Document Type

Honors Project


Spain’s “Catalan question” threatens the unity of the central state. To better understand the nature of contemporary nationalist sentiment in Catalonia, I undertake a study of the movement’s cultural roots. It is my view that the development of Catalan nationalism is attributable to the prevalence of nineteenth-century Romantic conceptions of national identity as being inextricably linked to language, the essential vehicle of Volksgeist. This development of a Catalan literary canon was linked to the survival of the Catalan national spirit in the face of Castilian repression, despite the little political unity within Catalonia itself. Paradoxically, it is also through literature that Catalan intellectuals made a critique of Spain and Catalonia, as much to broaden the inclusivity of the political community as to re-conceptualize the connection between language and nation. Ultimately, I argue that the nation—far from a natural or indisputable form, though one with material effects—is “imagined” (and unimagined or deconstructed) by writing fiction.



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