The reason for the 14 I have made the decision to eliminate the discussion of the biological sciences within the Revista de Occidente, as Dale J. He does, however, offer a challenge in his last paragraph, that I find both relevant to the discussion at hand and therefore worth mentioning.
To analyze literary images of science in the Spanish cultural dialogue is therefore to take that dialogue at its word, to explore crucial nuances on the level of cultural discourse and in specific texts. The ensuing avenues of investigation in epistemology and reference, in systems of cultural signification and identity, and in aesthetics, all demand further criticism of literature and science in Spanish texts and contexts. Dale J. Mostly, however, the Revista de Occidente was interested in publishing only the best articles that were representative of the field at the time, and this meant seeking collaborators abroad.
Sir Arthur S. Eddington, Sir James H. Jeans, and the most celebrated physicist of the time, Albert Einstein, contributed at least two articles each to the Revista. The fact that these articles were not expressly written for publication in the Revista de Occidente is rendered unimportant when one considers the mission of the Revista itself: to be a repository for the finest contemporaneous scholarship emerging in the West. What is significant, given this goal, is that Spanish scientists could not provide this material, neither in quantity nor in quality. In fact, a close examination of the contents of the magazine warrants the argument that the Revista de Occidente was interested in publishing only those articles that managed to explain the new physical Weltanschauung brought on by the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics in the s, as well as relate those phenomena observed, unobserved and theoretical to its more central themes of philosophy, culture, and the human condition.
The fact that the first article that addresses the world of physics is written by Bertrand Russell is significant. It is not the objective of this chapter to present a detailed description of the specific content of these articles; rather, the central aim is to submit to the reader an outline of the general concerns that these essays demonstrate when considered as a whole, and also as a continuum. In order to illustrate effectively the significance of this collection of articles, several aspects must be highlighted. I will be giving a general overview of the contributors and their works, with a special focus on the case of Blas Cabrera, the only Spanish scientist to publish within the Revista de Occidente, arriving at a total of six major essays, more than any other physicist represented therein.
Geographically, the scientists form two major groups: the British astronomers Jeans, Eddington and E. Thematically, these scientists can be grouped around the following areas: relativity; quantum theory and atomic structure; cosmogony, cosmology and astrophysics; technology and its concerns; and finally, a direct discussion of the philosophy of science. With these major groupings in mind, let us now move on to a consideration of the physicists themselves, their lives and their work, and their significance as a part of the developing continuum of rapid scientific advancement that the Revista de Occidente aimed to capture.
When the Special Theory of Relativity made its appearance in , it was recognized only by a tiny number of scientists; the General Theory of Relativity when it arrived in caused a much greater reaction as scientific conservatives began to build barricades to protect themselves from the perceived subversive nature of the theory. Newtonian physics relied on these absolutes as a matter of course; and, not insignificantly, such absolutism had lingering religious overtones that conservative scientists could not ignore. Doing away with the ether in favor of empty space was one of the more scandalous by-products of the advent of relativity theory.
The failure of the Michelson-Morley ether-drift experiment in sounded the death knell of the theory, and the emergence of relativity effectively marked the ether as pure fantasy, a non- existent entity that served only to preserve Newtonian mechanics on a cosmic level. However, the mere fact that relativity challenged the Newtonian view of the universe was enough to perturb Catholic doctrine.
Einstein was confounded by this reaction, and was reported as saying that relativity had little or nothing to do with religious doctrine. For Catholic scientists, accepting relativity as true would have implications for this hierarchy of identity, not necessarily because relativity undermined Catholic doctrine itself, but rather because it brought down the structures of classical mechanics, which did indeed largely conform to Catholic theology, in its own manner.
Primarily, it stands as an indication that Spain had a history of scientific activity, if not achievement, in centuries past, and that it had been enlightened enough to accept the ideas of Newton. Albert Einstein, resistant to what was shaping up to be the most important branch of physics since the development of his theory of relativity, was losing some of his clout within the world of the scientists; but on the street, in the average home, the man had become equated with genius, and the relativistic Weltanschauung was becoming a part of daily life.
Einstein, the commodity, was still significant in the eyes of the world, and his squabbles with the arcane complexities of quantum mechanics were largely ignored by the general populace, as well as by Ortega y Gasset, who continued to embrace him as the figurehead of scientific progress in the 20th century, a person who had radically reshaped reality—a scientific expression of the complexities of their modern life.
Ortega y Gasset traces his support of Einsteinian physics to a speech given in in Buenos Aires. They are decidedly interpretative, and not infrequently manipulative. Ortega uses Einstein strategically, indicating his early awareness of the theories see above themselves, but mostly employing the theory of relativity as a non-causal confirmation of his own historical perspective. Esto es evidente y trivial. Many of these connections are explicitly historical, others thematic.
Sir Arthur Eddington was a British astrophysicist who had spent time as the head of the Royal Astronomical Society, but who was most famous for leading the team that went to Principe, an island off the African coast, in to observe the total solar eclipse visible from that location. For several years, it remained the only copy of the theory in England. Eddington immediately recognized its importance and began to teach himself the intricacies of its mathematical details. He revised the report in to include the results of his own eclipse expedition to the Isle of Principe in the Gulf of Guinea, which had confirmed a central prediction of Einstein's general theory: the bending of light by the gravitational field of matter.
Eddington himself was so busy changing photographic plates during the eclipse that he did not actually see it. Weaver, Motz and McAdoo These results made both Eddington and Einstein celebrities in their own right and brought the concepts of the theory of relativity into the common parlance, albeit in a simplified, often distorted form.
His specialization was the internal structure and constitution of stars; he believed that stars were gaseous objects, and it was the state of equilibrium beneath their surface that interested him most. It was not this work in stellar physics, however, that made his name renowned even outside of the insular world of science—rather it 25 Thomas F. Glick discusses some of the distortions of the theory of relativity by common consensus in his book Einstein in Spain. Thomas F. Douglas discusses his special narrative ability as shown in his first popular work, Space, Time and Gravitation: For three years before  Eddington had been called upon frequently to present the new ideas and explain their significance to learned and to very mixed audiences.
His humour and felicity in selecting a striking metaphor, simile or quotation to illuminate a scientific idea enriched these addresses and gave him a new interest and satisfaction which led him to carry over this scintillating style into his semi-popular books. In Space, Time and Gravitation we find this gift for picturesque and vivid exposition of scientific ideas making its first appearance in his writings. In this book, as also in some of his later books, he gave much pleasure to his readers by the inclusion of an apt quotation under every chapter heading.
The range of the sources of Eddington's quotations throws light on his wide reading and sometimes underlines the puckish whimsicality of his humour. Sir James H. Jeans, fellow member and also sometime president of the Royal Astronomical Society Eddington served as president between and , Jeans during the years to , was an astrophysicist and mathematician who also took up his pen in an effort to explain the changing vision of the cosmos to an eager public.
Milne, also a British physicist, characterizes ten books out of the many that Jeans wrote during the course of his life as popularizations. Of the former, Milne writes that in terms of content, Jeans …gave special attention to the problems of cosmogony and evolution and to the general structure of the universe. Like his technical treatises, this book sustains the reader's excited interest from cover to cover. In addition, it implicitly gestures to an awareness of a certain controversy undergirding their selection: that the two astrophysicists, Jeans and Eddington, were, at the time of the publication of their articles in the Revista de Occidente, engaged in the second phase of a bitter feud begun in regarding stellar structure.
It was a spat that played out quite publicly through the publications and banquets of the Royal Astronomical Society and indeed other venues; E. But this opposition did not extend to papers on other, even if closely allied, subjects. They tacitly agreed, evidently, not to refer to the thorny subject on which they disagreed.
The work of Jeans and Eddington that we see published in the Revista de Occidente is that of two popularizers in their best moment. Eddington es profesor de la Universidad y director del Observatorio de Cambridge. Une a su tecnicismo, claridad, ingenio y profundidad. The only drawback to such a strategy is that, for all of its communicative efficacy, analogy often lacks precision.
This was a reprint of the same article as it appeared in the British magazine Nature, the same year. This recurrence to the metaphysical aspect of physics itself is a trait shared by Jeans and Eddington, each with his own flavor. Eddington, Jeans, Cabrera and Thirring all explore the idea at some length, all arriving at similar conclusions: that the universe is too vast for us to ever find a similar environment that would support life, if it exists at all.
The two articles published in the Revista de Occidente by A. Eddington deal explicitly with metaphysical and religious questions raised by the New Physics itself. In any event, the contributions of A. Eddington, and J. Jeans as well as Bertrand Russell to the Revista de Occidente are an ideal representation of the general attitude of the publication towards scientific exploration.
The authors are eminent researchers, greatly respected within their field; they are also well-received authors whose publications have reached a wide audience. But more than that, both scientists show a preoccupation with more than the empirical, objective universe of scientific exploration: both Jeans and Eddington in their writings look beyond their ostensible focus, be it stellar structure or the age of the universe, to the place that humanity takes within the spectrum of creation. Sir James Jeans las deduce del hecho de hacerlo.
By exploring in some detail their publications within the Revista de Occidente, I hope to have illustrated by example the criteria of the publication for the selection of its content with regard to essays on science, in particular, that these articles explore in some way the relationship between pure science and the world that surrounds it—that is, science as it exists within cultural constructs. In the coming pages, I hope to show that these same criteria apply when we examine the rest of the scientific articles published in the Revista de Occidente.
Physics on the Continent: The Quantum Mechanical Players The Revista de Occidente did a remarkable job in portraying the state of British astrophysics through a select publication of various articles by the leaders in the field. The editors of the magazine did an equally remarkable job with the trends in physics on the European continent, with especial attention to that of the developing field of quantum mechanics.
The articles chosen for publication are highly representative not only of the major philosophical questions raised by the principles of quantum mechanics, but also of the alliances between scientists that existed at the time. It is entirely remarkable that these five physicists should appear with equal voice in a magazine whose focus is decidedly cultural, not scientific. This conglomeration of names and ideas is far from random—it is clear that the editorial board of the Revista de Occidente had a lucid portrait of the dynamics of the development of the physical sciences beyond the Spanish border.
They are, some more than others perhaps, also popularizations of very complex ideas aimed at describing not the mathematical or scientific complexities of quantum mechanics, but rather some of the practical and philosophical implications of the theory itself. In other words, while the players of the debate over matrix vs. This deference to the philosophical side of physical phenomena is maintained throughout the series of articles written by the quantum physicists between and He questions the supposed objectivity of the sciences as well as the view that scientific progress follows an almost inevitable path of development where one experiment must lead to one and only one possible result, and from that, the concurrent discovery that pushes science forward.
Similarly, Pascual Jordan begins his cross-disciplinary article with a discussion of Hume and the doctrine of causality. His analysis of causality hinges on the possibility of observable phenomena—a true quandary for the quantum physicists whose theories would be impossible to prove through empirical methods, as their very scale borders on the infinitesimally small: the technology of the time did not permit physicists to actually confirm through sensory perception the existence of electrons or their orbitals, or even in effect the atom itself.
Jordan notes that the impossibility of empirical observation must give rise to the dominance of statistical analysis in imagining atomic and subatomic activity. Of course, when probability is granted primacy, determinism must by default fall away. Jordan sees in the interstices of the debate between probability and determinism the outlines of the ancient polemic of free will.
The trend of questioning the frontiers of science is continued with an essay by Heisenberg. He laments that these camps of thought have erected walls to enforce their separation, and yet he sees hope for new modes of knowledge where the spiritual world and the physical world come into contact, perhaps through the questions raised by the New Physics itself. In general, as we can see, the Continental physicists tended to see their discipline as being in frank association with the systems of philosophy, and explored at length the implications of this juxtaposition.
The sense of wonder that these physicists had toward their subject echoes clearly throughout their essays—a sort of verbal Uncertainty that required a voice that would offer a clarification of the vocabulary of science, now muddied by the New, and translated with some difficulty into the Spanish idiom. That need would indeed be addressed directly by celebrated physicist and writer, Blas Cabrera, the seemingly lone Spaniard giving voice to the New Physics in his own country.
The Special Case of Blas Cabrera Of the fair-sized collection of authors whose articles deal with the hard sciences in the Revista de Occidente, there is only one among them that hails from Spain, and that author is Blas Cabrera. Blas Cabrera stands out as one of the few scientists who were willing to support Einstein, as well as the findings of the quantum physicists. He was not the first to embrace relativity, but, according to Thomas F. Glick, by , he gave his full support to the theory Blas Cabrera, as a scientist, had as his focus the study of electromagnetism, and wrote several professional treatises on this subject.
For this, he was duly recognized in scientific circles abroad, not only in Spain. First of all, it is the discussion of relativity that is preeminent in each of the articles, even in those written in the years following the advent of quantum mechanics in the late s. This is not surprising considering that it was as a proponent of the theory of relativity that Cabrera gained his reputation as a skilled writer of scientific popularizations. Even when the discussion ventures into distant territory, such as the nearly inexplicable behaviors of the quantum world, Cabrera always manages to highlight the fundamental importance of the theory of relativity in the development of the New Physics in general.
Perhaps this is so, but the articles in the Revista de Occidente seem to affirm, if not the contrary, then at least that this interest was subordinated to the needs of his audience—the measure of the effectiveness of a great popularizer, which indeed he was. Blas Cabrera had a gift of the visual metaphor when describing scientific realities beyond our powers of observation.
He was able to effectively communicate the immensities of scale that were so often a limiting factor in the world of physics, which had once prided itself on being a discipline of observable phenomena. The New Physics dealt with the nearly infinite scale of the cosmos the shape of which Cabrera debated along with Einstein and de Sitter in the pages of his articles and studies that were now approaching the infinitesimal scale of the Planck length 1.
It provides an identity, a point of connection for the readership that is not entirely abstract or unfamiliar, a move which would be emotionally satisfying for the reader, even as it confirms how impossibly small we are within the scope of the universe as a whole. The article is a discussion of scientific progress, including the theories of relativity and the at the moment brand new field of quantum mechanics, and how it is that scientists know what they know.
Acknowledging the limits of perception, Cabrera enters into a polemic about the role of empirical observational data in a scientific world that has seemed to have transcended this very basic principle of the scientific method. Skillfully, he manipulates the discussion of atomicity into a forum for the new quantum mechanics, the advent of which he is the first to announce within the pages of the Revista de Occidente.
He is very politic with his conclusions about which theory is the correct interpretation of quantum phenomena, but seems to come down lightly on the side of Heisenberg et al. It is this equanimity of presentation that truly sets Blas Cabrera apart as a popularizer. Like Eddington, he considers the unique nature of humanity and the miracle of life and wonders at its presence in the universe. His tone is markedly different from that of the German popularizer Hans Thirring, whose extensive reasoning as to why we cannot reach other worlds ventures on the glib.
His articles in the Revista de Occidente are a manifestation of a scientific culture in ascendance; however, many more scientists of similar stature as Blas Cabrera would be needed for Spain to truly be on par with the rest of Europe, and this project of intellectual integration would be curtailed by the Spanish Civil War. Conclusion: Science, Language, Knowledge It goes without saying that in this flowering in the sciences was abruptly cauterized, with the war effectively halting most investigation and discovery in the hard sciences. The Revista de Occidente provided a forum in which this ideal was given flesh and form through its diverse offerings of the most current scholarship in a variety of fields, including the physical sciences.
Most importantly, the platform of the Revista de Occidente served as a space in which these disciplines could interact and enter into dialogue through their juxtaposition within the pages of the magazine itself. The very foundation of this interface, however, comes not in the form of thematic exploration, but rather within the realm of language itself. In a talk given in , just before the initiation of the Spanish Civil War, Blas Cabrera discussed the imperative of finding language expressive of the new realities of science: new realities that had distinct consequences for the quotidian realities of human existence.
Allow me to cite at length: Es la lengua producto de la cultura toda de los pueblos que la hablaron, pues en ella va quedando el sedimento de la vida intelectual de las generaciones pasadas. The effort to find new means of expression for the revelations of the New Physics was of great interest to all physicists, and we have seen this reflected in the content of the Revista de Occidente as it carefully juxtaposed content in a manner that proceeded to highlight the innovations in disparate fields and their shadowy analogousness.
This will be the topic of the coming chapters: how the newness of language and unfamiliar, wholly innovatory concepts in the hard sciences contributed to the renovation of form, content and expression in the realm of its conceptually polar opposite, literature. Language both follows and informs the times in which we live.
Daniello De Laurentiis
In the case of Spain in the first third of the twentieth century, literary language became elastic, stretching to encompass a rapidly evolving culture of perpetual innovation in the world of ideas—scientific, philosophical, and artistic—a moment that was documented thoroughly in the diverse and eclectic run of the Revista de Occidente. Many of these magazines were extremely short- lived, but still influential in their promotion of the new poetics that gripped Spain in the s. It was, comparatively speaking, a grand shout amid murmurs of the aesthetic revolution, which was well underway by the time of its first issue on the first of January, The Gaceta was uniquely suited to be the chronicler of the vanguardia: it had in its favor an amenable folio format, a bimonthly frequency of publication, and an avid readership already tuned into cultural issues, ready-made for its appearance and eagerly awaiting its arrival in all the major cities in Spain.
Unlike the smaller magazines mentioned above, La Gaceta Literaria had no intention of limiting its scope to poetic events. And unlike the Revista de Occidente, it did not necessarily cater to a particular, well- educated elite. And its scope, being wide enough to include within its pages a range of topics—literature, cinema, art, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and science—allowed for the creative interaction of fields traditionally kept at a distance from each other.
One of the most notable interactions that occurs in La Gaceta Literaria is that of science and culture. In fact, it is safe to say that La Gaceta Literaria distinguished between these two categories only with regard to the sub-sections and titles that structured the magazine. For the Gaceta, science was a cultural event, part of a cohesive conception of human knowledge and creativity that undergirded the vanguardia.
In this chapter, I will examine in detail the way that La Gaceta Literaria expresses this vision of the interconnectedness of science and culture. I plan to explore what it is that makes La Gaceta Literaria unique, how it differs from the Revista de Occidente in terms of its exploration of science, and by what avenues in manages to arrive at its own definition of ciencia.
By investigating not only the major themes of the magazine, but also the voices behind them, I hope to outline the ways in which science played an increasingly important role in cultural issues and production. La Gaceta Literaria, I contend, is unusually and uniquely representative of the cultural, epistemological, social, and political forces that were shaping a Spain that, at that moment, was in a state of ideological flux.
La Gaceta Literaria: Form and Substance La Gaceta Literaria appeared in , at the moment when the formal experimentations of the Spanish vanguardia were reaching their peak. Born out of a spirit of collaboration and the need for a common forum dedicated exclusively at least in theory to literary interests, La Gaceta Literaria was immediately and warmly welcomed by the public both in Spain and abroad. And if the international literary presses were critical of La Gaceta Literaria for its supposedly derivative format, the editors of the Gaceta had enough grace to extend their appreciation to these foreign magazines for their role in publicizing the advent of their new and soon to be quite influential publication.
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The brevity of its existence cannot be attributed to any of the usual culprits for the cessation of publication—a decline in funding, a paucity of substance—but rather to its peculiar historical circumstance. La Gaceta Literaria came into existence at a moment in history when great shifts were about to occur; within its six year lifespan, the publication witnessed the toppling of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship, the complete overthrow of the monarchy, and the installation of the Second Republic in Spain.
Such political upheaval does not come to pass without the presence of internal unrest and disquiet, even within the self-proclaimed apolitical 4 space that belonged to the vanguardia in the late s. Thus the Gaceta showed even in its early years an undeniably political disposition towards its literary subject matter. Douglas W. Lang, This eventually resulted in the fall of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship, approximately three years following the initial issue of La Gaceta Literaria, the magazine that captured so vividly the internal fractures of the intelligentsia that would set a course toward the national tragedy, the Spanish Civil War.
Otra, hacia el presente. Y hacia el porvenir, la otra. Y bogar avante. Madrid: Austral, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisboa, Buenos Aires se reparten diversos atributos de la mente provincial.
Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, Hay que resolverse a pensar y a sentir en onda larga. Lo mismo en la villa literaria. The goal, therefore, of the Gaceta Literaria, would be an ambitious one: to create a publication that would express a trans-national unity of literary production, critique and analysis that would assert itself on the world stage, restoring power and recognition to literature in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Galician.
It is important to note that Ortega gave his blessing to the newly formed Gaceta Literaria, and then promptly disappeared, almost completely, as a contributor to the magazine. There would be two more articles authored by him in the Gaceta, both published within the first eighteen months; his name would appear countless times within the writings of other contributors, which serves to reason, considering his status as a species of godfather to the younger generation of the vanguardia.
It did not have ambitions to become the voice of European ascent and exaltation of the intellect. The Gaceta did not wish to participate in the creation of a more Europeanized Spain through the publication of articles from beyond its borders, as was the goal of the Revista de Occidente.
The focus of the Gaceta was rather the elaboration and expression of the current voices, literary and otherwise, erupting in Spain at the time, desiring to be the principal forum for the New Art. It would not be anything like the Revista de Occidente, except perhaps in the sense that many of the authors writing for the magazines were shared between them—writers such as Cesar M. He writes: El ideal de un individuo, de un pueblo, de una cultura, solo es voluntad de ser plenamente lo que se es. He would be one of the principal contributors to the section dealing with Latin American letters, especially the surging literary scene in Buenos Aires and continued to write for the magazine as a correspondent, but he no longer belonged to the editorial board that directed the Gaceta.
He argued instead that it should be Madrid that carried that particular distinction for the Spanish-speaking world, as would be both linguistically and culturally appropriate. The tensions between the Gaceta Literaria and other Latin American cultural institutions proved to be short-lived, and the Gaceta continued to develop its readership in urban areas, especially Buenos Aires, where the presence of Guillermo de Torre served as a self- generating source of promotion. The Gaceta Americana appeared with some frequency, and was usually allotted an entire page; an entire issue is devoted to the state of Uruguayan letters.
Considering this amount of coverage of American affairs, it can be said that Douglas W. Again, these were not necessarily written in accordance with the project of the Europeanization of Spain—if anything, they have the tendency to put these other nations, peoples, and cultures at the periphery of a Hispano-centric worldview, or at the very least to be highly contrastive with Spanish culture, thus painting a distorted picture of the world s surrounding Spain.
The Gaceta was an entirely new organ for the vanguardia; in some ways, it could be said that the exigencies of its format shaped its dynamic, independent of the desires and declarations of its founder. La Gaceta Literaria was essentially a newspaper, folio-sized, confined to around seven pages per issue, published on the first and fifteenth day of each month.
Its space was strictly limited, and became even more so when control of its publication was handed over to the C. Says Hernando of the aftermath of the takeover of the Gaceta Literaria by the C. As a point of contrast for the spatial shortcomings of La Gaceta Literaria, we can take a glance at the Revista de Occidente, which had ample room in which to publish lengthy articles on topics in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, sociology, etc. Virtually any subject of importance to the development of the Western mind during the years of its publication was available within its pages, and was rarely given short shrift.
Articles of twenty pages or more were common; frequently there were essays of even greater length that were split across two or three issues of the magazine. Authors had at their disposal more space for exposition, as was necessary at the time to explain the newly emerging principles of quantum mechanics, for example, or for the publication of the latest studies by prominent national scientists and physicians such as Blas Cabrera, Gustavo Pittaluga, or Dr.
The Gaceta was, however, more widely read than the Revista de Occidente, and was published on the first and fifteenth of every month. Despite this literary preeminence, in other areas it lacked efficaciousness—the format of the magazine itself severely crippled it as a forum for scientific advancement. The lack of space drastically restricted the amount of information that could be communicated to the reading public about scientific matters.
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One possible explanation of this fact could be that there was simply not enough room for it in the Gaceta Literaria. In spite of this seeming lack, however, the presence of science remains significant for a variety of reasons which will be explained over the course of this discussion. Does its definition differ from the one we discern in the Revista de Occidente?
These are questions that we must bear in mind as we move forward with our analysis, and we will be returning to them repeatedly as we attempt to understand why it was so imperative that a literary magazine be inclusive of disciplines so far afield from its supposed focus. As has been established, it lacked the appropriate format in which major treatises could be published that would have been of interest to a public visibly enchanted by the scientific and technological advances of their day.
What the Gaceta Literaria did possess, however, was a space that privileged the quick summary of the latest controversy, the succinct book review, the announcement of an event recently held, or about to occur—in other words, the cultural news of the day. Particularly relevant is the fact that scientific content was presented within the personalized context of an author, and therefore, allowed for independent reaction to scientific advancement, rather than presenting it whole and without a frame of reference, as it appeared in the Revista de Occidente.
And, quite frequently, it was the state of science in Spain that was being discussed by many of the authors, taking issue with the historical lack of interest—and lack of output—in the sciences that had characterized Spain as lagging behind its Western counterparts, as well as recognizing that, as we discussed in Chapter One, there were forces in play aimed at undoing the centuries of neglect in the sciences, thereby allowing Spain to have a parallel Edad de Plata in areas such as physics, mathematics and medicine.
Sections devoted to science were, generally speaking, sporadic, with a preference for articles on medicine and the life sciences, and even some quasi-scientific ideas—sexology, in particular—that were in vogue at the time. Instead, the source of this power would be found among a bevy of other collaborators, each with their own specializations and quirks, as we shall see.
Alonso; Derecho: A. Garrigues; Medicina: J. Urgoiti; Arquitectura: C. They stay decidedly behind the scenes and their role—their specific input—remains mysterious: there is little to no research that details their involvement.
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The first part of this analysis must discuss the means by which science was presented in La Gaceta Literaria, how it developed, and the nature of its constitution. In other words, the implied meaning of ciencia as it is manifested in La Gaceta Literaria must be outlined and specified. Examining the table of contents and the titles of sub-sections of the magazine, it is possible to discern a very general process by which science entered and left the pages of the Gaceta. Then, it is knowledge. Beginning with an article that harshly criticizes the university system for its backwardness in teaching zoology and botany, it is apparent from the very outset that the study of biology is struggling in Spain, along with most of the hard sciences, with the possible exception of medicine.
In La Gaceta Literaria, as testament to the continuing problem of Darwinism, there are two articles that explicitly affirm the view that Darwinism and neo-Darwinism is an incomplete system, still open to critique. The parsec measures the vast distances of space, such as those that lie between galaxies. The discussion of Darwinism vs. Lamarckism was not outdated per se, but the conflict was in its twilight elsewhere, certainly. I am including biology and medicine in this discussion of La Gaceta Literaria because it is necessary to illustrate my hypothesis that scientific matter was not presented neutrally, as it generally was in the Revista de Occidente.
I do not plan on exploring in detail the relationship between biology and medicine and the vanguardia in a linguistic sense, believing as I do that the breakthroughs in physics and chemistry had more to do with the ruptures and slippages that are found in vanguard literature. Aside from Darwinism, La Gaceta Literaria had another fascination with biology that requires discussion. How one gender differs from the other was a topic of decided interest at the time, and it is possible to trace the interest in these topics to the works of Dr.
Works such as Tres ensayos sobre la vida sexual made a huge impact on the reading public, and the later works such as Los estados intersexuales en la especie humana , Amor, conveniencia y eugenesia , and Amiel. Un estudio sobre la timidez were all reviewed in La Gaceta Literaria, and each dealt in its own way with the relationship between the sexes, and the socialization of gender, if not the entire human being.
Between Freudian psychology and endocrinology existed this world of sexology, of which Dr. He had a dedicated group of followers, one of whom was a consistent contributor to La Gaceta Literaria: Rafael Resa. Rafael Resa was present in the pages of La Gaceta Literaria from the inception of the magazine until He was a medical writer—and practicing physician—deeply indebted to the work of Dr. Of this incident, Douglas W. This letter was a most uncompromising augury for the future of the journal under a republican regime.
The article is actually a review of a book by Eduardo Bonilla, another medical personality who appears several times in La Gaceta Literaria—another authority figure in the field of medicine who has captured the eye of the public. In this way, Resa shows himself to be a faithful disciple, not only to his mentor, but to the prevalent scientific and medical authorities of the time.
So why, might we ask, feature him so prominently if he does little more than echo what greater figures were saying in other venues? Thus, Rafael Resa served a dual function for the Gaceta Literaria—medical correspondent and reviewer of medical literature, which, by , the date of his last article, formed its own genre and merited its own space in the magazine.
This phenomenon of scientist-as-literary critic is significant in terms of the way that La Gaceta Literaria tended to present science: as a cultural event. First, however, we must examine the work of another important contributor to La Gaceta Literaria— Ramiro Ledesma Ramos. Ledesma Ramos held a prominent position in La Gaceta Literaria in that he was, essentially, the only writer who had the knowledge and the ability to address issues of physics and mathematics coherently.
Uccelli about the parsec previously mentioned , and an article by J. Ledesma positively dominates the sphere of science and mathematics, owing in part to the fact that he held a degree in mathematics from the University of Madrid. Ledesma acutely perceived the shifts that were happening in the related fields of physics and mathematics, and managed to capture some of the more salient connections between the two in his articles. Ledesma was thoroughly preoccupied with the state of Spanish science, but he did not allow his focus to fall exclusively on scientific progress in Spain.
He occasionally glanced outward as well to the advances in physics and mathematics happening in other nations, bringing this information back to his compatriots through the pages of the Gaceta Literaria, and using it as a platform to launch a specific critique of the shortcomings of the system in which he was trained. We shall now examine some of his critiques and the major themes that he explored in his articles pertaining to physics and mathematics during the years and , after which he ceased to produce commentary on these topics.
As previously mentioned, Ledesma Ramos frequently drew attention to the interconnectedness of mathematics and physics, a fact that was undeniable at the time. It was the innovations in geometry in the 19th century by Gauss, Riemann and Lobatschevski that allowed Einstein to make his discoveries in the 20th. In his first full article for the Gaceta, which was featured prominently on the first page of the 30th issue, 15 March , Ledesma interviewed the eminent Spanish mathematician Rey Pastor, who had achieved international fame, and was working to improve the instruction of mathematics in universities in both Spain and Argentina.
He astutely observed the way in which mathematics had become a rarefied field in recent decades, with Riemannian geometry, matrix mechanics, and set theory dominating the research world, creating an elite group of intellectuals who alone were equipped to advance the boundaries of mathematics.
The response of Rey Pastor will be discussed later in this chapter; of importance at the moment is the immediate awareness demonstrated by Ledesma Ramos that, historically, the Spanish were not known for their scientific achievements. In other words, relativity theory was completely dependent on the discovery of a mathematical basis that would allow for the expression of phenomena such as the curvature of space. Ledesma is critical of Einstein in this regard on more than one occasion.
For example, he reserves great praise for the Argentinean engineer Enrique Butty, who specialized in mathematical physics: D. Parece que el Sr. The quote here, though, suffices in the sense that it gestures towards a reticence in Ledesma to let go of traditional mechanics, or even the mechanics of relativistic gravity, in favor of a statistically determined reality. Other topics in mathematics that Ramiro Ledesma Ramos explored in his articles varied greatly.
From his obituary in honor of the death of a young Indian mathematician, S. What sorts of parallels were drawn in the Gaceta Literaria between science and art? What was the mechanism by which science acted as a cultural event? As we have established, the Gaceta Literaria had a unique approach to its presentation of scientific content. The commentary was specific to the point of view of the author of the article, and presented within the context of la actualidad. And the context in the matter was, as a general rule, that of culture and cultural production.
Instead, their work and their lives were a part of a larger cultural fabric that asked them to draw connections between seemingly disparate fields. While he draws distinctions between the realm of the imaginative and the poetic, and the study of what is material fact, he still is able to connect the two modes of perception through their need for thought and knowledge. Without order, be it scientific or moral, society cannot function. And thus science and culture share a common epistemological need for structure in order to complete their separate functions, which really are not so separate after all.
Overall, these two introductory articles are essential to understanding the conjunction of science and culture as it was constructed and developed by The Gaceta Literaria, even in its earliest stages. Pittaluga no. These physicians were high-profile intellectuals with enormous reputations within Spain, and in Dr. Of particular interest to this study is a single question asked in all three interviews: What is your opinion of la joven literatura—in other words, the vanguardia?
Despite the presence of these works, Dr. Aun cuando no los comprenda del todo. Ayala 1 The stance of Dr. The only problem for Dr. Recasens le interesa mucho la Literatura de ahora. Del tiempo libre de que puede disponer, tan exiguo. Y considera que se ha progresado una enormidad. Aclaremos, no obstante, que esto no es extensible a toda la Literatura de hoy. A mi parecer, hay, al lado de muchos valores indiscutibles, aberraciones bastantes.
Establishing science as a part of culture necessarily implies that science was a communicable subject, not out of the reach of the masses, even with the innovations taking place in physics and mathematics that had some speaking of the possibility that only an intellectual elite, could comprehend the matters being discovered and tried. It would seem that Ramiro Ledesma Ramos was one of these who felt that the New Science was beyond comprehension by the reading public, whose market was currently flooded with popularizations on topics in physics, mathematics, and medicine, to name just a few.
Ramiro Ledesma Ramos is against not the diffusion of knowledge and thus its becoming a part of its surrounding culture — he is against the continued creation of a crop of dilettantes. Thus, in his writings for La Gaceta Literaria, Ledesma Ramos displays a rare cautiousness when it comes to painting too large the connections between science and culture, and precisely defines the relationships which he does choose to point out. He takes to task Hans Driesch, a philosopher, for his logical critique of the theory of relativity, pointing out the weaknesses in using logic to attempt to refute non-Euclidian geometries.
Que no los cree suficientes para fundamentar una ciencia natural. El problema, como se ve, es antiguo. No la moda del antimatematismo. Of the nearly fifty articles that Ledesma wrote that in some way touched on either philosophy, science, or the relationship between the two, nearly all of them establish this pattern of a rigid definition of what defines rigorous scholarship in any of the aforementioned disciplines, while still admitting the interpenetration of the two disciplines.
No hemos de resolverla nosotros. His penultimate article for La Gaceta Literaria is a summary of the philosophical activity in Spain in , which he describes as a period speaking of the last several decades, if not entire centuries of reception, rather than production. Yo he terminado la carrera de Ciencias Naturales en Madrid, sin haber clasificado ni un protozoo, ni un insecto ni un molusco.
It is the first voice recorded in the Gaceta Literaria that would condemn Spanish universities for their backwardness, their laxity, and their general failure to produce a new generation or, indeed, any generation, going back hundreds of years of productive, creative, innovative scientists. The bell tolls early on, with a front-page article by the revered Dr.
It is hard to believe, though, that this criticism is meant to be applied so broadly, when at the time universities all across Western Europe and the Americas were creating both brilliant students and stunning discoveries, especially in the areas of physics, chemistry and mathematics. His major complaint, however, is that the universities had grown musty and outdated. La estructura actual de la Universidad es vieja, como lo son tantas otras instituciones oficiales; en realidad, como es todo lo oficial en los Estados actuales. Y las instituciones viejas hacen viejos a cuantos viven a su sombra.
Es la misma tragedia que tiene casi desmontada a la Iglesia. La Iglesia, la Universidad, representan, dentro de su progreso, los valores eternos: moral y saber. Por eso la eficacia de la Universidad—como la de la Iglesia—debieran hacerse patentes, antes que nada, en su actitud de independencia y permanencia frente a las fluctuaciones del Estado.
Even without the stinging upbraiding of the University for its subservience to State directives, the charge of being an undisciplined, outdated and essentially corrupt institution still carries a remarkable weight. The critic notes that: La cultura universitaria es un arma. One of the most outspoken critics in La Gaceta Literaria was, of course, Ledesma Ramos, whose training as a mathematician had taught him respect for the pure sciences. As if to speed this on, Ledesma consistently draws attention to the shortcomings to be found in the university system.
These men of medicine, mathematics and science were the lynchpins in a rapidly developing renovation of scientific research in Spain that began with the founding of the JAE in The only two candidates who approximated the level of respect garnered by Dr. The objective of this portion of the chapter is not to give a biographical account of the existence of these figures, but rather to reconstruct the discursive practices that aggrandized them and made legends of the men themselves.
Es la hombredad. The Gaceta chose its words carefully and occasionally published dissenting opinions from the great Dr. Y conste que no hablo a los pacientes agradecidos. True, Julio Rey Pastor had left Spain for Argentina in , and was a pillar of the community at the University of Buenos Aires; but Spain never ceased to revere Rey Pastor as one of her own, and the language used in La Gaceta Literaria to describe him attests to this. While Rey Pastor does not have the ubiquitous presence of Dr. But is it an international pride in Rey Pastor that the Gaceta sought to emphasize? Hoy suenan los timbales de La Gaceta Literaria en loor de este grande hombre.
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