Ínsula

Ínsula
   A Madrid-based monthly literary magazine first published in January 1946, Ínsula was associated also with a bookstore and a publishing house of the same name, as well as a famous tertulia in Madrid. Two periods of the review suggest themselves. The first extended from 1946 until 1988, and included the first 500 numbers of the publication. It was mainly presided over by the founding editor Enrique Canito (1902–92), a high school professor of French who was deprived of his position for political reasons by the Franco regime. The poet José Luis Cano participated in the founding of Ínsula, and over the next fortytwo years occupied the posts of secretary, associate editor and, upon Canito's retirement in January, 1983, editor. The greatness of the first epoch of Insula derives from its role in maintaining a forum and spirit of cultural and literary dialogue during the worst years of Francoism. It kept its readers in contact with the Spanish intelligentsia in exile that wrote for its pages, and published material by and about virtually all the greater and lesser figures of contemporary and classic literature in Spanish, and, to a notably lesser extent, in other languages. Its format was similar to that of the leading Spanish dailies. Hence in the tradition of Ortega, it made high culture attractive and accessible to both the literary professional and to the educated general reader. An emblematic event in the history of Insula during the worst of the censorship was its defiance of a prohibition against giving promi-nence to Ortega on the occasion of his death. In response the editors dedicated the November 1955 number to his memory. As a result the magazine was not allowed to publish again until January 1957. In June 1987 Cano became President of the magazine and was succeeded in the editorship by Víctor García de la Concha, a professor at the University of Salamanca.
   The unofficial second epoch of Ínsula begins with the publication of number 501: Cano's name disappears from the editorial team of Ínsula; the characteristic green of the masthead and highlight lettering of the magazine is replaced by red; the review is printed on a heavier, more expensive stock; and the traditional sections or departments of the magazine disappear. While the Canito-Cano Ínsula was characterized by a policy of informing its readership of new developments in national and international literature, culture and related research, the new Ínsula is more professorial and academic. It depends heavily on the publication of partial and total monographic issues under the rubric "El Estado de la Question" (The State of Current Research). Critics, usually university-based, study specific Spanish and Spanish-American writers, movements and genres.
   Further reading
   - Abellán, M.L. (1984) "La revista Insula y el exilio español", Revista National de Cultura (Caracas) 255: 33–40.
   - Cano, J.L. (1988) "Breve historia de Insula", Insula 499–500: 1–2.
   - Gómez Sempere, J. (1983) Indices de la revista "Insula" (1946-1980), Madrid: Dirección General del Libro y Bibliotecas.
   STEPHEN MILLER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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