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Abstract Kirsty Hooper

Sofía Casanova (Coruña, Spain, 1861– Pozna?, Poland, 1958): Writing between three ‘small literatures’ in late 19th-century Europe

The Galician-Spanish expatriate writer Sofia Casanova (1861-1958) was a transnational poet, novelist, journalist, playwright, campaigner, translator, historian and intellectual, and one of the first Spanish women to support herself as a professional writer. Casanova, born in Galicia in rural northwest Spain, married a Pole and spent over seventy years travelling between Spain and Poland, as well as spending shorter periods of time in Russia, Estonia, and London.

This paper explores how, during the first part of her career, Casanova consciously carved out a position for herself at the centre of a network of cultural connections between Galicia, Spain, Poland, Russia, and the rest of the world. It focuses especially on her writing during the 1890s – including fiction (e.g. El doctor Wolski, 1894), poetry (Fugaces, 1898), and essay (Sobre el Volga helado, 1898/1903) – to argue that in these writings, Casanova develops an acutely gendered vision of the complicated relationships between the cultures of her three ‘small’ homelands, Galicia, Spain and Poland, and the dominant cultures that surrounded them, especially Britain and Russia.

AsK, October 2012

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