Walking through the dirty streets,ncrowded with poorly dressed womennand children and smelling of frying oil,nshe found it inconceivable that thisngreat writer could have been expellednfrom his position as rector of the historicnSpanish university at Salamanca,nbecause of his opposition to AlfonsonXIII and his prime minister, Primo denRivera. Unamuno loved Spain as anpatriot, a champion of personal andnintellectual liberty, not as a politicalnpartisan. What could he be doing innthis drab little town? Had he buriednhimself in his books, looking sadly andnhopelessly to Spain? His letters to mynaunt had given her no clue.nMiguel de Unamuno had been condemnednto 16 years in prison for lesenmajeste, a sentence that was neverncarried out, and taken on 24-hournnotice under guard to Fuerteventuranisland — “a bit of the Sahara in thenAtlantic Ocean,” he had described it.nThe Spanish government had suggestednto him that he could easily escape tonPortugal, but he refused, preferring thendignity of exile. “If I return to Spain,”nhe would tell my aunt, “it will be tonaccuse.”nAt the end of a cobbled street, thenAvenue Pierre Loti, my aunt foundnUnamuno’s house — a small, greenshutteredncottage surrounded by a tidyngarden. There a bright-eyed Spanishnmaid told her, “No, el senor Unamunonno estd. He is in the cafe. Oh, he doesnnot return until night. El cafe Central,non the square. It is not hard to find.”nThe cafe was dirty, dark, disreputable,nand very noisy. The noise camenfrom a table where Unamuno —npowerful, wiry, blue-eyed, and tannedn— was arguing with a half-dozen mennin work clothes — intellectual and proletariannin debate. On seeing my aunt,nUnamuno said a few words to hisnworker friends, who quickly moved tonother tables. Then, almost withoutnprelude, he launched into a discoursenon my ancestors, who had written theirnbooks and sung their songs in Toledo,nand stood in the court of the Catholicnkings until the Inquisition drove themnout of a Spain they never forgot.nMy aunt, who held court in a NewnYork apartment until she died quietlynat age. 102, remembered thatn”Unamuno’s eyes never left mine.nWhen Don Miguel spoke to you, hendid not talk at you but into you. He wasnmost interested not in what he wasnsaying but in what you were thinkingnand feeling, and how you reacted to hisnwords. He loved people as much as henloved ideas.”nMy aunt Zarita was more interestednin Unamuno’s views about the comingnrevolution in Spain, about America,nabout what he was doing, than aboutnher ancestors. She knew all aboutnthem. When she mentioned America,nhe laughed. “Every summer, a mannbrings over a caravan of teachers tonHendaye,” he said. “Recently I tooknoccasion to ask them about somenAmerican writers — Parkman, HenrynAdams, others. They did not know ofnthem. That puzzled me.” He couldnnot understand how teachers, entrustednwith the education of the young,ncould be ignorant of their own writers,ntheir own culture. And he was amusednbecause he realized that all they knewnof him was what the guide told them.n”Ten minutes with a philosophernnamed Oo-na-moo-no,” he parodied,n”and then we will look at a church.”nWhen my aunt referred to KingnAlfonso, Unamuno made a small gesture.n”Es un bucolico, y mas, unnLIBERAL ARTSnEUROPE COMES OF AGEnmentiroso” — he is a bumpkin, andnmore, a liar. “He never tells the truth,nor if he does it is because he does notnknow that it is the truth. But after all,nhe is a Hapsburg, a foreigner.” (Thenpun then current among anti-monarchistsnwas that Alfonso was Spain’snBourbonic plague.) As for Primo denRivera, who tried too ineptly to saventhe monarchy, “he hasn’t many ideasnand he is un envidioso” — an enviousnman. “That is a very Spanish trait.” Henthought for a moment and then added,n”The French attribute all our troublesnto le clerge. Le clergel But it would benmore correct to say the military. Isnthere anything more stupid, morenpompous, in all of Spain than thenmilitary?”n”How is it, Don Miguel,” my auntnasked, “that a professor of Greek literaturenshould have political convictionsnstrong enough to arouse Alfonso andnRivera?”n”I have no political program. Butnthe national problem, the regenerationnof Spain, concerns many of us. I amnnot interested in legal or state remedies.nWith Ganivet, I go directly to thenpeople, to the race and its spirit. TonUnconventional religions are on the rise in Europe. DonnLattin of the San Francisco Chronicle reported last summernthat low church attendance and a changing world ordernhave led Europeans to search for spiritual alternatives, suchnas occult sects, neo-pagan movements, and holistic healingncenters. When the Berlin Wall was coming down, the firstnencounter many East Germans had with the West was thenChurch of Scientology, which posted staff members alongnthe wall to hand out free German-language copies ofnDianetics. “Europe has become the growth market for newnreligious movements,” said J. Gordon Melton, director ofnthe Genter for the Study of American Religion in SantanBarbara. Some Europeans see this as a blend of “New Age”nspiritualism and a revival of Renaissance magic and occultism,nwhile others have attributed it to an outgrowth of thenAmerican hippie culture of the 1960’s. According tonMelton, “Gurus who settled in America and built anmovement here are now expanding into Europe.”nnnJANUARY 1992/49n