Generation of ’98


The generation of ’98 is the name given to a group of Spanish writers and poets who, motivated by the serious political and social crisis in Spain at the end of the 19th century and after the military defeat suffered by the Spanish-American war, decided to base their works in leftist critics that later, will focus on a more traditional concept of the old and the current.

This group of young people was deeply indignant at the indifference of the authorities and the population, in the face of the dishonorable defeat that occurred in 1988 against the United States. The members of this generation decided to lead the reaction of the young scholars, against the Bourbon restoration regime. This is how many of those writers promoted and led many demonstrations and writings.

The generation of ’98 in its beginnings was made up of the group of three: Ricardo Baroja, Ramiro de Maeztu and Azorín. Others were later incorporated, including: Ángel Ganivet, Pio Baroja (brother of Ricardo Baroja), Enrique de Mesa, Miguel de Unamuno, Ramón Menéndez Pidal and Ramón María del Valle-Inclán. Likewise, artists from other disciplines participated, such as the painter Ignacio Zuloaga and the musicians Enrique Granados and Isaac Albéniz.

The meeting centers were generally public establishments such as cafes, some of them were the Lion D’or cafe (cafe for gatherings and entertainment), Levante cafe (meeting and recreation center) and Fornos cafe (meeting center). literary gatherings) all located in Madrid.

The generation of ’98 was characterized by:

They knew how to distinguish between the existing Spain, which lived in misery, and the fictitious and hypocritical official Spain.

They felt a deep affection for the Castilla of the towns sunk in the most absolute abandonment.

They repudiated the aesthetics of realism and its expression of broad sentences and its detailed and small nature, leaning more towards a closer language, of the street, of a shorter linguistics, recovering traditional words.

The behavior adopted by this group of young artists was pessimism and criticism, which led them to get along with romanticism, feeling a strong attraction to the Spanish writer and politician Mariano José de Larra, the main exponent of Spanish romanticism, to whom They paid a well-deserved tribute.