Hispanidades trasatlánticas o la reconquista espiritual de América: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez y el nacionalismo Argentino en torno al centenario
Sánchez Samblás, María Victoria
In 1909, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867-1928), a Spanish journalist, radical politician and acclaimed realist and naturalist writer, made a trip to Argentina that would transform him into an internationalist and separate him from the inwardly nationalistic focus of movements such as the Generación del 98 and Novecentismo. His Argentine work, the novels Los argonautas (1913-1914) and La tierra de todos (1922) as well as some speeches, was met by myopic, ethnocentric criticism in Spain – exacerbated later by Franco’s censorship. My project includes an original survey of this poorly-understood period and its foundation in modern nationalism, and establishes it as the ideological basis of all of his subsequent writing. Moreover, it presents a radical re-definition of his author as a global figure and demonstrates that he is one of the most international, visionary, iconoclastic, and modern writers of his time. In Argentina, Blasco joined the most important movements of the so-called Literature of the Disaster (“The Generation of 98,” “Regenerationism,” and “Hispanoamericanism”) in promoting Spain as a country determined to overcome its leyenda negra (the Black Legend). However, in the face of the concentration of these movements on el dolor de España (Spain’s grief), he added an aspect of internationalism to these ideas and promoted an optimistic nationalism of the masses. Furthermore, Blasco exploited, more than any of his contemporaries, the growing animosity among the Latin American ruling class against British and North American materialism and utilitarism in favor of Spain’s cultural prestige. He understood as no other of his generation that his contribution toward the restoration of the nation would involve a campaign for a Spanish-Creole alliance that would bring about a shared identity that reached beyond national borders. In fact this study reveals for the first time the profound the ways Blasco’s Argentine work overlaps with that of Argentina’s “Generation of the Century” – writers and champions of the Creole cause” – particularly Manuel Gálvez and Ricardo Rojas. In addition, it demonstrates that Blasco Ibáñez’s affinities with the Creole cause and its lucrative consequences are what initiated the deeply-entrenched and widely-perpetuated misinterpretation of his post-1909 writing.