys the cultural history of Spain through absence. It is a collection of portraits of those who have left the country to live elsewhere out of choice or necessity. Covering some 500 years, Kamen’s history is rich in detail and challenging in interpretation. From the 15th century on, he argues, Spain became a “land of perpetual leave-taking”, but he concludes that this repeated exile stimulated innovation and brought new ideas into Spain by forcing contact with the outside world. He talks of Jews, Muslims and Protestants; of political fugitives such as those disillusioned by the republican government before the civil war and those fleeing the dictatorship afterwards. He shows how scientists, artists and musicians chose to leave for lack of facilities or audience, and how the restless quest for Hispanic identity was often conducted by those who had settled abroad. Although sometimes his subject seems to spill over its boundaries, this is a masterful, stimulating investigation into what it is to be Spanish.
Hardcover. Used, but like new. Pages fresh clean and free of any pen inscriptions. Book cover in a brow/burgundy and embossed in “gold” on spine “cloth” beautiful dust wrapper in a protective sleeve for extra protection, slight shelf wear. Tight copy. Pages 508. A heavy book. See OUR OWN photograph of the book for Quality control which we pride ourselves in