Unamuno in exile, 1924-30 : a writer's crisis of personal identity and public role
This thesis provides a much-needed study of all the major aspects of Unamuno's experience of exile from the Spain of Primo de Rivera (1924-30). It sheds light on the reasons for Unamuno's exile and on his understanding of his public role during exile itself. It shows how Unamuno saw himself at this time as the representative of certain essential Spanish values which he believed were being debased by the Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, and how he came to feel in Paris that he had a mission to make those values known to his new European audience. A study of this mission helps to illuminate one of Unamuno's more complex exile works, La agonía del cristianismo. The thesis also sheds light on the effects that exile had on Unamuno, both man and writer, showing that he could not function in his usual fashion as a public figure and a writer outside Spain. This state of affairs led to a severe personal crisis which affected the writings he produced in Paris and Hendaye. This thesis has set out to show that Unamuno's exile crisis was principally a writer's crisis. To be able to do this, it has been necessary to set Unamuno's exile works in the context of his lifelong ideas on selfhood, self-creation and writing. It has thus been possible to show how the circumstances of exile forced Unamuno to confront once again his fundamental doubts concerning the effects that playing a public role and writing have on his sense of selfhood. A study of Cómo se hace una novela, the work in which he gives expression to this crisis, serves to reveal how the activity of writing lies at the very heart of his philosophy of self-creation.