Angel Ganivet y Garcia (December 13, 1865 - November 29, 1898)
Born: 13th December, 1865
Died: 29th November, 1898
Nationality: Spanish writer
Region: Granada, Spain, Riga, Latvia
Notable works: "Spain, an Interpretation"

Angel Ganivet y Garcia Facts

Biography

Angel Ganivet y Garcia, (born Dec. 13, 1865, Granada, Spain--died Nov. 29, 1898, Riga, Latvia, Russian Empire), Spanish essayist and novelist, considered a precursor of the Generation of '98 because of his concern for the spiritual regeneration of his country. Fluent in five languages, he served with the Spanish consular service in Antwerp, Helsinki, and Riga. An anguished and skeptical man facing an uncertain prognosis of a progressive disease, and disillusioned in love, he drowned himself in the Dvina River at age 33.

Ganivet's most important work is the Idearium espanol (1897; Spain, an Interpretation), an essay that examines the Spanish temperament and the historical basis of the political situation of his country. In this essay he asserts that Spaniards are basically stoical and that the country has wasted its energies on territorial aggrandizement. He maintains that Spain has suffered from "abulia," a state of paralysis of the will.

In addition to this work, Ganivet published two novels of a satirical-social nature: La conquista del reino de Maya (1897; "The Conquest of the Mayan Kingdom") and Los trabajos del infatigable creador Pio Cid (1898; "The Labors of the Indefatigable Creator Pio Cid"). In the former, the author satirizes European civilization and the customs of modern Spanish society. The latter novel addresses the problem of national apathy and calls for a revitalization of Spain. In the brilliant Cartas finlandesas (1905; "Letters from Finland"), Ganivet presents a contrast between Spanish and Nordic life and character.

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