Son of Spanish immigrants, Jose Marti spent his childhood in a strife-torn Cuba and attended high school on financial aid. Marti’s poems, essays, and articles were laced with his patriotic vigor to free Cuba from the Spanish rule. He died battling on the field at Dos Ríos.
One of George Santayana’s initial works, The Sense of Beauty, spoke about aesthetics, an oft-repeated topic in his later works. The Spanish-born American philosopher and Harvard professor is remembered for his quote “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” which has often been misattributed to Plato.
Philosopher and humanist José Ortega y Gasset was a major figure of the 20th-century Spanish literary renaissance. Apart from introducing concepts such as ratiovitalism, he also believed in the philosophy "I am I and my circumstance." Invertebrate Spain and The Revolt of the Masses remain his best works.
Spanish countess and novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán had initially gained fame with the essay The Critical Issue. She was an advocate of naturalism and free will. Known for novels such as The House of Ulloa, she also taught Romance literature and was divorced by her husband because of her literary success.
Juan Donoso Cortés was a Spanish author, politician, diplomat, and Catholic political theologian. He is credited with influencing many intellects, including Carl Schmitt, Juan Vázquez de Mella y Fanjul, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, and Miguel Antonio Caro Tobar. Considered a counter-revolutionary author, Juan Donoso Cortés' works have been translated into English.
María Zambrano was a Spanish philosopher and essayist. She was part of the Generation of '36, a group of writers and artists who were active during the Spanish Civil War. María Zambrano's work achieved popularity in the late-20th century and she was honored with several prestigious awards such as the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Prince of Asturias Award.
Spanish poet, short-story writer, essayist, and novelist Juan Goytisolo was regarded as the greatest living writer of Spain at the beginning of the 21st century. A critique of Francoist Spain, works of Goytisolo, which includes the novels Marks of Identity, Count Julian, and Juan the Landless, were banned in Spain until after Francisco Franco’s death.
Federica Montseny was a Spanish intellectual and anarchist. She is best remembered for her service as the Minister of Health and Social Policy from 4 November 1936 to 17 May 1937. One of Western Europe's first female ministers, Federica Montseny was also known as an essayist and novelist.
José Martínez Ruiz, better known as Azorin, was a prominent Spanish literary critic. He was also credited with naming his group of Spanish writers the Generation of ’98. Though educated in law, he later became a journalist and penned works such as An Hour of Spain, 1560–1590.
Part of the Generation of '27, renowned Spanish poet Pedro Salinas y Serrano had also been a professor at the Johns Hopkins University. Educated at the Sorbonne, he also taught Spanish at Seville and later joined Cambridge, too. He is also known for his research on Rubén Darío and Jorge Manrique.
Part of the Spanish Generation of ’98, essayist Ramiro de Maeztu was the son of a Cuban father and a British mother. His fluency in English helped him become the London correspondent of various Spanish newspapers. He later launched the Acción Española movement but was shot dead by Republicans.
Eighteenth-century Spanish essayist Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro was a monk of the Benedictine order and also taught theology and philosophy at the University of Oviedo. He later wrote on a variety of subjects such as medicine, philology, and law, in Teatro crítico universal and Cartas eruditas y curiosas.
Ramón J. Sender was a Spanish essayist, novelist, and journalist. He is best remembered for his contribution to a Republican literary magazine called El Mono Azul during the Spanish Civil War. Many of Ramón J. Sender's works, such as Siete domingos rojos and Mr Witt en el cantón, were translated into English by Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell.
Carmen Martín Gaite graduated with romance philology when it was rare for women to attend universities. The Premio Nadal-winning author is best remembered for her iconic works such as Entre visillos and El balneario. She was also one of only two female Spanish Royal Academy members back in her time.
José Cadalso was a colonel of the Royal Spanish Army in the 18th century. He was also a well-known author, playwright, poet, and essayist. As an army man, he traveled through Italy, Germany, England, France, and Portugal and studied the literature of these countries. He is credited to have made massive contributions to Spanish Enlightenment literature.
Born in Italy, to Spanish author and Falange leader Rafael Sánchez Mazas, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio proved himself to be a gifted author in his own right. After the release of his iconic novel El Jarama, he went on a 2-decade hiatus. He won honors such as the Cervantes Award and the Nadal Award.
Spanish philosopher and author Eugenio d'Ors y Rovira initially studied law but later worked as a journalist and gained fame with the column Glossari. Over the years, he gained excellence as an essayist and a caricaturist, too. He penned works such as The Secret of Philosophy.
Rosario de Acuña was a Spanish author best remembered for writing poetry, short stories, essays, and dramas. Regarded as a bold freethinker and a controversial writer, Rosario de Acuña created quite a stir with her controversial dramas and poems. She is known to have voiced her opinion on many sensitive subjects, such as religion, civil marriage, and illegitimate births.
Benjamin Jarnés was a Spanish writer and soldier. He is best remembered for his 1926 novel El profesor inútil, which achieved popularity and was translated into English as The Useless Professor. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Benjamin Jarnés fought on the Republican side. After the war, he fled to Mexico and focused on writing biographies.