Spanish Literature

Spanish Literature
  • Spanish authors
  • Literature Before Castilian Spanish
  • Early Castilian Spanish Literature
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Enlightenment Literature
  • Romanticist Literature
  • Realist Literature
  • The Generation of 1898
  • Early 20th Century Literature
  • Post Civil War Literature

18th Century Spanish Literature - Enlightenment

With the dawn of the 18th Century Spain began to decline both on a political and on an economic front, producing a consequential change in Spanish literature. The embellished and exaggerated traits of the Baroque Period were greatly toned down in Neoclassic literature. New tendencies flowed over from France as the Enlightenment movement began to take hold. Authors started criticizing Baroque style literature and sought simpler literary forms that would reach a broader range of people.

This new Neoclassic literature emerged under the austere Bourbon rule. The essay began replacing the novel as a literary form. The reason was that the essay is an ideal genre for disseminating ideas. Two of the most noted essayists of this genre include Benito Jerónimo Feyjóo y Montenegro, a Benedictine who helped bring the Enlightenment into Spain, and Jovellanos. The Poética of Ignacio de Luzán reflected the academic principles of the time.

The newspaper made its appearance around this time, as an economic means of spreading these essays, reaching a broad sector of the population.