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Criticism of Antonio Machado To The Spanish Society

Towards the end of the 19th century, when people looked for a brighter new future in the new century to come, Spain had lagged behind the rest of Europe, but a new breed of thinkers and writers were emerging and Antonio Machado belongs to a generation of thinkers -"Generation of 98"- whose critical stand was definitive to the introduction of the use of the word "intellectual" into the Spanish language.

These were "intellectuals", writers and politicians, who were characterized by their deep concern for Spain and who by their nature wanted change. They wanted to protest against the establishment, to re-order Spanish society, They wanted to use new idea's, the new knowledge which had swept across the rest of western Europe, but had not seemed to have penetrated Spanish society, a society steeped in tradition, unchanging, static and moribund, unaware of the social changes and upheavals that were occurring in the rest of Europe ignorant to new ideas and reluctant to be shaken out of its torpor Spain was sleep walking into a modern age and needed awake up call. They looked to new ideas and to the new knowledge, and social revolutions.

Nobody has sung to Castile with such spirituality. He speaks to us about the soul of this sober and austere land a land of poets and warriors, of valiant and powerful kings and a land which nurtured a great Empire, now lost and vanished. Fields of yellow and greens where Don Quixote and Sancho, liberated our imagination and made us laugh and cry.  Land of splendour and misery; a land which could rise again in the minds of these creative thinkers and writers, so that Spain could believe again in herself.

"A Spain which born and other Spain which died". In the last poems of Campos de Castilla Machado seems already to believe in a Spain totally new and declares finally his faith and trust in the future. He tells us so in the preface of his book, a declaration of principles as a man who loved deeply his country and his poetry.

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