Miguel de Unamuno: The Basque National Philosopher
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In Spain the year 2005 is dedicated to Miguel Cervantes, who wrote the first volume of his famous novel 'Don Quixote' four hundred years ago. This year also marks in Spain the next stage of a dramatic struggle between the Spanish government and the followers of the so-called 'Ibarretxe's programme'. Miguel de Unamuno was concerned with philosophy as a work of literature. His treatment of Don Quixote became a reflection on the most important philosophical symbol of the essence of Spain. In his work he declares himself an 'ideophobe' and explores the problem of the new-born Basque national movement. Unamuno was one of the most remarkable writers in the intellectual landscape of Spain. But he was born in Bilbao, and his early dream was to write a twenty-volume history of the Basque people. He was a Basque who was proud of his Basqueness. This paradox gives us a new approach to an analysis of the political situation in the 'Basque Country', and provides new inspiration to examine the issue of the Basque and Spanish nationalisms.
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