Unamuno y Jugo, Miguel de (1864–1936) By Vandenbosch, Dagmar
Miguel de Unamuno is a Spanish writer and philosopher whose work includes essays, novels, poetry, drama, and journalism. He is considered to be one of the leading members of the Generation of 1898, a group of canonical writers championing the political and cultural regeneration of Spain in the early twentieth century. Recurrent themes in his oeuvre are the struggle between reason and faith, the question of mortality, and the search for identity (of both individuals and nations). His narrative oeuvre breaks away from the model of nineteenth-century realism by focusing on the inner life of the protagonist and introducing metafictional devices.
Born in the Basque city of Bilbao, Unamuno studied at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of the University of Madrid. In 1891, he obtained the chair of Greek Philology at the University of Salamanca, of which he was appointed rector ten years later. In 1924 Unamuno was banished for six years due to his opposition to the dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera. On his return to Spain in 1930, he welcomed the Second Republic but soon was disappointed by it. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he first supported the Francoist rebellion but ended up condemning it publicly shortly before his death in 1936.