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Nationalism, nation and territory: Jacint Verdaguer and the Catalan Renaixença

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Etherington, John Robert

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Abstract This paper seeks to explain the historic importance to Catalan nationalism of the nineteenth-century poet and priest, Jacint Verdaguer. In order to do so, rather than focus on his contribution – and that of the wider cultural revival, the Renaixença - to the development of the Catalan language as the basis for national political mobilisation, this paper argues that we cannot fully understand Verdaguer’s importance without reference to his role in constructing a geographical narrative linking nation and territory. At the same time, given that national meanings are always contested, the paper proposes a dialectical approach to nationalism that situates the work of writers within the context of power struggles between social groups. Consequently, Veradguer’s centrality to Catalan nationalism is ultimately explained by his role in producing a geographical narrative capable of attracting important sectors of rural Catalonia to the hegemonic project of the industrial bourgeoisie.
Keywords nation
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Science of Literature, Linguistics; Social History, Historical Social Research
Free Keywords Nationalism; Territory; Catalonia; Verdaguer; Historic Bloc
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1814-1832
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (2010) 10
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)