Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado, in full Antonio Cipriano José María y Francisco de Santa Ana Machado y Ruiz (26 July 1875 – 22 February 1939), was a Spanish poet and one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98. His work, initially modernist, evolved towards an intimate form of symbolism with romantic traits, which itself matured towards a style characterised by both an engagement with humanity on one side and an almost Taoist contemplation of existence on the other, a synthesis that according to Machado echoed the most ancient popular wisdom. In Gerardo Diego's words, Machado "spoke in verse and lived in poetry." [1]

Antonio Machado
AntonioMachado
BornAntonio Cipriano José María y Francisco de Santa Ana Machado y Ruiz
26 July 1875
Seville, Spain
Died22 February 1939 (aged 63)
Collioure, France
OccupationPoet
Professor of French
LanguageSpanish
GenrePoetry
Notable worksSoledades, Campos de Castilla
Spouse
Leonor Izquierdo
(m. 1909; died 1912)

Biography

Machado was born in Seville, Spain one year after his brother Manuel. The family moved to Madrid in 1883 and both brothers enrolled in the Institución Libre de Enseñanza. During these years, and with the encouragement of his teachers, Antonio discovered his passion for literature. While completing his Bachillerato in Madrid, economic difficulties forced him to take several jobs including working as an actor. In 1899 he and his brother traveled to Paris to work as translators for a French publisher. During these months in Paris he came into contact with the great French Symbolist poets Jean Moréas, Paul Fort and Paul Verlaine, and also with other contemporary literary figures, including Rubén Darío and Oscar Wilde. These encounters cemented Machado's decision to dedicate himself to poetry.

Estatua de Machado de Antonio Pérez Almahan (2009). 01
Statue of Antonio_Machado in the calle san Pablo de Baeza.
2015-08-09-12h15 jmt-myc collioure-tumba-machado-con-libro-marc-y-carmen 842x1122px-300ppi-PRINT-h95mm-1.2Mb
Machado's grave at Collioure cemetery

In 1901 he had his first poems published in the literary journal 'Electra'. His first book of poetry was published in 1903 with the title Soledades. Over the next few years he gradually amended the collection, removing some and adding many more, and in 1907 the definitive collection was published with the title Soledades. Galerías. Otros Poemas. In the same year Machado was offered the job of Professor of French at the school in Soria. Here he met Leonor Izquierdo, daughter of the owners of the boarding house Machado was staying in. They were married in 1909: he was 34; Leonor was 15. Early in 1911 the couple went to live in Paris where Machado read more French literature and studied philosophy. In the summer, however, Leonor was diagnosed with advanced tuberculosis and they returned to Spain. On 1 August 1912 Leonor died, just a few weeks after the publication of Campos de Castilla. Machado was devastated and left Soria, the city that had inspired the poetry of Campos, never to return. He went to live in Baeza, Andalucia, where he stayed until 1919. Here he wrote a series of poems dealing with the death of Leonor which were added to a new (and now definitive) edition of Campos de Castilla published in 1916 along with the first edition of Nuevas canciones. While his earlier poems are in an ornate, Modernist style, with the publication of "Campos de Castilla" he showed an evolution toward greater simplicity, a characteristic that was to distinguish his poetry from then on.

Between 1919 and 1931 Machado was Professor of French at the Instituto de Segovia, in Segovia. He moved here to be nearer to Madrid, where Manuel lived. The brothers would meet at weekends to work together on a number of plays, the performances of which earned them great popularity. It was here also that Antonio had a secret affair with Pilar de Valderrama, a married woman with three children, to whom he would refer in his work by the name Guiomar. In 1932 he was given the post of professor at the "Instituto Calderón de la Barca" in Madrid.

When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1936, Machado was in Madrid. The war was to separate him forever from his brother Manuel who was trapped in the Nationalist (Francoist) zone, and from Valderrama who was in Portugal. Machado was evacuated with his elderly mother and uncle to Valencia, and then to Barcelona in 1938. Finally, as Franco closed in on the last Republican strongholds, they were obliged to move across the French border to Collioure. It was here, on 22 February 1939, that Antonio Machado died, just three days before his mother. In his pocket was found his last poem, "Estos días azules y este sol de infancia". Machado is buried in Collioure where he died; Leonor is buried in Soria.

On his way to Collioure in December 1938 he wrote “For the strategists, for the politicians, for the historians, all this will be clear: we lost the war. But at a human level I am not so sure: perhaps we won.[2]

Works

Machado's evolution has strong links to larger European trends in the same period. He turned away from the hermetic esthetic principles of post-symbolism and cultivated the dynamic openness of social realism. Like such French æsthetes as Verlaine, Machado began with a fin de siècle contemplation of his sensory world, portraying it through memory and the impressions of his private consciousness. And like his socially conscious colleagues of the Generation of 1898, he emerged from his solitude to contemplate Spain's historical landscape with a sympathetic yet unindulgent eye. His poetic work begins with the publication of Soledades in 1903. In this short volume many personal links which will characterize his later work are noticeable. In Soledades, Galerías. Otros poemas, published in 1907, his voice becomes his own and influences 20th Century poets Octavio Paz, Derek Walcott, and Giannina Braschi who writes about Machado's impact in her Spanglish classic Yo-Yo Boing!.[3] The most typical feature of his personality is the antipathetic, softly sorrowful tone that can be felt even when he describes real things or common themes of the time, for example abandoned gardens, old parks or fountains: places which he approaches via memory or dreams.

After Machado's experience with the introspective poetry of his first period, he withdrew from the spectacle of his conflictive personality and undertook to witness the general battle of the "two Spains", each one struggling to gain the ascendancy. In 1912 he published "Campos de Castilla", a collection of poems lyricising the beauty of the Castilian countryside. Just as the poet's own personality revealed mutually destructive elements in the earlier Galerías and Soledades, so too did the Cain-Abel Bible story, interpreted in "La Tierra de Alvargonzález", later attest to the factions in Spain that shredded one another and the national fabric in an effort to restore unity. At the same time, other poems projected Castilian archetypes that evoked emotions like pathos ("La mujer manchega", "The Manchegan Woman"), revulsion ("Un criminal"), and stark rapture ("Campos de Soria").

In 1917 various poems were added to "Campos", including a group of poems written in Baeza about the death of his young wife, a series of short reflective poems, often resembling popular songs or sayings, called "Proverbios y Cantares", and a series of "Elogios", dedicated to people such as Rubén Dario or Federico García Lorca who had been influential in his life.

Machado's later poems are a virtual anthropology of Spain's common people, describing their collective psychology, social mores, and historical destiny. He achieves this panorama through basic myths and recurrent, eternal patterns of group behavior. He developed these archetypes in Campos de Castilla ("Castilian Fields") in such key poems as "La tierra de Alvargonzález", and "Por tierras de España", which are based on Biblical inheritance stories. The metaphors of this second period use geographical and topographical allusions that frame powerful judgments about socio-economic and moral conditions on the Peninsula.

His next book, "Nuevas canciones" (New Songs), published in 1924, marks the last period of his work. The complete works of his poetry, Poesías Completas was published in 1938 and contains Poesias de Guerra (Poems of War), with El crimen fue en Granada (The crime took place in Granada), an elegy to Federico García Lorca.

Poet Geoffrey Hill has hailed him as Montale's 'grand equal'.[4] His phrase "the two Spains" — one that dies and one that yawns — referring to the left-right political divisions that led to the Civil War, has passed into Spanish and other languages.

Major publications

  • Soledades (1903)
  • Soledades. Galerías. Otros poemas (1907)
  • Campos de Castilla (1912). See Campos de Castilla [Fields of Castile], translated by Stanley Appelbaum, Dover Publications, 2007, ISBN 978-0486461779.
  • Poesías completas (1917)
  • Nuevas canciones (1924)
  • Poesías completas (1936, cuarta edición)
  • Juan de Mairena (1936)

Translations into English (selected poems)

  • Times Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado. Robert Bly (translator). Wesleyan. 1982. ISBN 978-0819560810. Dual language edition.
  • Border of a Dream: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado. Willis Barnstone (translator). Copper Canyon Press. 2003. ISBN 978-1556591983. Dual language edition.
  • The Dream Below the Sun: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado. Willis Barnstone (translation), John Dos Passos (introduction). Crossing Press. 1981. ISBN 978-0895940476. Dual language edition.
  • Antonio Machado: Selected Poems. Alan S. Trueblood (translation). Harvard University Press. 1988. ISBN 978-0674040663. OCLC 490064076.
  • Antonio Machado: Solitudes & Other Early Poems. Michael Smith & Luis Ingelmo (translation). Shearsman Books. 2015. ISBN 978-1848613911. OCLC 899975241.

References

  1. ^ Diego, Gerardo. «Tempo» lento en Antonio Machado. Madrid: Ediciones Taurus. 1973. p=272
  2. ^ https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/spain-civil-war-franco-nationalist-fascism
  3. ^ Braschi, Giannina (1998). Yo-Yo Boing!. Seattle: AmazonCrossing. p. 187. ISBN 161109089X. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  4. ^ CXXXIV, The Triumph of Love (London, 1998), p.73.

Further reading

External links

Antonio Machado (Madrid Metro)

Antonio Machado is a station on Line 7 of the Madrid Metro. It is located in fare Zone A.

António Machado Santos

António Maria de Azevedo Machado Santos (10 January 1875 – 19 October 1921) was a Portuguese Navy officer, remembered as the "Hero of the Rotunda" for his role in the 5 October 1910 revolution.

He left a personal account of the revolution, titled A Revolução Portuguesa: Relatório de Machado Santos ("The Portuguese Revolution: A Report by Machado Santos", published in 1911), one of the most complete accounts of the preparation of the revolutionary movement.Soon after the Republican Party started to split into different parties, he was opposed to the politics of those put in power following the revolution. He founded and published the opposition newspaper O Intransigente ("The Intransigent"). He established the Reformist Party and took part in the failed military coup of 27 April 1913 that aimed to topple Afonso Costa's government, and later, in 1915, supported General Pimenta de Castro's government. On 13 December 1916, he led the failed Tomar Revolt and was briefly arrested; in 1917, he was part of Sidónio Pais's military junta and government cabinets, until Pais's assassination in 1918.In 1919, he helped suppress a monarchist counter-revolution in the north of the country; he was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Aviz on 11 March of that year, by President João do Canto e Castro. That year, he launched a new independent Republican party, which he called the National Republican Federation.In 1921, he was assassinated during a military insurrection that became known as the Bloody Night. He was posthumously decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword, in 1926.

Antônio Machado

Antônio Machado (born 5 May 1964) is a Brazilian fencer. He competed in the foil and épée events at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Aurora de Albornoz

Aurora de Albornoz (January 22, 1926 – June 6, 1990) was born in Luarca, Asturias, Spain. As a youth, she lived in Luarca with her parents, sister, and extended family, throughout the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939— an event that inspired her later poetry.

Copla (meter)

The copla is a poetic form of four verses found in many Spanish popular songs as well as in Spanish language literature. There is a related musical genre of the same name. The form is also found widely in Latin America. The name derives from the Latin copula, ("link" or "union").

Coplas normally consist of four verses de arte minor (that is, of no more than eight syllables to a line) of four lines each, either of Spain's most characteristic popular meter, the romance (8- 8a 8- 8a), or of seguidilla (7- 5a 7- 5a) or redondilla (8a 8b 8b 8a).

Although most commonly considered a popular form, it has not been scorned by cultivated writers. Among those who have written coplas are Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana, Rafael Alberti, Luis de Góngora, Antonio Machado, Jorge Manrique and Federico García Lorca. Manuel Machado wrote of coplas, using the form himself:

The language of the copla is colloquial and direct, although there may also be double entendres, especially for comic or lascivious effect.

Demófilo

Antonio Machado Álvarez, better known by his pseudonym Demófilo (Santiago de Compostela, 1848 – Seville, 4 February 1893), was a writer, anthropologist, and Spanish folklorist.

Eduardo Teixeira

Eduardo Antônio Machado Teixeira (born 7 June 1993), commonly known as Eduardo is a Brazilian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for G.D. Estoril Praia.

Francisco Trincão

Francisco António Machado Mota Castro Trincão (born 29 December 1999) is a Portuguese footballer who plays for Braga B and Portugal U19's as a forward.

Joan Manuel Serrat

Joan Manuel Serrat i Teresa (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈam mənuˈɛl səˈrat]; born 27 December 1943) is a Spanish musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He is considered one of the most important figures of modern, popular music in both the Spanish and Catalan languages.

Serrat's lyrical style has been influenced by other poets such as Mario Benedetti, Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández, Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, and León Felipe. He has also recorded songs by Violeta Parra and Víctor Jara. Serrat was one of the pioneers of what is known in Catalan as "Nova Cançó" (Nueva Canción). Joan Manuel Serrat is also known by the names "El noi del Poble-sec" and "El Nano".

In several of his statements he has criticized the independence movement of Catalonia and the referendum of 1 October 2017, becoming a figure for Catalans who choose the union of Spain. He has also criticized several times the economic corruption of the independentist Catalan government and the national government of Mariano Rajoy. On several occasions some in the independence movement called for a boycott against the singer-songwriter.

José Reguffe

José Antônio Machado Reguffe (born September 5, 1972) is a Brazilian politician. He has represented Distrito Federal in the Federal Senate since 2015. Previously he was a deputy from Distrito Federal from 2011 to 2015. He is not a member of any political party since 2016.

Juan de Mairena

Juan de Mairena (sentencias, donaires, apuntes y recuerdos de un profesor apócrifo) is a book written in prose by the Spanish author Antonio Machado in 1936 and published by Espasa Calpe. An imaginary teacher and his students analyses the society, the culture, the art, the literature, the politics and the philosophy by the paradox, the adage, the erudition, the introspection, the rhetoric and the spoonerism.The appearance of Juan de Mairena is like Antonio Machado at his 33 years in 1898. The book was originally signed as a heteronym work.Based on the discovery of some poems to Guiomar supposedly prior to the date when Machado and Pilar met, conclude that Guiomar is but another of Machado's apocryphal imaginaries, such as Abel Martín or Juan de Mairena.

Leonor Izquierdo

Leonor Izquierdo (12 June 1894 – 1 August 1912) was the muse of Antonio Machado.

Leonor was the daughter of Isabel Cuevas and Ceferino Izquierdo, sergeant of the Guardia Civil. Antonio Machado agreed with Isabel Cuevas to get married with Leonor. At 10:00 am on 30 July 1909 they got married at the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor. Leonor caught tuberculosis, he went to Soria to get rest and died on 1 August 1912. After her death, Machado's friend visited her grave to put the next poem: Con los primeros liriosy las primeras rosas de las huertas,en una tarde azul sube al Espino,al alto Espino donde está su tierra

Manuel Machado (poet)

Manuel Machado y Ruiz (29 August 1874 in Seville – 19 January 1947 in Madrid) was a Spanish poet and a prominent member of the Generation of 98.

Manuel Machado was the son of Antonio Machado Álvarez, known folklorist Seville nicknamed "Demófilo", and Ana Ruiz. His brothers were also a poet Antonio Machado and José Machado.

Inherited his father's love of popular Andalusian character. Born in San Pedro Martir Street No. 20, his childhood was spent in the Palacio de las Dueñas, where his family had rented one of the zones reserved for individuals. When Manuel was 9, the whole family moved to Madrid, because the paternal grandfather had obtained a professorship at the Universidad Central. The desire of all the three brothers was studying in the Free Institution of Teaching, led by Francisco Giner de los Ríos, a great friend of the grandfather Manuel.

The family moved to Madrid, where he developed his studies, culminating with a Bachelor of Arts. Since then, his family returned to Seville in few occasions, but Seville and Andalusia remained for him a living reference, though distant, for the love of his parents towards their land.

In Madrid, Manuel began to publicize his first poetry and contributed to several literary life in Madrid along with writers like Francis and Juan Ramón Jiménez Villaespesa.

He was co-founder, on February 11, 1933 of the Association of Friends of the Soviet Union.

Over the years, he became director of Madrid's Municipal Library (now the Municipal Historical Library) and Municipal Museum. He created several short-lived literary magazines and worked in daily newspapers in Europe and America.

Contributed strongly to the modernist poetry, understood in its most colorful, decadent, cosmopolitan, giving a hint of Andalusian poetry makes something unique.

It has often been opposed to the modernist side of the 98 Generation.

In 1936-during the civil war, was appointed to a seat in the Royal Spanish Academy.

Brothers Manuel and Antonio wrote together several dramatic works of Andalusian. Manuel's most notable work is La Lola se va a los puertos, filmed twice.

Other dramatic works of Machado were the La duquesa de Benamejí, La prima Fernanda, Juan de Mañara, El hombre que murió en la guerra and Desdichas de la fortuna o Julianillo Valcárcel.

Although the poetry of both is very different, we can see certain parallels. Thus, both paths composed autobiographical poems ("Adelfos" Manuel, and "Portrait", by Antonio) using Alexandrine verses organized in serventesios. The civil war separated the brothers, placing them on opposite sides.

Upon arrival in Madrid after the Spanish coup of July 1936, Manuel gave the military an encomiastic poetry, "The sword of the Caudillo." This earned him the recognition of the Nationalists. After the war he returned to his post as director of the Newspaper Library and the Municipal Museum of Madrid, who retired shortly thereafter. He continued to write poetry, mostly religious in nature. His Catholic faith was rekindled during your stay in Burgos thanks to the devotion of his wife and the influence of certain priests, as Bonifacio Zamora. The poet continued to write eulogies to various figures and symbols of Francoist Spain, which earned him the scorn of critics and later poets, who considered him a traitor to the Spanish Second Republic.

On January 19, 1947 died in Madrid. After the poet's death, his widow entered a religious order dedicated to caring for abandoned and sick children.

Then came the Spanish openness of the 60 and 70, Francisco Franco gave the youth side to the poets covered by Spain and embraced those who died, or still living-in-exile. Thus, the work and the figure of Manuel Machado were eclipsed by those of Antonio Machado, more akin to the taste of time.

Some of Manuel Machado poems are as famous as these ones:

CANTARESVino, sentimiento, guitarra y poesía

hacen los cantares de la patria mía.

Quien dice cantares dice Andalucía.

A la sombra fresca de la vieja parra,

un mozo moreno rasguea la guitarra...

Cantares...

Algo que acaricia y algo que desgarra.La prima que canta y el bordón que llora...

Y el tiempo callado se va hora tras hora.

Cantares...

Son dejos fatales de la raza mora.No importa la vida, que ya está perdida,

y, después de todo, ¿qué es eso, la vida?...

Cantares...

Cantando la pena, la pena se olvida.Madre, pena, suerte, pena, madre, muerte,

ojos negros, negros, y negra la suerte...

Cantares...

En ellos el alma del alma se vierte.Cantares. Cantares de la patria mía,

quien dice cantares dice Andalucía.

Cantares...

No tiene más notas la guitarra mía.CASTILLAEl ciego sol se estrella

en las duras aristas de las armas,

llaga de luz los petos y espaldares

y flamea en las puntas de las lanzas.

El ciego sol, la sed y la fatiga.

Por la terrible estepa castellana,

al destierro, con doce de los suyos

—polvo, sudor y hierro—, el Cid cabalga.

Cerrado está el mesón a piedra y lodo.

Nadie responde. Al pomo de la espada

y al cuento de las picas el postigo

va a ceder... ¡Quema el sol, el aire abrasa!

A los terribles golpes,

de eco ronco, una voz pura, de plata

y de cristal responde... Hay una niña

muy débil y muy blanca

en el umbral. Es toda

ojos azules y en los ojos lágrimas.

Oro pálido nimba

su carita curiosa y asustada.

«¡Buen Cid, pasad...! El rey nos dará muerte,

arruinará la casa,

y sembrará de sal el pobre campo

que mi padre trabaja...

Idos. El cielo os colme de venturas...

¡En nuestro mal, oh Cid no ganáis nada!»

Calla la niña y llora sin gemido...

Un sollozo infantil cruza la escuadra

de feroces guerreros,

y una voz inflexible grita «¡En marcha!»

El ciego sol, la sed y la fatiga.

Por la terrible estepa castellana,

al destierro, con doce de los suyos

—polvo, sudor y hierro—, el Cid cabalga.

Palacio de las Dueñas

Palacio de las Dueñas (more properly, Palace of the Dukes of Alba; occasionally, Casa Palacio de las Dueñas) is a palace in Seville, Spain, currently belonging to the House of Alba. It was built in the late 15th century in the Renaissance style with Gothic and Moorish influences. The palace is one of the major historic homes in the city of great architectural and artistic heritage. The poet Antonio Machado was born here, as were Carlos Falcó, Marqués de Griñón and Marqués de Castelmoncayo. On October 5, 2011 Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba married here. It became a national monument, now a "Bien de Interés Cultural", on June 3, 1931. The promoter of his opening to the tourist visits (2016) is the current Duke of Alba, D. Carlos Fitz-James Stuart and Martinez de Irujo. Today is one of the most visited monuments in Seville.

Pilar de Valderrama

Pilar de Valderrama Alday (27 September 1889 – 15 October 1979) was a Spanish poet and playwright identified with postmodernism. She was also known as Guiomar, thanks to her correspondence with poet Antonio Machado between 1928 and 1936.

Subhro Bandopadhyay

Subhro Bandopadhyay (pen name of Subhransu Banerjee) is an Indian poet who writes in Bengali. He won Sahitya Akademi's Yuva Puraskar, (awarded by Govt. of India to young writers of the country) 2013 for his poetry book Bouddho Lekhomala O Onnyano Shraman. He was born in Kolkata, 1978. He studied Biological Sciences then shifted to Spanish language for his keen interest in literature. He is a young polyglot writer who speaks four languages including Spanish and English. He has authored 5 poetry books, a novel and a biography on Pablo Neruda, all of them in Bengali. His third collection of poems was short listed for the Sanskriti Awards for Literature in 2006. He has received the Ruy de Clavijo scholarship from Casa Asia, Govt. of Spain in 2007. His fourth collection of poems chitabaagh shahor which is written at a residency programme with I Beca Internacional Antonio Machado for poetic creation (awarded jointly by Ministry of Culture, Govt. of Spain and Fundación Antonio Machado in 2008) in Spain the book is published under the title La ciudad leopardo, He has translated several contemporary Spanish authors into Bengali and made the maiden collection of contemporary Bengali poetry in Spanish which is published in Spain and in Chile. In 2014 the translation of his Bouddho Lekhomala O Onnyano Shraman is published in Spain under the title Poemas metálicos. He along with four editors, edits the magazine Kaurab. He teaches Spanish at Instituto Cervantes New Delhi.

The Lace Curtain

The Lace Curtain was an occasional literary magazine founded and edited by Michael Smith and Trevor Joyce under their New Writers Press imprint. Both press and journal were dedicated to expanding the horizons of Irish poetry by rediscovering a native modernist tradition, publishing younger Irish poets who were working in modes that sat outside the mainstream and introducing innovative non-Irish writing to an Irish audience.

The journal ran to six issues spanning the period 1969 - 1978. Contributors included Anthony Cronin, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Michael Hartnett, Augustus Young, John Montague, Antonio Machado, Paul Durcan, Desmond O'Grady, Brian Coffey Denis Devlin, Georg Trakl, Samuel Beckett, Thomas MacGreevy, Thomas Kinsella, Derek Mahon, Austin Clarke and Pablo Neruda.

The two Spains

The two Spains (Spanish: Ser de España) is a phrase from a short poem by Spanish poet Antonio Machado. The phrase, referring to the left-right political divisions that later led to the Spanish Civil War, originated in a short, untitled poem, number LIII of his Proverbios y Cantares (Proverbs and Songs).

Antonio Machado himself is an example of this split.

While he wrote a poem to honor the Communist General Enrique Líster, his brother Manuel Machado dedicated another poem to the saber of the rebel Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

The idea of a divided Spain, each half antagonistic to the other half, dates back at least to 19th-century Spanish satirist Mariano José de Larra, who, in his article "All Souls' Day 1836" ["Día de difuntos de 1836"] wrote "Here lies half of Spain. It died of the other half." Later, philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, Machado's contemporary, developed the idea through the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau struggling for dominance in their mother's womb, as in the article "Rebeca" (1914), which may pre-date Machado's quatrain. But historians trace the idea still further back, to the 17th and 18th centuries and the formation of the Spanish character.Historian Charles J. Esdaile describes Machado's "two Spains" as "the one clerical, absolutist and reactionary, and the other secular, constitutional and progressive," but views this picture of the first Spain as "far too simplistic", in that it lumps the enlightened absolutism of the 18th century Bourbon monarchs with the reactionary politics that simply wanted to restore the "untrammeled enjoyment" of the privileges of the Church and aristocracy. In addition, he states that the populacho—the mass of the common people "pursuing a dimly perceived agenda of their own"—were not loyal to any of these on any long term basis.

Ángel González Muñiz

Ángel González Muñiz (6 September 1925 – 12 January 2008) was a major Spanish poet of the twentieth century.

González was born in Oviedo. He took a law degree at the University of Oviedo and, in 1950, moved to Madrid to work in Civil Administration. It was in Madrid that he first began to write and publish his poetry, becoming friends with many of the leading Spanish writers who encouraged his work. His first book of poems, Áspero mundo ("Harsh World"), was an immediate critical success. His second book, Grado elemental ("Elementary Grade"), was published in Paris and won the prestigious Antonio Machado Prize for Poetry. He published eight more books of poetry and edited several anthologies and books of literary criticism, including critical editions on the poetry of Juan Ramón Jiménez and Antonio Machado. Two books have appeared in English translation: Harsh World and Other Poems (Princeton University Press, 1977, translated by Donald Walsh) and Astonishing World: The Selected Poems of Ángel González (Milkweed Editions, 1993, translated by Steven Ford Brown).

He is also the recipient of the Angel María de Lera Hispanism Prize for his contributions to Hispanic Culture from the University of Colorado (U.S.), the Príncipe de Asturias Prize (Spain), the Salerno Poetry Prize (Italy) and the Premio Reina Sofía Iberoamericas Prize (Spain). In 1997 he was appointed as the Chair of the Real Academia Española. In 2004 he was awarded the inaugural Federico García Lorca Poetry Prize by the City of Granada. His work is represented in the major anthologies of Spanish poetry of the 20th century, and is also included in the Vintage Book Of Contemporary World Poetry (Random House, 1996). He taught at the University of New Mexico from 1974 to 1994. Before his death in January 2008 in Madrid, he divided his time between New Mexico and Spain.

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