This essay takes as its starting point the discipleship that linked both María Zambrano and Rosa Chacel to the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, and analyses their distancing from the mentor with regard to his views on love and male–female relations. The analysis focuses on essays from the 1930s and 1940s in which the two young authors discuss the "metaphisic" of sexual difference that circulated in Europe during the interwar period and, above all, the writings of Simmel an Jung wich were translated and published by Ortega in his Revista de Occidente. Zambrano and Chacel’s responses to Ortega articulate the “woman question” in different ways, by underlining the iguality or the difference between sexes, and bring forward the discussion that crosses the twentieth-century feminism in Europe. The article also aims to show the centrality of these youthful texts on love and gender relations to Zambrano and Chacel’s mature thought, by examining their influences on their subsequent work.
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