Translated by Susan Bassnett and Salvador Ortiz-Carboneres
Miguel de Unamuno was born in Bilbao in 1864 and died in Salamanca on the last day of 1936. He was a teacher, novelist, playwright and poet. He is one of the Modernist Spanish writers with particular spiritual insight. Among the different themes of his poetry is an obsession with immortality, the pain of being alive and the conflict between reason and feelings. Together with Antonio Machado, who referred to him as 'este donquijotesco Miguel de Unamuno' Unamuno is one of the two greatest poets of the 1898 generation.
Unamuno's poetic world introduces us to the dilemma of the dualities in man’s relations to God, nature and human existence. The ways in which he expressed his innermost thoughts and his religious anxiety make him comparable with writers like Saint John of the Cross , Saint Teresa of Avila, Giacomo Leopardi, or Blaise Pascal.