Santos Juliá and Azaña, two inseparable figures | Culture

Santos Juliá He began reading Manuel Azaña in the mid-sixties on the recommendation of Republican historian Ramón Carande. For those born in 1940, like Juliá, "Azana was the epitome of evil," he confessed. But these readings forged a very powerful link with the politician, who was born in Alcala de Henares on January 10, 1880 and died in Montauban (France) on November 3, 1940, eight decades ago. Over the years, the historian, passed away on October 23 at age 79, would be responsible for editing the complete works of Azana and wrote Life and time of Manuel Azana (Taurus, 2008), a biography considered canonical on which he was the first head of the Republican Government (1931-1933) and President of the Republic between 1936 and 1939. Coinciding with the anniversary of the birth of Azana, the City of Alcalá de Henares yesterday he paid tribute to Juliá in an act in which historians José Álvarez Junco, Javier Moreno Luzón and José María Ridao participated and moderated by Javier Rioyo.

Doctor of Political Science and Sociology and Professor of Social History, Juliá, in addition to Azaña, thoroughly investigated the schism of the PSOE in 1934, the democratic experiment of the Second Republic, Franco, Transition or the history of Madrid. Historian Álvarez Junco has defined it on occasion as "the opposite of a media intellectual, from the talkative talkative, who draws attention today to the right and tomorrow to the left." His position was always "the defense of complexity in the explanation of the past." Yesterday highlighted the coherence of his work, methodology, objectivity and passion (contained by rationalization). "It has changed our way of seeing the Spanish 20th century," he said.

The historian Santos Juliá.

The historian Santos Juliá.

Álvarez Junco focused on the ties between Juliá and Azaña and what he considered the axis of coherence of his work: “The two believed in the need for a State to organize and solve the problems of a country. Reform the state to have credible institutions. ” The historian, who evoked their friendship and their travels together, defined Juliá as "very representative of the new story that emerged from the seventies." A story "not nationalist or essentialist." He noted that it was he who snatched the monopoly of the synthesis of Spanish history from Hispanics.

On the other hand, Moreno Luzón, whose doctoral thesis was directed by Juliá, stressed that the historian "understood Azana as nobody." He also qualified him as one of the great historians and the most important that Spain has had over the twentieth century. He recalled that he helped Juliá in the work of compilation, arrangement and interpretation in seven volumes of the complete works of Azana. How he reviewed his work from social history to intellectual history and embodied original interpretations of the history of Spain. He also stressed his efforts to break the "stereotype of failure" in Spain. “He denied that Spanish society was paralyzed in the first third of the twentieth century. He refuted the idea that all were failures in the history of Spain. ” His historian's job, he defended, was marked by three characteristics: passion, independence and intellectual honesty. “He was someone to listen to. His work is not only good but it makes us better, ”he concluded.

For Ridao, it is difficult to distinguish the figure of Santos from that of Azaña. In that sense he celebrated that yesterday they would be commemorated together. The path that Juliá has drawn towards Azana, Ridao emphasized, has expanded the visibility on the recent Spanish history, "with deep roots that reach us until today." His contribution, he said, has revealed to a pragmatic Azana: “There was no idealism in Azana's republicanism but pragmatism. He was a Republican because the Monarchy fails to defend freedoms. ” Ridao stressed that the historian revealed "the Azana that shows us that politics is the State." The Azana that connects with the liberal tradition and tolerance: "He who does not think of the nation but the State." In that line, he attributed to Juliá having shown the vision of the history that Azana has, related to Flaubert who was surprised that France was spoken before France existed. Ridao invited not to analyze Azana as an icon but as a trajectory.

The event, held in the auditorium of the Consistory with more public than space, began with the reading of a text by Juliá about Azana by the actor and theater director Jose Luis Gomez. Among the attendees were relatives of Azaña and Juliá. The tribute was closed with the intervention of cellist Marina Barba, who performed the piece Offering (Six pieces in memory of Manuel Azaña), by composer Luis de Pablo.


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