The existential search for national, individual and spiritual identity in selected works of Miguel de Unamuno.
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Rice-Mills, Faith A.
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Miguel de Unamuno, a well-known twentieth century Spanish writer and member of the Generation of ’98, exemplified the human struggle with collective and individual identity in many of his essays, dramas and novels. As a young writer, he and the other noventayochistas posed the question “who are we” to the Spanish people as they sought national identity and the true meaning of being Spanish. Later, Unamuno questioned individual purpose in life as well as the role of human life in relation to a divine Creator. One of Unamuno’s best known compilations of essays, En torno al casticismo (1912), addresses the question of “who are we” in reference to Spanish national identity, while two of his best known novels, Niebla (1914) and San Manuel Bueno, Mártir (1931), utilize the existential struggles of the protagonists to examine the questions and often tentative answers to the personal and spiritual existential quest for identity.