Love and Religion in San Manuel Bueno, martyr, by Unamuno

J. A. G. Ardila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers a new reading of Miguel de Unamuno's San Manuel Bueno, martir. Critics have traditionally focused on the question of the protagonist's supposed lack of faith and sought to relate San Manuel's doubts in the novel to Unamuno's own religious views. Although this novel is very much concerned with religion, eschatology, and social issues, it is also an extremely sophisticated literary narration wherein the use of irony and ambiguity remains perhaps unequalled in Spanish contemporary literature. By considering the principles of linguistic pragmatics, this article shows that in her account of San Manuel's life, the female narrator tells the dramatic story of the love she and San Manuel felt for each other. By means of a complex use of ambiguity, Unamuno writes a novel that can be read in two different ways: the religious novel and the love novel.

Translated title of the contributionLove and Religion in San Manuel Bueno, martyr, by Unamuno
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)94-113
Number of pages20
JournalRomance Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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