A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

San Manuel Bueno, Martir 1


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864 - 1936)

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Marian November 10th, 2006 09:57 PM PST

"San Manuel Bueno, mártir" (Saint Manuel the Good, Martyr) (1930) — a brief novella that synthesizes virtually all of Unamuno's thought. The novella centres on a heroic priest who has lost his faith in immortality, yet says nothing of his doubts to his parishioners, not wanting to disturb their faith, which he recognizes is a necessary support for their lives.

This is a good place to start -- it's short and then you'll know if you want to read more.



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He was born in the medieval centre of Bilbao. As a young man, he was interested in the Basque language, and competed for a teaching position in the Instituto de Bilbao, against Sabino Arana. The contest was finally won by the Basque scholar Resurrección María de Azcue. Unamuno later doubted that Basque would endure another century, but the momentum given by Arana's Basque nationalism has in fact helped keep it alive.

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