15 de diciembre de 2000

The modern sport and Unamuno

Por Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

The modern sport and Unamuno

Jesús Castañón Rodríguez (*)

(*) Trabajo publicado por primera vez en 1995 en el libro Reflexiones lingüísticas sobre el deporte y ampliado el 2 de mayo de 1998 en La Página del Idioma Español.

Literature with sporting subject appears with the ’98 generation, a group of authors whose study has covered focuses about the distressed worry because of the Spain’s backwardness and the search for solutions in order to create a modern State by means of the imitation of foreign techniques and ideologies and also by means of the exaltation of a new patriotism (1).

This necessity for bringing up to date with concrete fulfillment required previously a modern and technical education and also a physical and spiritual renewal (2) where the modern sport becomes a subject for literature based on creation of several authors of the end of the century. Chronologically its predecessor is Miguel de Unamuno (3), with his habitual criticism based on the Spanish obscurantism and the European progress as well as the proposal of solutions which will expand the Latin-American world (4).


As a result of this role of reflection based on the search for a deep renewal, Unamuno interprets the sporting world which surrounds him without copying nor deforming it towards history and the intimacy searching for the emotional side of the things, to the extent of coming to the conclusion that the landscape conditions man the way he is (5). It carries out the role of the intellectual man as  the head of a political and social vanguard who resorts to the essay as literary genre in order to carry out sociological criticism.

He practices a literary genre constituted by the essay which handles directly the national aspect settled in several main lines: the understanding of the past with ideal and moral values, the problem of Spain and the urge for Europeanization, the extension of his ideals and reflections to his collaborations in American publications, and the debate between Europeanization and the traditional, authentic aspect in all his displays.

The journalistic essay as a way of expression

With this role of observer of the social vanguard, Unamuno states that the function of the university student is more in journalism than in teaching, with a dissemination of criticism of ideas which has to be explained with a tone “para hacer oír con los ojos” (to make people hear with his/her eyes) (6). This is the reason by which he collaborates in numerous Spanish and foreign publications (7). The Miguel de Unamuno’s sporting reflection is developed in publications of general information, in cultural magazines and in magazines specialized in modern sport, to be exact in publications from Basque Country -the magazine Euskalherria (1903)-; from Madrid -the dailies El Liberal (1920), El Sol (1932), Ahora (1933 and 1934), the magazines La Esfera (1915) and Nuevo Mundo (1915, 1917 and 1922) and the pedagogical publication Boletín de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza (1921); from Valladolid -the daily El Norte de Castilla- and from Catalonia -the sporting magazine from Barcelona (1923)-, as well as in publications of Argentina -the magazine La Baskonia (1907) and the daily La Nación (1920, 1923 and 1924)- and from Chile -the magazine Juventud (1921)-.


The Miguel de Unamuno’s ideology about the modern sport starts from a thoughtful attitude about the creative reading and interpretation of Spanish articles and translations of foreign texts in cultural Spanish magazines. It shows a worry over the exterior world, from the own subjectivity, characterized by the realization of journalistic essays about sociological and ideological aspects in order to renew social structures and the individual people’s mentality with a tone based on regeneration. And just like in other writings of his own, these sporting texts have elements of humanistic and classic formation, education- with quotations from the Greek and Roman sport-, the worry about death- because sport is a display of militarism which is hidden by an exaltation of patriotism-, the contrast between national and foreign values with a special English influence, as well as the analysis of the relationships between men and sport by means of links of language and space. His sporting ideology has four main lines which are fundamental: modern sport as source of health, modern sport as element of affective expansion, modern sport as educational means in order to create a new man and an intellectual view.

Sport as source of health

A first way of thought consists of the consideration of the practice of modern sport as source of health.

It is connected with a stage of personal problems and health ones in Bilbao and family ones in Salamanca. As high school student in Bilbao, he got fond of mountaineering and going on a trip throughout the Basque woodlands, as a result of the daily long walks the doctor had prescribed in order to fight against his problems of narrowness of chest. Practice he carried out in Salamanca with long walks along the road of Zamora. Its beneficial effects are described by him like an expansion of the soul and like an acquisition of spirit based on freedom in order to enjoy calmly fugitive sensations and also in order to look much younger as far as the hard work is concerned (9). Later, as rector from Salamanca University he will exalt the influence of sport in health with the drawing of a gymnastic board as rehabilitation exercises in order to recover one of his daughters from the illness of bifid spine, according to a sketch which is nowadays in the House-Museum Unamuno in Salamanca.

Modern sport as affective expansion

A second way of thought corresponds to the description of the festive atmosphere of the restoration based on the pelota play in Bilbao at the end of the XIXth century with customs and manners pictures, within the framework of Basque cultural recovery which exalts customs, celebrations and folklore in an idyllic view of the rural aspect as a way of resistance to the incipient industrialization.

It includes reflections about the spectators of the sporting event: the division into factions with economic interests exalting passions, the journalistic articles of sport as if they were concise dispatch of war and the social literature of manners before, during and after the match (10).

Modern sport as a means in order to create a new man

A third way of thought and also a most complex one is based on the consideration of modern sport as an educational element which is able to crate a new man. Ideology he develops in Salamanca and also includes two aspects: the exaltation of the ancient culture from the Greeks as far as musculature is concerned and also the role of the modern pedagogy in this same labor.

On the one hand, the Unamuno’s personality turns out favorable to the spiritual regeneration of the race by means of the use of sport as a moral forge, within the generalized atmosphere in Europe, an atmosphere based on exaltation of the ancient culture from the Greeks as far as musculature is concerned in order to look for a complete man, well-balanced in body and soul. It is a facet of the “metarritmitis” or moral transformation of young people which will be distorted and deformed intellectually in the XXth century, a fact Unamuno reproaches with severity in essays based on criticism of the political system spread by means of the press, the Ateneo and the University chairs.

With modern sport the starting points for a spiritual regeneration linked to an educational ideal which is in the service of the larger part of the village and not in the service of a learned minority are created. A special and moral education, formation is created; this education is based on sincerity and authenticity of personal relationships, honesty and honorable behavior and level-headedness and poise of character- which tries to favor the human progress. Unamuno takes part in this yearning for spiritual renewal of Spain understood as pedagogical mission- which was developed by the Giner de los Ríos’s krausism (philosophical system based on a conciliation between theism and pantheism) by means of the activities of University Extension- trying to carry out a university extension in Salamanca in the style of Oviedo University (11).

And on the other hand, Unamuno has a great worry about the role of pedagogy and physical education as far as the construction of the new society prepared physically, morally and intellectually is concerned. In his works, writings, edited by dailies, sporting magazines and pedagogical publications- like the Boletín de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza-, he analyses the aspects, based on muscular gymnastics, military training, exercises for strengthening, walks and picnics and organized bodily games. In these exercises there are several considerations about the sporting values which favor the English and French pedagogy-to the detriment of the German conception-: the benefit of the physical exercise, the effort as progress and the control, regulation of the hierarchical social life with values imposed with intelligence, and not with violence and under duress (12). And the references to its Spanish adaptation are constant, adaptation by means of entities or organizations like the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution based on Education), La Escuela Moderna (The Modern School), the Instituto Militar Pestalozziano (Pestalozziano Military Institute), the Batallones escolares (the school Battalions) and the Boy-scout.

His sporting thought coincides in essence with the labor developed by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution based on Education), which wanted to carry out the moral, intellectual, cultural and physical development as a way in order to get social progress with three main lines of action: the disinterestedness in gymnastics, except as a medical element, the disinterestedness in the school battalions and ritual ways of patriotism and the encouragement of the organized bodily games which are spread out from France, England and Germany in the second half of the XIXth century.

These three main lines of general course of action were carried out by the Francisco Giner de los Ríos’s pedagogical reform in 1888 (13), also by the Movimiento de Oviedo (Movement of Oviedo)one and by numerous members from the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution based on Education), people who also carried out a pedagogical reform. By means of their informative bulletin they show a favorable provision to the massive dissemination of the bodily games from the Extensión Cultural (Cultural Extension), with activities for popularization and massive dissemination of scientific knowledge. This pedagogical task which appears in 1871 in England, is adopted by the Oviedo University in 1898 and in its sporting aspect it is developed by Adolfo Álvarez Buylla- favorable to the man’s integral education and also favorable to the fact of promoting an harmony between soul and body since 1888-,by Aniceto Sela- who considers the bodily games as school with a moral condition and also with a physical strength one in 1887, in imitation of the French educational ideas and of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities and by Adolfo Posada who is an specialist in the study of the French pedagogy. This process culminates in the participation of these three teachers in the Congress from Paris the 16th of June, 1894, in La Sorbona University, where the Olympic Games’ restoration is passed, approved (14).

The modern sport’s intellectual view

The fourth and last stage of Unamuno’s sporting reflection is carried out in Salamanca and during his exile, with an intellectual view of the Spanish sporting world which is later directed at several Latin-American countries. Unamuno criticizes the conversion of sport into a patriotic mission which opposes the educational mission which is upheld by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution based on Education) and it also rebels against the use of sport with political aims.

With his intellectual look on the modern sport in Spain, which was discussed in America later, it’s frequent the appearance of the following ideas:

a)The contrast between sport as unaware and exacerbated spirituality in contrast to intelligentsia which favors to man with common and average sense.
b) The criticism of sport as school based on chauvinistic morality and also a morality based on falsification of the patriotic feeling with an exaggeration of the unity without integration of differences nor search for an emotional and intellectual richness, which reaches its peak during the Primo de Rivera’s Military Directive. In civil life a civic training with a pre-military characteristic is promoted, this same civic training exalts chance, fate and several values which aren’t intellectual ones and which stop the spiritual renewal (15).
c) The characterization of sporting spirit as a way of reaction against intelligence.
d) The criticism of the professional sportsman /sportswoman’s vanity, though it maintains respect for the individual practice of the different sporting displays.
e)The accusation of the Flemish and social aspect based on the professional football, to the extent of the use of the arguments about football as sedative of the masses’ social criticism.
f) The excessive ritual of the bodily games included in the modern sport’s discipline after the restoration of the Olympic Games. Only football appears as freedom symbol in contrast to the physical education with a pre-military feature (16).
g) The prejudices the professionalism of sport causes in players’, amateurs’ and specialized press’s intellectual values.
h) The comparison between the modern bodily games’ crowd, also the pelota’s and the bullfighting world’s crowd.
i) The usefulness of sport as a way in order to characterize the Spanish society’s violence.

Unamuno explains these sporting ideas with a linguistic style characterized by simplicity in order to tell the facts with loyalty. Some of the most important features are: the presence of technical terms of modern sport, the use of anglicisms in an etymological sense in order to define the amateur’s social role, the lexical creativity with the suffixes -ero, -ismo in order to report the exaggerations about physical education and the modification of the repeated speech starting on sentences of classical languages. It is the case of the following terms: aficionado, cortada, chutar, dejada, deportero, deportismo, gentleman, goal, héroe, pelotari, pelotaire, saque, sportman, sportmanship and volea. The modification of the repeated speech is present at the transformation of Panem et circenses! into ¡Pan y pelotón! with the exaggeration of football, it’s also present at a process which culminates with the report of the masses’ political use in the stadium with the expression ¡Pasto y deportes!. References to classical heroes based on effort and also references to the Greek and Roman games of the classical world appear.


The sporting work by Miguel de Unamuno is made up of 25 compositions in all, which are written between 1893 and 1934. It is composed of a story about the pelota restoration atmosphere- Un partido de pelota (1893)-, the essay El “jiu-jitsu” in Bilbao (1908), the poem “Al aeroplano” (1915), the correspondence with Juan Antonio de Zunzunegui- “Carta de Unamuno a guisa de prólogo” (1926), for the novel Chiripi- and twenty-one press articles with varied subject: “Rousseau en Iturrigorri” (1907), “Sobre el ajedrez” (1912), “Recuerdos entre montañas” (1915), “Deporte y Literatura” (1915), “Juego limpio” (1917), “Ludendorff, el jugador” (1920), “Patriotismo y optimismo” (1920), “Carta a jóvenes chilenos” (1921), “Del deporte activo y del contemplativo” (1922), Andanzas y visiones españolas(1922), “Intelectualismo y deportismo”(1923), “Boy-scouts y foot-ballistas” (1923), “Sobre el desarrollo adquirido por el football en España” (1924) and “¡Pasto y deportes!” (1924), “El desdén con el desdén”, “Mozalbetería” (1932), “Mozalbetes anárquicos” (1932), “Juventud de violencia” (1933), “Puerilidades nacionalistas “ (1933), “ Comentarios de las armas y las letras” (1934) and “ Gorros rojos y gorros gualdos” (1934). A thematic analysis, in chronological order , gives a clear complete picture about his reflection based on the games, the modern sport.

Un partido de pelota (1893) is a story which is in his book De mi país. Descripciones, relatos y artículos de costumbres, in which he shows a sports page or chronicle based on a pelota a ble match contended with the couples Indalecio Sarasqueta “Chiquito de Eibar” and Vicente Elícegui- from Rentería- against Francisco Alberdi “Baltasar” and Juan José Eceiza “Mardura”, from Azpeitia, in the pelota court of Abando (Bilbao). He tells the customs and manners atmosphere of the players, of the 12 pelotas made by Modesto Sainz- from Pamplona- and of the crowd comparing it with the bullfighting public festivities atmosphere, before, during and after the sporting show. Unamuno reads this sports page or chronicle in the society  El sitio de Bilbao, he reproduces it in the magazine Euskalherria and he compiles or includes it in his book El Nervión (17).

“Rousseau en Iturrigorri” is an article- published in La Baskonia, from Buenos Aires, in 1907-where Unamuno explains his relationship with sport since he was a child. He remembers the children’s times when he waited for the bullfight atmosphere in August and enjoyed the races in the estuary and evokes his youthful criticism of the sporting and bullfighting worlds as a personal sign of anti-town planning. Moreover, he also throws into relief that he likes gymnastics because it has been medical therapy in the improvement of his problems based on the narrowness of his chest, of his thoracic box, scarce stamina to put up with the physical fatigue and the courage of muscles and sinews, thanks to the long walks and the ascents of the Archanda, Arraiz or Arnótegui mountains.

El “jiu-jitsu” in Bilbao forms a whole of reflections like an essay about the Japanese style show in 1908.

“Sobre el ajedrez” is included in Contra esto y aquello” (1912). It shows the memories of a visit to the casino from Guernica in order to watch a chess game. In it, he explains the madness of chess he suffers in his youth due to the fact of having a fine purpose, being a cultured person, favoring intelligentsia and being an educational person because he had to develop gifts of observation, order and foresight. But, in a second moment, he criticizes it because it is a game of chance and also based on a bet which is not worth it if it can’t begin the intimate and free conversation or the exchange of ideas and if it can’t teach to learn to make use of chance in life as a school of practical psychology.

In “Recuerdos entre montañas”- article which appears in La Esfera, from Madrid , in 1915- he thinks about the Rousseau’s ideas based on hatred for the civilization in order to aspire to life of nature. And he also exalts the state of mind and the soul’s crease he feels among mountains: the happiness of the sunny and open Archanda mountain, the deep melancholy between the Arnótegui and Pagazarri mountains, the hollows of spirit when he passes the hollows from Buya, the happiness when he lies down the trees from the Pagazarri mountain and the peace when he ascends the summits of the Oiz, Udala, Amboto and Sollube mountains.

In the article “Deporte y Literatura”- published in 1915, in Nuevo Mundo- he takes again the subject based on his active practice of mountaineering in order to compare it with the exhibitionism of the professional sport he wants to combat with.

In the poem “Al aeroplano”, he considers this means a gadget, an angel without wings which capers about in search of “the Don Quixote’s faith”.

In “Juego limpio”-which appears in 1917 in Nuevo Mundo -he carries out a comment about an article based on the English Army’s officer, Sir Carlos Waldstein in The Nineteenth Review and where the magazine La Lectura publishes a summary in Spanish language. Firstly, he analyses English officer’s three ideas: the influence of the games and sports in the educational systems of Germany and England, the concept based on fair play with its effects on the human behavior and the modification of the character when it develops in a spontaneous way and a criticism of the German people because of turning the sporting games into gymnastic exercises with an obligatory condition. And he elaborates this criticism because he considers that the game when it becomes a pedagogical aspect and its functions based on entertainment or the fact of relaxing, extending personality are lost in order to become a way of obligatory preparedness for militia which contrasts with the child’s age’s free spirit. And secondly, he criticizes the professionals of sport’s mercenary spirit and he also uses his character of social parasite against the concept gentleman because he is the supporter in the game and professional in the job.

“Ludendorff, el jugador” appears in La Nación in 1920 and levels a harsh criticism against the German officer Erich Ludendorff (18), because of leading the conflict of I World War with a spirit of player which shows that there is a useless intelligence and a degradation when he reduces his conducts to the simple instinct. Unamuno rejects the military plans from his book Memorias de guerra:1914-1918, where he represents the conflict like a game of chance and where chance, fortune’s role is very important in this sense and people have to take advantage of this factor. For Unamuno, the extension of this argument based on chance as a social model gives rise to a symptom of collective madness and bewilderment which is against civilization and occasions a violent and catastrophic shock in order to recover. And he comes to the conclusion that he avoids “the sporting and erotic societies” because they are source of boredom and sadness.

In “Patriotismo y optimismo” – published in 1920 in El Liberal- he reflects on the concept based on the sport of patriotism or sporting patriotism which lies in having a disciplinary optimism shown externally by means of liturgies, emblems and ceremonies. He criticizes the pedagogy which resorts to the education in the cult of the liturgical and external ceremonies as a way of patriotism Unamuno names “sporting patriotism” or “rag patriotism”.

“Carta a jóvenes chilenos”- included in the Chilean magazine Juventud in 1921- is a new incursion in the relationship between sport and exaggeration of patriotism where Unamuno unmasks his average practitioner: the “sportman”. He characterizes it like idle character, who isn’t intellectual, student but not a studious person, a professional of chauvinism and like a representative of the imperialism based on plutocracy and the militaristic aspect who hates intelligence.

“Del deporte activo y del contemplativo” is published in 1922 in Nuevo Mundo and it compares the modern sport atmosphere with the classical world and the gladiators. He considers that bodily sport is not a solution to the degeneration of human race and he also regrets that the supporters- the contemplative ¿sport?- don’t devote themselves to the play, game based on ideas, but they fill the days with discussions about football and bullfighting, like he showed in the article “El deporte tauromáquico” (the bullfighting sport). And he finishes his exposition making a harsh criticism against professional of sport’s vanity because this same person doesn’t develop his intellectual facet in order to realize that health can’t be obtained by means of sport, but with a moderate way of life.

Andanzas y visiones españolas is a book of landscapes edited in 1922, which includes routes carried out by the author in 1911. For the sporting subject, he throws into relief the recovery of mountaineering and its beneficial effects during the itinerary through the Sierra de Gredos. With the ascent of the Laguna Grande and the Almanzor mountain.

In “Intelectualismo y deportismo”- published in La Nación in 1923- he takes again the subject based on the new ways of patriotism in order to attack on sport as reaction against intelligence and the intellectual aspect. This sport fights against the intellectuals who are followers of the imposition of culture and of the criticism of the decadent powers carried out with intelligence and passion. In his opinion, there is an alliance militarism-clericalism-sport against the intellectual aspect which favors a revolutionary state.

“Boy-scouts y foot-ballistas” appears in 1923 in the specialized magazine Sports, though it had been already published in 1921 in the Boletín de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza. It is about the education of man and citizen in order to set up the values of the pedagogical games based on discipline and liturgy like the boy-scouts- which is a school based on patriotism- against the amateur football as a young people’s play, game, which is amusing, free, spontaneous, it educates and also people take part, but in fewer occasions.

“Sobre el desarrollo adquirido por el football en España” is published in La Nación in 1924 and it shows the idea of the game, play as a mirror of the collective present time. It is a marginal note to a Fabián Vidal’s article in El Mercantil Valenciano about how the boys’ plays imitate adults- in the III Charlistic War (Guerra Carlista where there were followers of the laws which Sir Carlos María Isidro de Borbón and his descendants have quoted to the Spanish Crown) children played the war; with the Restoration, the play was bullfight; and nowadays they play football-. It compares football with tauromachy in order to think critically about several aspects: the Flemish atmosphere which is around the sporting show as a spiritual substitute; the amateur who turns his head into crowd and gets hurt his intelligence; the competitions’ rough county, the competitions’ distinguished area; the professionalism on salary; and the literary quality of the sporting journalism which is scanty, without texts which sing the praises of great players like in the Greek Games. It establishes the difference between game and modern sport- game is serious; sport isn’t- and it considers that the encouragement of the “sportsman” gives rise to a dangerous atmosphere based on the irrational child’s aspect for the people who bring up to date the “¡Pan y toros!” which is transformed into “¡Pan y pelotón!” and “¡Pan y catecismo!”, to the extent of becoming “¡Pasto y deporte!”.

“¡Pasto y deportes!” appears in La Nación in 1924 and it is the culmination of the exaggerated atmosphere based on patriotism with the elements which have been stated previously and an attack on the Primo de Rivera’s Military Directive in order to favor this exaltation which, firstly, gives rise to a revolutionary atmosphere and, secondly, favors the unconditional deference based on the authority’s actions carried out by a drowsy citizenship due to the sporting show.

The 2nd of December, 1926 in Hendaya, Unamuno writes a letter to Juan Antonio de Zunzunegui as a prologue of the Chiripi novel, which, by means of a complete picture with paintings, scenes of local colors, tells the vicissitudes of Bilbao Club in 1925 and 1926 by means of his forward. In it there are the professionalism’s unlucky intellectual consequences in the people’s degeneration and it also exalts football as a way of social regeneration which attenuates sensuality, moves away from pubs and brothels, gives the body elasticity and supplies the soul optimism.

For Unamuno, with the bitterness of the exile, Chiripi is a good reason to cheer the spirit and to evoke the early years in Bilbao, the atmospheres, landscapes and memories in the Campa de Abia, the Abra and Abando. It is a novel which observes the world, its atmospheres, customs and its Basque characters, fellows with little nuances of satire as far as the society is concerned.

After his exile, the sporting writings by Miguel de Unamuno adopt different courses and they transform sport into an element which characterizes facts beyond the sporting activity. Firstly it is important “El desdén con el desdén” where he exemplifies the failing of the Spanish behavior based on the fact of scorning or simulating, feigning to scorn what can’t be understood or felt. With an anecdote as spectator of a pelota match in Bilbao, he tells when the game finished, the winner, Chiquito de Eibar, was carried over the people’s shoulders and then taken to the outer part of the peolta court between the crowd’s general enthusiasm and a spectator’s indignation who thought that kind of mass meetings was more suitable for the bullfighting world.

Secondly, the football aspect is useful for him because he characterizes the powerful Basque nationalism’s customs and manners component of the thirties characterized in the articles “Puerilidades nacionalistas” and “Gorros rojos y gorros gualdos”, published in Ahora in 1933 and 1934 (19).

And finally, during the II Republic, sport characterizes psychologically and socially the growing division and the Spanish society’s confrontation. The poses, attitudes which replace the lack of ideology by sporting manners, the violence as a play without being in the service of an ideal, the violence’s sporting sense, the of rebelliousness and young people who become increasingly childish with divisions into factions are the most recurrent subjects in the articles “Mozalbetería” and “Mozalbetes anárquicos”- published in El Sol in 1932-, “Juventud de violencia”- which appears in El Norte de Castilla in 1933-and “Comentarios de las armas y las letras”- which appears in Ahora in 1934-.



(1)    See CARR, Raymond, España, 1808-1975, Ariel, Barcelona, 1985, pp. 506-513.
(2)    See ROBLES, Laureano, Epistolario completo Ortega-Unamuno, El Arquero, Madrid, 1978, pp.17-20.
(3)    According to Antonio Gallego Morell, the ’98 Generation starts the literature based on the creation of modern sport with Unamuno and Baroja and it will be also present at the “generación ejecutoria” of the group of the ninety-eight’s ideas, which was set up by Manuel Alvar. Together with Unamuno, there are other authors who write works with sporting subject or with references to modern sport: BAROJA, Pío in Zalacaín, el aventurero (1909); BENAVENTE, Jacinto in Más fuerte que el amor (1906) and Literatura (1931). In the following generation we have other authors: D’ORS, Eugenio in “Pindárica Segona” (1914), Nuevo glosario (1947) and Novísimo glosario (1950); ORTEGA Y GASSET, José in La deshumanización del arte (1925), El origen deportivo del Estado (1930) and Revés del almanaque (1934); and VELA, Fernando Fútbol Association y Rugby (1924) and “Embrutecimiento” (1935). See ALVAR, Manuel, De Galdós a Miguel Ángel Asturias, Cátedra, Madrid, 1976, page 28: GALLEGO MORELL, Antonio, “Baroja y Unamuno, precursores del tema en la novela española”, Deporte 2000, number 4, Madrid, 1969, pp.45-46 and Literatura de tema deportivo, Prensa Española, Madrid, 1969.
(4)    See ABELLÁN, José Luis, Historia crítica del pensamiento español, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1988, 5/I, pp.67-72 and CARR, Raymond, España,1808-1975,Ariel, Barcelona, 1985,page 513. 
(5)    See ALVAR, Manuel, De Galdós a Miguel Ángel Asturias, Cátedra, Madrid, 1976, page 35.
(6)    See CARR, Raymond, España, 1808-1975, Ariel, Barcelona, 1985, page 510 and UNAMUNO, Miguel de, “Artículos y discursos”, Nuevo Mundo, Madrid, 22nd of June, 1917.
(7)    For the study of the journalistic work by Unamuno, see ARANCIBIA CLAVEL, Patricia, “La América de Unamuno”, Actas del Congreso Internacional “Cincuentenario de Unamuno”, Salamanca University, 1989, pp. 371-375; CELMA, María del Pilar, La pluma ante el espejo, Salamanca University, 1989 and Literatura y Periodismo en las Revistas de Fin de siglo. Estudio e Índices (1888-1907), Júcar, Gijón, 1991, pp. 67-70; and FERNÁNDEZ ALMAGRO, Melchor, “Unamuno, periodista”, Las terceras de ABC, Prensa Española, Madrid, 1976, pp.256-262.
(8)    See CELMA, María del Pilar, La pluma ante el espejo, Salamanca University, 1989, pp. 167-170 and PÉREZ  VILLANUEVA, Joaquín, Ramón Menéndez Pidal: su vida y su tiempo, Espasa, Madrid, 1991, page 219.
(9)    See UNAMUNO, Miguel de, Recuerdos de niñez y mocedades, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1982, pp. 90 and 126.
(10)    Unamuno develops a French pattern based on sporting story, with the idea of favoring its dissemination by means of the main pieces of play, events’ admiration and song and also the description of the festive, social atmosphere in order to rejuvenate old values and discover other new ones beyond commercialization. Sport becomes an intellectual and affective expansion which exalts the great pelota courts -Durango, Eibar, Zarauz, Vitoria, Vergara, Marquina, Abando (Bilbao), Jai Alai (San Sebastián), Guernica, Oñate and Elgóibar- and the pelota play as a school of moral education and discipline. See IRIGOYEN, Juan de, El juego a mano, Excelsior, Bilbao, 1926, pp. 175, 176 and 178.
(11)    See ABELLÁN , José Luis, Historia crítica del pensamiento español, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1988, 4,pp.428-429 and 5/I, page 285; BAHAMONDE, Ángel-MARTÍNEZ, Jesús, Historia de España del siglo XIX, Cátedra, Madrid, 1994, pp. 528-529; and GÓMEZ MOLLEDA, María Dolores, Unamuno, “agitador de espíritus”, y Giner (Correspondencia inédita), Narcea, Madrid, 1977, pp.47-68.
(12)    These new social values of the physical education are developed by Pierre de Coubertin, in imitation of the English pedagogical values of the game carried out by Sir Thomas Arnold and the William Ewart Gladstone’s liberal party. See MERCÉ VARELA, Andrés, Pierre de Coubertin, Península, Barcelona, 1992, pp. 29-31.
(13)    GINER DE LOS RÍOS, Francisco, Los problemas de la educación física, Madrid, 1888.
(14)    See MARTÍNEZ MAGDALENA, Ángel, Los Pioneros españoles del olimpismo moderno, Principality of Asturias’s Education, Cultura, Sports and Young people Council, Oviedo, 1992, pp. 38 and 53.
(15)    Unamuno describes the different displays of the increasing atmosphere based on patriotism as a result of the creation of the Military Juntas in 1917 in: “La crisis actual del patriotismo español”, “La Patria y el Ejército”, “Intelectualidad y espiritualidad”, “La juventud intelectual española” and “Sobre una publicación del Directorio”. In this last article, he analyzes the relationship of the civic education about the native land in order to form up New Men and criticizes the publication of Catecismo del ciudadano because it imitates the German pattern from 1914 with its über alles in der Welt of the German people in 1914, which transformed daily elements into patriotism’s fetishisms. See CARR, Raymond, España, 1808-1975, Ariel, Barcelona, 1985, pp. 481-491; MORODO, Raúl, Los orígenes ideológicos del franquismo: Acción Española, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1985, page 22; ONÍS, Federico de, Unamuno en su Salamanca, Salamanca University, 1988, page 189.
(16)    This positive consideration based on football as freedom element in along all his sporting writings- except in the ones which refer to the abuses of professionalism, passed or approved in 1926, its regulation had been arguing about since 1917 though-. Perhaps, in this planning his nephew Unamuno’s social success has influence, when he was the Athletic Club de Bilbao’s forward between the twenties and forties. Until he was replaced by Zarra, Panizo, Gaínza, Iriondo and Gárate in the campaign 1941-1942, he got 74 goals in League and 21 in Cup since the introduction of the football professionalism, in 1928-1929.
(17)    See GALLEGO MORELL, Antonio, “Baroja y Unamuno, precursores del tema en la novela española”, Deporte 2000, number 4, Madrid, 1969, pp. 45-46; Literatura de tema deportivo, Prensa Española, Madrid, 1969; and “Unamuno y el deporte”, Cuadernos de la Cátedra Miguel de Unamuno, Salamanca, 1970, XX, 25-29.
(18)    Erich Ludendorff was chief of German Staff, secretary of war during the I World War, ideologue of Pan-Germanism and he is author of the book: La Guerra total (1935) which includes militaristic ideas carried out by Germany during the II World War.
(19)    In these years, the presence of sport in Basque nationalism had a predilection for cycle racing, football, mountaineering and pelota and also for the edition of specialized publications which combined sport with other activities with a folk and cultural kind. See ESTORNES ZUBIZARRETA, Idoia, “Educación, prensa y cultura”, Los nacionalistas, Snacho el Sabio Foundation, Vitoria, 1995, pp. 267-268. GRANJA, José Luis de, “La prensa nacionalista: 1930-1937. Una aproximación histórica”, La prensa de los siglos XIX Y XX, Basque County University, Bilbao, 1986, pp. 659-685; “Introducción”, Nacionalismo y República en el País Vasco, Sociological Investigations Center, Madrid, pp. 5-16; “Un modelo de partido-comunidad en el siglo XX: el Partido Nacionalista Vasco”, El nacionalismo vasco: un siglo de historia, Tecnos, Madrid, pp. 145-169. RICO, Pedro, El “sport” en España, Madrid, 1930. SÁIZ DE VALDIVIELSO, Alfonso Carlos, Triunfo y tragedia del periodismo vasco (1900 a 1939), Editora Nacional, Madrid, 1977.

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