“Everything Remains the Same”: Julio Camba Travelling Spain

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In the first decades of the twentieth century, the Madrid-based Galician journalist Julio Camba (1882–1962) acquired long-lasting fame as a travel writer thanks to his foreign chronicles published in the Spanish press and subsequently compiled in a series of volumes. La rana viajera [The Travelling Frog] (1920), however, gathers some of the pieces he wrote about Spain. This article examines Camba’s domestic travel writing, which not only provides an excellent insight into significant social and political issues at the time (with references to the rise of sub-state nationalisms and political corruption in the country), but also highlights the similarities between the Restoration period and present-day Spain. Using his characteristic humorous style and subverting pre-existing tropes of travel writing, Camba represents Spanish society by combining criticism of Spain’s economic stagnation and national decay with a centralist view of the country. In particular, his scorn towards the Galician, Catalan and Basque languages and his parodic take on Catalonia’s claims for autonomy shed light on the formation of Spanish nationalism in the decades prior to the Civil War. Drawing on studies on state nationalism (Billig 1995) and Spanish nationalism (Taibo 2014, Delgado 2014) this article examines not only Camba’s own views but the response from contemporary scholarship to his texts.


  • Julio Camba, Travel writing, Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, nationalism, Spain
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages21
JournalModern Languages Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2023
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