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Tragic Sense of Life

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Category

Essay, Literature

Date

1912

Original title

Del sentimiento trágico de la vida

For numerous specialists, this essay contains the clearest and most comprehensive expression of the philosophical thought of Miguel de Unamuno, one of the most important intellectual figures in Spain before the Spanish Civil War.

With this agitated and fervent book, Miguel de Unamuno does not explore what he himself believes, but rather shines the light on what, according to him, man would be best advised to believe in the face of the unavoidable fact of death.

This essay corresponds to the preoccupation with the existential problems of contemporary man, which was so much in vogue with the European schools of philosophical thought –particularly existentialism– of that time.

There are undoubtedly echoes of philosophers such as the French thinker Pascal and the Danish thinker Kierkegaard in the existential angst conveyed by this essay, but the ideological basis owes as much to the Bilbao-born author's knowledge of the Bible, the Spanish mystics –particularly Saint Teresa– , the Jesuit Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Protestant thought and theology.

  

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