Galicia, a non-state nation in north-west Spain, has often been portrayed as a sentimental nation, a misty land of poets and legends. This book offers the first study of this trope as a feminizing, colonial stereotype that has marked Galician cultural history since the late nineteenth century. Through a close reading of the main texts of Galician literary history, the author shows how this trope has helped sustain the unequal power relation between Galicia and the Spanish State. As a consequence, questions of masculinity, morality and respectability have played an essential role in Galicia’s national construction, thereby enforcing a masculine definition and limiting the role of women. This book argues for a revision of the main texts of Galician cultural nationalism through a gender and postcolonial perspective, showing that contemporary portrayals of Galician history are dependent on the politically debilitating trope of Galician sentimentality.
All ex GB, US, CA
This book will be of interest to researchers in Iberian and Latin-American Studies at all levels of specialisation, and lay reader interested in Galicia and Spanish culture and history.
‘Galicia, a Sentimental Nation places Galician literary culture for the first time at the heart of critical debate about the enduring reverberations of colonial structures and repertoires. Miguélez- Carballeira does not just tell us, but shows us in stark and persuasive detail, that the relationship between Galicia and Spain since the nineteenth century cannot be understood without sustained feminist and postcolonial critique. A tour de force.'
- Kirsty Hooper, Associate Professor and Reader in Hispanic Studies, University of Warwick
Helena Miguélez-Carballeira is Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University, and Director of the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales. Her research specialises in gender and the cultural histories of nonstate nations.