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Fundación Santillana Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes


The Past as a Territory of a Conflict

Manuel Cruz

Faced with the debate aroused nowadays by the notions of subject and identity, any position in this regard must be provisional and thus open to review. Based on this premise of reviewable provisionality, Manuel Cruz analyzes in this article concepts such as "victors and vanquished", "executioners and victims" and "forgiveness", leading into the interrelated topics of memory, the present and the future. Surely, the times in which we live don't invite great expectations of a...

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From the ‘300’ to Aeschylus.
Depictions of the barbaric Persians and the athletic Spartans

Carlos García Gual

In Carlos García Gual's opinion, the release of films like 'Troy', 'Alexander', or more recently '300', provides an excellent opportunity to return to the texts that the movies were based on; directors and producers have repeatedly demonstrated that their loyalties lie more with public preferences than with archaeological history or classical narratives. Despite underlining certain notable incongruities in the films and pointing the reader towards books that better reflect the most...

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Queen Isabella and the Invention of Modern Chess

Eduardo Gil Bera

   Were the rules of chess shaped by a long-forgotten battle? Eduardo Gil Bera , following in the footsteps of the Enlightenment playwright Gotthold Lessing, explores the eccentric world of late Renaissance chess, in which Spanish maestros -the world's finest- wrote the earliest treatises on the game. The queen piece rose to its preeminence on the chessboard as a result of one writer's desire to pay tribute to Queen Isabella of Castile on the occasion of her spectacular...

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Unacknowledged Geniuses Do Not Exist

Javier Gomá Lanzón

It is a fascinating question:  Could a 19th century author suddenly appear, an author who had been previously unknown despite having a literary acumen similar to Flaubert, Balzac or Stendhal? Or would it be possible for a masterpiece worthy of comparison with the likes of Manet or Matisse to come out of nowhere in an auction?  The title of Javier Gomá's article makes his answer to this question obvious: no hidden geniuses who have gone unnoticed for their whole lives...

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In Praise of Naïvety

Javier Gomá Lanzón

As implied by the title, in his article, Javier Gomá reveals a philosophical methodology based on what he calls "learned naïvety". With a certain amount of irony, and starting from the potential loss of time involved in paying attention to a cultural event  ─for example attending a conference or alternatively, reading a text whose source originates from that conference─ the author amplifies his premise, finishing up by proposing naïvety, or better still, the...

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Redemption and the Word

Víctor Gómez Pin

   Language is redemptive. On the path of language, evolutionary theory needn't mean nihilism. The acrimony between evolutionists and creationists grew still sharper in the Year of Darwin. But for Víctor Gómez Pin what was interesting about the spat -loudly echoed in the media- was that it was not so much a clash of opposing arguments as a struggle between unstated values and worldviews. Gómez Pin suspects that creationists and proponents of "intelligent...

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Nostalgia for Quiet Passions

Daniel Innerarity

Present-day capitalism has undergone a change of emotions because of the crisis. Greed, a useful emotion for  17th century capitalism, capable of setting limits to any self-destructive passions, is less and less able to exercise the moderating function which it was assigned by classical liberalism and, amongst other things, has turned expectation into a true economic driving force in itself. In his article, Daniel Innerarity asks why this is so and points out that the so-called...

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In Support of the Autonomy of History

Santos Juliá

Using a simile from business language ("The value of memory is on the rise"), Santos Juliá reflects on the consequences that the current crisis of social history, stemming from Structuralism and Marxism, is having on today's historians. Admitting that there is no way of representing, unless that very representation is an invention created by the subject, and for that invention to be historical it has to be endorsed by events that have been researched and documented, that is...

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