Lope Garrido. Fue D. A la calle hasta la una, hora infalible del almuerzo frugal. Lo que principalmente debe hacerse constar es que si D.
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His first attempt at a literary career came in , when a didactic historical verse drama was rejected. He had already become enthusiastic about the novels of Charles Dickens and, in , his translation of Pickwick Papers introduced his work to the Spanish public.
The previous year, he had visited Paris and had begun to read the works of Balzac. Between and , he wrote what would be his first novel, La Fontana de Oro, a historical work set in the period — With the help of money from his sister-in-law, it was published privately in Critical reaction was slow to gain momentum but it was eventually hailed as the beginning of a new phase in Spanish fiction, and was highly praised for its literary quality as well as for its social and moral purpose.
National Episodes[ edit ] He next developed the outline of a major project, the Episodios Nacionales : a series of historical novels outlining the major events in Spanish history from the Battle of Trafalgar in to his own times. The ostensible aim of this project was to regenerate Spain through the awakening of a new sense of national identity.
The first episode was called Trafalgar and appeared in However, the public bought them avidly, despite the criticism that was levelled at his other works, and they remained the basis of his contemporary reputation and income. He conducted an enormous amount of research in the writing of these stories because official reports, newspaper accounts and histories were often rigidly partisan.
In Marianela a young man regains his eyesight after a life of blindness and rejects his best friend Marianela for her ugliness. Fortunata y Jacinta is almost as long as War and Peace. It concerns the fortunes of four characters: a young man-about-town, his wife, his lower-class mistress, and her husband. His novels display a detailed knowledge of not only Madrid but many other cities, towns and villages of Spain — such as Toledo in Angel Guerra.
He visited Great Britain on many occasions, his first trip being in The descriptions of the various districts and low-life characters that he encountered in Madrid, particularly in Fortunata y Jacinta, are similar to the approaches of Dickens and the French Realist novelists such as Balzac.
In addition, these writers were keen to suggest that their works were scientific dissections of society. However, it is also clear that the mystical tendencies of krausismo led to his interest in insanity and the strange wisdom that can sometimes be shown by those people who appear to be mad. He attacked what he saw as abuses of entrenched and dogmatic religious power rather than religious faith or Christianity per se.
In fact, the need for faith is a very important feature in many of his novels and there are many sympathetic portraits of priests and nuns. Rehearsals began in February The theatre was packed on the opening night and received the play enthusiastically. The Catholic press did not attend the performance but this did not prevent them from denouncing the author as a perverse and wicked influence. The play ran for twenty nights. The performance was interrupted by audience reaction and the author had to take many curtain calls.
After the third night, the conservative and clerical parties organised a demonstration outside the theatre. Over one hundred performances were given in Madrid alone and the play was also performed in the provinces. In , 33 years later, a revival in Madrid produced much the same degree of uproar and outrage. This appointment lasted for five years and mainly seems to have given him the chance to observe the conduct of politics at first hand, which informs scenes in some of his novels.
By , however, there was no sign of national regeneration and the government of the day was making no attempt to control or limit the powers of the Catholic Church. At the age of 64, he re-entered the political arena as a Republican deputy. He seems to have undertaken the task of uniting the anti-monarchic groups, which included Democrats, Republicans, liberals and socialists.
He began to fade from the scene of active political involvement. In , he was the Republican candidate for Las Palmas, but this was more of a local tribute to him. In , he joined in a protest with Miguel de Unamuno and Mariano de Cavia against the encroaching censorship and authoritarianism coming from the putatively constitutional monarch.
The activities of the Catholic press, which sneered at the writer as a blind beggar, along with the outbreak of World War I , led to the scheme being closed in with the money raised being less than half what would be required to clear his debts and set up a pension. In that same year, however, the Ministry of Public Instruction appointed him to take charge of the arrangements for the Cervantes tercentenary, for a stipend of pesetas per month.
After becoming blind he continued to dictate his books for the rest of his life. Shortly before his death, a statue in his honour was constructed in the Parque del Buen Retiro , the most popular park in Madrid, financed solely by public donations.
Benito Pérez Galdós
Tristana. Benito Pérez Galdós