Unamuno 1864 - 1936 (72)

It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love


Tragic Sense

of Life

Miguel de Unamuno was Spanish writer. He wrote in major genres of literature, including novels, poetry, plays and essays. He is famous for The Tragic Sense of Life (1913) and The History of a Passion (1917).

He was born on 29 September 1864 in Bilbao, Spain and grew up in a Catholic household. He pursued 11 languages and philosophy at the University of Madrid and in 1884, earned a Ph.D. In 1891 he became a language professor, teaching Greek at University of Salamanca. Later, he was appointed principal of the university from 1900 to 1924. In 1924, he was removed from his post, during a period of great political upheaval. He went to France and as soon as General Rivera’s rule ended, he returned to his homeland and resumed his position as a rector in 1930.

Unamuno began his writing career with fiction and in his early forties began writing poetry. He dealt with themes like death, time, ignorance of God and the spiritual dilemma. He published his first collection of poetry in 1970, titled Poesías (Poems), addressing the religious conflicts in Spain, the domestic life and social upheaval that would later permeate his poetry. He also produced numerous successful plays which dealt with philosophical subject matter as well. He explored the question of individual faith in his remarkable plays, The Sphinx, (1898) and Truth, (1899).

Miguel de Unamuno died on New Year’s Eve in 1936.