Miguel de Unamuno (y Jugo) was born September 29, 1864, in the port city of Bilbao, located in the Basque region of Spain. When he was six years old, his father died. At sixteen, he enrolled in the University of Madrid, completing his Ph.D. in philosophy by the age of twenty. Unamuno obtained a position as professor of Greek at the University of Salamanca in 1891. At this time, he married a young woman from his home town, with whom he had ten children. In 1901, he was appointed to the prestigious position of rector of the University of Salamanca.
While continuing to teach and serve as rector, Unamuno published numerous stories, poems, and essays. He became associated with the Generation of 1898, a set of writers whose works grapple with questions of Spain’s national identity in the modern world. Unamuno’s first volume of essays, En torno al casticismo (On Authentic Tradition), was published in 1902. Vida de Don Quixote y Sancho (1905; The Life of Don Quixote and Sancho), a literary analysis, is one of his greatest works. The essay collection Del sentimiento tragico de la vida en los hombres y en los pueblos (1913; The Tragic Sense of Life), his best known work, expresses the fundamental ideas of his personal philosophy. Unamuno’s greatest novel, Abel Sanchez (1917), is a modern retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. His greatest work of poetry, El Cristo de Velazquez (1920; The...
(The entire section is 502 words.)
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