Fittingly for what it was to contain, Vida Nueva began on the 12th of June 1898 just as the Desastre del 98 was unfolding, in which the last of Spain’s significant colonies were lost to the United States. The weekly newspaper soon came to epitomize the spirit of the Generación del 98, the writers, artists and thinkers who sought to critique Spanish society and rebel against the established traditions, mentalities and aesthetics which had led to Spain’s current lamented
The magazine Gente Vieja, as the title might suggest, took pride in being a platform for an older generation of writers, at a time when a new wave of modernist literary and artistic styles, associated with the younger generation, were very much in vogue. Far from trying to compete with these younger writers, the contributors to Gente Vieja made a feature of their seniority, with the first issue proudly stating the age of the writer alongside their name.
For Europeans, Spring is traditionally seen as the time for birth of new life, symbolized astrologically with the Sun entering the Aries constellation on the Spring equinox. Pagan celebrations to welcome in the longer days centred around fertility symbols, celebrations which were later absorbed into the Christianity of the Spanish-speaking world.
It cannot be argued that the magazine Luz was designed to be an aesthetic commodity, a magazine of an artistic and writing collective which had as its aim the inspiration of whoever picked it up. The magazine’s first epoch began on the 15th November 1897, with a fortnightly publication which cost 10c.
Theorists on the magazine as a genre have used various metaphors for the magazine as a test bed for new expressive forms.
The Correspondencia Administrativa section, found in many Spanish magazines of the late nineteenth century, was the magazine staff’s most convenient way of responding to letters from subscribers and hopeful contributors. Replies were perfunctory and saved both the time and postage/stationary costs involved in responding via private, individual correspondence.
The Spanish Left of 1898 were angry young men, and the newspaper Germinal lays bare that anger. Stemming from the economic and social inequalities which pervaded Spanish society, the contributors to Germinal did not hold back when it came to speaking their minds, and did not hesitate to reproduce controversial writings from other countries. The newspaper can be characterised by a spirit of rebellion against established values, with anarchists lauded, feminists praised, and the monarchy criticised.