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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 133–147 | Cite as

The notion of crusade in British and American literary responses to the Spanish Civil War

  • James FountainEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article analyses responses by various British and American writers to the Spanish Civil War, and examines the various personal and political crusades that can be observed in this writing. I will examine Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1941), George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938), the Spanish Civil War poetry of Langston Hughes, and various lesser-known British and American poets. I argue that the British poetic response was largely an attempt to understand and align themselves with the fragmented Loyalist Communism, and that American poetry of this war often raged against US neutrality. I will demonstrate that this US policy of neutrality changed after the Spanish Civil War, US administrations attaching themselves to varying forms of crusade on a consistent basis both during and after the Second World War, twenty years after their crusade in the Great War.

Key words

Spanish Civil War George Orwell Langston Hughes Hemingway 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls (London: Penguin, 1969), 226.Google Scholar
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  4. 4.
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    The anonymous review was entitled ‘Problems of Troubled Europe: A Revolutionary in Catalonia’, and appeared in the TLS on Saturday 30 April 1938, 286. Orwell’s response, and also the reviewer’s response to Orwell’s letter, was published in the TLS on 14 May 1938, 336. Both are available in the TLS Centenary Archive.Google Scholar
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    The Wound in the Heart, 95. Guttmann wrote: ‘The exile of Bardolt Brecht, Arthur Koestler, Thomas Mann, Gustav Regler, Ludwig Renn, Ernst Toller, Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Walter Gropius, Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud suggested — even to the most conservative — that neither art nor science breathes easily in an illiberal atmosphere.’Google Scholar
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    Ronald Reagan, ‘City Upon a Hill’ speech, made at Gettysburg, 1974. Available at: https://doi.org/www.originofnations.org/h//quotes%20etc/Reagan_The%20Shining%20City%20Upon%20A%20Hill%20speech.htm

Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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