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The Struggle with Darwin in the Turn-of-the-Century Spanish Novel. Edition No. 1
- ID: 1907418
- July 2009
- Region: Spain
- 284 Pages
- VDM Publishing House
When Darwin published the Origin of Species in 1859, its impact quickly moved beyond the scientific world, with major consequences for the arts. The publication of The Descent of Man in 1871 had further reverberations, as Darwin directed his attention to man’s place in the world and the sexual selection process. Darwin’s works first circulated freely in Spain in the late 1870’s, and from that time on, his ideas had a lasting impact on the world of politics, society and letters. Darwinism became a flashpoint for controversies in turn-of-the-century Spain: Darwinist ideals were pitted against traditional values in critical conflicts over modernism. Authors of the period point to the importance of Darwinist ideas in their work; some are particularly direct in their responses to Darwinism. Novelists especially felt Darwin’s impact: the 19th -century novel was an extremely popular genre and one readily influenced by scientific discourse. Particularly important themes for Spanish authors were the nature of love and human freedom, the relative authority of religious and scientific models, and human destiny.
Rebecca Cherico received her B.A. in Italian from Yale University (1993) and her Ph.D. in Spanish from New York University (2004). Her primary area of interest is the intersection of narrative with cultural and intellectual trends, particularly the Spanish peninsular novel in relation to Darwinism. She teaches at Villanova University.