Pio Baroja-i-Nessi (December 28, 1872 – October 30, 1956, Madrid) is a Spanish writer, one of the key figures of the “generation of 1898”.
In the border town of Basque, Vera del Bidasoa, was born on December 28, 1872, Pio Baroja and Nessi. Like Unamuno and Maestu, he was a bash. From 1872 to 1879 he lived in San Sebastian and the first, his most vivid memory of those years was the bombardment of the city by the Carlists.
In 1895, he already published several articles on Russian and French writers. In 1897 the magazine “Germinal” publishes his story “Bondad oculta”. In 1900, his book “Vidas sombrias” was published. In October 1901, together with his friend Asorin participates in the publication of “Juventud”, where Unamuno, Costa, Giner are published. When their magazine ceased to appear, Baroha switched to “El Globo”, the daily newspaper, where he published his first novel “Aventuras, Intentos y mistificaciones de Silvestre Paradox”, but the beginning of this writer’s work of Baroque was the release of his work “Camino de Perfeccion” in 1902
Almost all members of the “generation of 1898” in their youth experienced the collapse of their youthful convictions. Baroha was no exception. In his famous book “El Arbol de la ciencia” he described the years of his youth. Until his death, he remained an agnostic, which, however, did not
In his works, Baroque is not interested in Spain-state and Spain-country: he looks at everything only as a manifestation of human nature. Perhaps that is why, like Asorin, he was most attracted by anarchism, although he understood all his utopianism. Freedom of every person, limited by ethics and morality, is not established by power and the state, but is born and formed in the soul of every person.
Naturally, Baroja shared the desire of the “generation of 1898” to see the best Spain. In “Las horas soliatarias” (1918) he wrote that Spain should become better, that the nation should be serious and intelligent, that justice should prevail, and culture should be multifaceted and original, not like anything else. Donald Shaw writes that “the main mistake of both Baroha and the” generation of 1898 “was the misconception that it is easier for a person to change for better than for a society” (Shaw D. “La generacion del 98”, Madrid, 1989, p. 136). For Baroque, life was not just a tragic succession of days, but a person’s life with a tragic sense of life. This principle can also be formulated in another way: to live and live is all.
How can you fight life? Baroha writes that religion, that is, Catholicism, is anti-life. He believes that a person can leave art and do something “earthly”, can try to preserve the vital energy of the creator, and can marry and build a family. Baroha tries to bring out the ideal of a new man, one who could struggle with difficulties and receive from life only pleasure, but he, Baroha, was completely different and this ideal is lifeless. Spain seems to him a country overwhelming creative people, people of outstanding character and different from others. There is a way out: if you want to be free, be above morality, be immoral. Instead, his characters prefer to live quietly and obey, choosing a family comfort and an apartment in Madrid. According to Baroj, often people are immoral, vicious, but energetic and active,
To accept life, having found itself through struggle, will and aspirations, is impossible for three reasons. Absence of the ultimate goal – in life there is no such main peak to which it would be worthwhile to strive all life. Few on earth have such a will-seldom are heroes born who will be able to defeat life. This way of life comes into conflict with ethics – you need to live in a way that does not interfere with others.
In 1911, Baroque’s book El Arbol de la ciencia, which summarizes some of his philosophical findings, is published. The protagonist, Andres Hurtado, is experiencing mental and moral upheaval. The book is a deep analysis of its internal evolution against the background of social and social upheavals. Baroha, on the example of his family, paints the moral and ideological crisis of the middle class in Spain, because in 1898 he suggested that simple teachers and small traders take responsibility for what happened.
Baroha analyzes and shows in its entirety the system of social formations in Spain of the late nineteenth century – the beginning of the twentieth, and everyone, even workers, is subjected to criticism. The hero of Baroha gradually understands the meaninglessness of the ideas of the revolution that seem so clear and correct and is removed from the struggle. The problem of Spain for Baroque is an individual problem, and everyone must solve it for himself. Andres does not seek a solution to the problem of the country, but tries to solve his own problems. Hurtado is a simple man, not a hero. He simply lives, he has his own ideas about a better country and a better life, but he is not a prophet or one who is able to solve the destinies of people alone. The death of Luisito, his younger brother, even more convincingly convinces him of the inevitability and fatality, meanness and baseness of life. In the novels of Baroque, the death of children, innocent souls, shows the fragility of convenient, positive and good, ideas about human life. Dialogue between the protagonist and Itur’yes is a dispute between two different philosophical interpretations of life. Both agree that one must accept life as it is: without the ultimate ultimate goal and the law of justice. They are alike, but the limits of their knowledge and faith are limited, like any other person. Andres believes in the unlimited power of science, and Itur’es speaks of the need for a small saving lie, illusions that can explain the inexplicable, something that was untrue, invented by people coming from another world. but the limits of their knowledge and faith are limited, as with any person. Andres believes in the unlimited power of science, and Itur’es speaks of the need for a small saving lie, illusions that can explain the inexplicable, something that was untrue, invented by people coming from another world. but the limits of their knowledge and faith are limited, as with any person. Andres believes in the unlimited power of science, and Itur’es speaks of the need for a small saving lie, illusions that can explain the inexplicable, something that was untrue, invented by people coming from another world.
The protagonist from the capital goes to the province and so Baroja shows the reader a picture of Spanish reality. Alcolea, where he goes, has Spain in miniature, the “microcosm” of the Spanish nation, economically paralyzed and politically destroyed. Her aristocracy (Don Blas Korenyo) lives by the past, the middle class (Dr. Sanchez) is ready for any meanness for the sake of temporary improvements in hopeless pathetic existence, only in the petty-bourgeois sense: for the sake of improving its economic and social position. Workers (Pepenito, Garrot) are passive and indifferent to everything, enslaved by their exploiters. Andrés tries to escape, goes to Madrid, marries, but his wife dies and it all starts again. Unable to withstand this torture, Andres commits suicide. The circle is closed.
During the First World War Baroha was a vivid “Germanophile”. A little later he became friends with Ortega-i-Gasset, and from their disputes over art, Ortega y Gasset’s famous work, Dehumanization of Art (1925), was born. In 1926-27 Baroha went to Germany and Denmark, and collects his impressions in the trilogy of “The Agony of Our Time.” He does not accept dictatorships and is far from the Republic, and in “La Dama erante” and in “El Arbol de la Ciencia” he predicts a civil war. In 1934 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. During the Civil War, he was arrested, and, having freed himself, spent four years in exile in France, but returned to Spain after the occupation of German troops by Paris. There he writes a lot, and his memories of those years are included in the book “Aqui, Paris”.
In 1936, Baroha, as usual, travels to Vera del Bidasoa for the summer, and in July supporters of the dictatorship imprison him in the prison of the city of Sant’Estebán. Fortunately, he spent only one night there, and the next day, with the help of General Don Carlos Martinez Campos, Duke Torre, he was released. On the same day Baroha calls the secretary of the mayoralty, and asks if he is going to be arrested again. The secretary could only say that he was not sure of that. Then Baroha decides to move to France.
Some former friends and acquaintances began to shy away from the old writer (Baroha is already 64 years old), and even people who used to treat him well avoided him as a person, especially a writer whom the authorities singled out as a special group of “undesirable elements.” Politics did not interest Barokha at all, and he writes that “his appearance in politics was the pure curiosity of a man who went into the tavern to see what was happening there” (Baroja P. Aqui Paris, Madrid, 1998 p. 66).
Money was sorely lacking. He was published in an Argentine newspaper, sometimes some French newspaper published his articles, but then he had to give half of his fee to an interpreter. In Paris, Baroha lived on the campus, in the “Spanish House”, where he was given a room. Baroha ate in the public canteen along with the students and communicated with the Spaniards, who came to France. Students from all over the world, except, of course, Germans, Americans, who looked the most free and independent, and even managed to have fun and look happy. Students from other countries could only learn. Baroha’s thoughts about the French seem to be very interesting. The French, Baroha writes, were not interested in Spaniards at all in their snobbery. Spanish dances were popular, popular songs, but in the literature the knowledge of the French was limited to reading low-profile articles of crooked newspaper reporters, which were reprinted in third-rate French newspapers. They did not want to know anything. They were already satisfied with everything. The French were interested only in the French and France In France, Baroque had to become interested in politics. Time and time do not give Baroque the opportunity to write what he wants. These years, when he lived in Paris, Baroque seem to be among the lowest and miserable in history. In France, it is easier for him to see Spain, it’s easier to understand what he will later describe in his book as if by accident, in passing, but the whole book eventually turns into reflections that could preserve his memory. They did not want to know anything. They were already satisfied with everything. The French were interested only in the French and France In France, Baroque had to become interested in politics. Time and time do not give Baroque the opportunity to write what he wants. These years, when he lived in Paris, Baroque seem to be among the lowest and miserable in history. In France, it is easier for him to see Spain, it’s easier to understand what he will later describe in his book as if by accident, in passing, but the whole book eventually turns into reflections that could preserve his memory. They did not want to know anything. They were already satisfied with everything. The French were interested only in the French and France In France, Baroque had to become interested in politics. Time and time do not give Baroque the opportunity to write what he wants. These years, when he lived in Paris, Baroque seem to be among the lowest and miserable in history. In France, it is easier for him to see Spain, it’s easier to understand what he will later describe in his book as if by accident, in passing, but the whole book eventually turns into reflections that could preserve his memory.
All political systems are idealistic and utopian, and to realize them in life turns out to be impossible in the end. Theoretical and social theories, which are declared the best by politicians, in practice always fail. The policy, which was supposed to help people live in peace, was always based on lies, and naturally could not last long.
Baroha calmly, already without the pressure and despair of youth, writes about humanism. He remembers his love for his neighbor. Humanism in the thirty-sixth year seems to him only a farce. To all those who are different, he answers that it is very difficult to find a person who would agree that his neighbor’s illness should be transferred to him, and his neighbor healed. The era of liars, cowards and traitors, and if such a humanist would be found, argues Barokha, he would be quickly announced, and would be considered a hypocrite. The paradox of a mad time: a person who does not want to live in society wants to live alone, an egoist, and one who shoots and kills a man like him is an altruist.
A society in which one wise man rules has a better chance of prosperity than that where people not only have their own opinion but also want to order. In the atmosphere of a free social contract, fifteen people living together do not understand each other. Therefore, Baroha writes, all European revolutions ended in despotism and dictatorship.
Baroha writes that politicians deceive the people, saying that in society all are happy and noble, educated and educated. It does not matter, he notes, when people are forced to flee the country or are in prison only because they do not want to live in a thoroughly politicized society. Politics has always seemed a dirty game, in which only a close circle of friends and initiates participates. Writers did not influence the revolution, at least in Spain. The same bitterness is permeated with lines about the revolution. Revolutions serve only charlatans, people cheeky, desperate, eloquent, hypochondriac.
Democracy brings the power of the masses, absolute regime, stupidity and intellectual snobbery. The people rule, using democracy as an instrument, and the individuality is lost. All the Russians with whom he communicated in Paris urged Barrocha that what was happening in Spain at the time was just a rehearsal of what had happened in Russia. All those who were previously built according to the political rank are ultimately equal and all together. Those who stood at the head, who had power without responsibility, ruled with utopias. Their power had nothing under itself. Then they are responsible for this, turning out to be forgotten and banished, then meeting their former enemies in the streets of Paris.
Baroha says that in his youth he believed that all the people needed a revolution, but then realized that this idea is only a delusion that has no value and does not give guarantees. The revolution is only a spasm, which already produces a sick organism – it can help get rid of internal diseases, but only temporarily treats external ones. “The generation of 1898,” adds Baroha, did not call for a revolution. He also writes about Baroque art. A composer who speaks of the laws by which his work works is not a great composer.
Baroha, who was abroad for a long time, feels that the “motherland” for the young means no longer what it meant to the people of his generation. The homeland disappears as a concept, as a symbol, because to the native people of the new time, the people of the future will be their factories and coal mines. You can add that the firms and corporations in which they work, without feeling the Motherland. All the rest seems to be no longer important, it is important only to earn money to live the next day, and then again and again. When you earn a lot already, you understand that you have nothing in common with money with Time. In order not to feel this, you work more and more, and so on all your life.
It is not surprising that Baroha in this situation also writes about the unattractive role of journalism. Before journalists, he regrets, there is always a task to confuse, to deprive any sense and give all wrong and false definitions, which then turn into “truth.” Who now needs the real truth?
Now in Spain, Baroha regrets, any writer or journalist can say: “Who is not with me is against me”. If even someone writes a good and clever book, people of the opposite camp will start shouting about what this vile and mean book is. People of art now do not just create, but they also praise their works. And earlier they did it, Baroha notices, but not so brazenly, freely and cynically.
October 30, 1956 Baroha is passing away. For the Spanish and world literature Baroha became a writer who was able to create in his works a portrait of an entire nation. He showed human nature not only in the years of complex rethinking of spiritual values, but also in the context of depicting the spiritual structure of life. The great writer Baroha did this without a bitter or mocking grin, calmly, knowing about the master’s responsibility to art and the people for which he writes. Perez de Ayala said of Baroque: “Baroque’s novel is like a tram, with incoming and outgoing passengers who do not know where they are going” (Castillo-Puche JL “Azorin y Baroja., Dos maestros del 98”, Madrid, 1998, p 143).