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Antonio Machado, the Institucion Libre de Ensenanza and Spanish Krausism

By David Richard Wearing


Antonio Machado was a pupil at the Institucion\ud Libre de Enseffanza from 1883 to 1893. There he received\ud both a modern education unique in the Spain of that time\ud and exposure to the ideological influences of Krausism\ud and institucionismo. After examining the biographical\ud aspects of his contact with the school (chapter 1), I\ud investigate the nature and extent of its influence in\ud certain areas of thought: metaphysics (chapter 2),\ud ethics (chapter 3), art and nature (chapter 4), pedagogy\ud and culture (chapter 5) and politics (chapter 6).\ud \ud My most important conclusions are as follows.\ud Machado did not adopt the metaphysics of Krausism,\ud though there are Krausist echoes in his treatment of\ud Time and Death. What he did acquire from the Krausists\ud was a view of Man and an ethics: an idealistic and\ud moralistic Christian humanism which determined his\ud beliefs and judgements on many questions. This humanism\ud is defined by an optimistic faith in the perfectibility\ud of the human spirit and an ideal of human fraternity.\ud Machado's belief in education through activity, dialogue\ud and "awakening" is both an expression of his view of Man\ud and typical of the pedagogy of the Institucion. His\ud vision of the artist's ethical responsibilities towards\ud his fellow men is typical of the humanist moralism of\ud Krausists and institucionistas.\ud \ud The influence of the Institucion on Machado's art\ud is also seen in his definition of art as a synthesis of\ud the temporal and the essential, in certain images, in\ud his cultivation of simplicity of expression, in thematic\ud and stylistic elements of his treatment of Nature and\ud in his preference for historicist literary criticism.\ud In Machado's political thought the influence of the\ud Institucion is apparent above all in his affirmation\ud of the primacy of spiritual and ethical considerations\ud and in his evaluation of the importance of education\ud and culture as forces for national regeneration

Publisher: School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Year: 1983
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