Death in Spanish Literature While Term Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Literature - Latin-American
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #7150930
  • Related Topic: Spanish, Black Death, Spain

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In his novels he focused on characters, motivations, and reactions to the forces around his characters. He realistically examined Spanish politics, economy, religion, and family through the eyes of the middle class, addressing the cruelty of human beings against each another in his novels Miau and Misericordia. Galdos was called the conscience of Spain for his realistic observations of society with all its ills. (Columbia 2005) His plays were less successful than his novels.

In 1907 he became deputy of the Republican Party in Madrid. He went blind in 1912, but overcoming this tragedy, he continued to dictate his books until his death. Other works translated into English are Tristana (tr. 1961) and Compassion (tr. 1962) Outside Spain his Novelas Espanolas Contemporaneas are the most popular. Perez Galdos was elected to the "Real Academia Espanola" Real Academia Espanola (Royal Spanish Academy) in 1897. A statue of him was raised in the Parque del Retiro, in Madrid, financed solely by public donations (Columbia 2005).

From La novela en el tranvia, by Galdos, Chapter V:

Era el mismo, y conversaba con otro que a su lado iba. Puse atenci n y escuche con toda mi alma.

Pero ¿tu no sospechaste nada? -- le dec'a el otro.

Algo s'; pero calle. Parec'a difunta; tal era su terror. Su marido la mand tocar el piano y ella no se atrevi a resistir. Toc, como siempre, de una manera admirable, y oyendola llegue an olvidarme de la peligrosa situaci n en que nos encontrabamos. A pesar de los esfuerzos que ella hac'a para aparecer serena, lleg un momento en que le fue imposible fingir mas. Sus brazos se aflojaron, y resbalando de las teclas ech la cabeza atras y dio un grito. Entonces su marido sac un punal, y dado un paso hacia ella exclam con furia: "Toca o te manto al instante." Al ver esto hirvi mi sangre toda: quise echarme sobre aquel miserable; pero sent' en mi cuerpo una sensaci n que no puedo pintarte; cre' que repentinamente se hab'a encendido una hoguera en mi est mago; fuego corr'a por mis venas; las sienes me latieron, y ca' al suelo sin sentido.

A antes, ¿no conociste los s'ntomas del envenenamiento? -- le pregunt el otro.

Notaba cierta desaz n y sospeche vagamente, pero nada mas. El veneno estaba bien preparado, porque hizo el efecto tarde y no me mat, aunque me ha dejado una enfermedad para toda la vida.

A despues que perdiste el sentido ¿que pas

Translation:

He was himself, and talked with whom to its side it went. I put attention and I listened with all my soul.

But you did not suspect anything? - he said.

Something yes; but I shut up. It seemed late; such was its terror. Her husband asked her to play the piano and she did not dare to resist. She played, as always, in an admirable way, and upon hearing it I forgot the dangerous situation in which we were. In spite of the efforts that she made to appear calm, in a little while it was impossible for him to pretend any more. Her arms became loose, and slipping off the keys she threw his head back and gave a shout. Then her husband removed a dagger, and taking a step towards her he exclaimed with fury: "Play or I will kill you instantly." Seeing this, my blood boiled: I wanted to throw myself on that miserable creature; but I felt in my body a sensation that I cannot describe; I felt a sudden bonfire in my stomach had ignited; fire ran in my veins; I felt a pain in my temple, and fell to the ground without senses.

And before, you didn't know the symptoms of poisoning? -- the other asked.

A couldn't think, but I suspected it vaguely, but nothing more than that. The poison was well prepared, because it affected me late and didn't kill me, though it has affected me the rest of my life.

And after you lost your senses, what happened?

Rafael started to answer and I heard the words, as if they were words pendant with the secrets of life and death, when suddenly the coach stopped..

Ah! We are already at the Consejos where I get off. -- said Rafael.

What a contrary person! He's leaving and I don't know the end of the story

Caballero, caballero, one word -- I said upon seeing him exit.

During 1898, a period of loss and decay, Spanish intellectuals began the literary movement called the Generation of 1898. It was centered at the Institute of Free Education, which Spanish educator Francisco Giner de los R'os had founded. After the government had dismissed many renowned university professors for their liberal ideas, this school was determined to graduate students who would feel responsible for the state of their country. Teachers and writers from the school attempted to explain why Spanish society had deteriorated and to provide some impetus for reversing that decline (Weller 5).

Leopoldo Alas (Clarin) (1852-1901), was a short-story writer, and critic who writing under the pseudonym Clar'n, b. Zamora. Although a journalist, he became a professor of law at the University of Oviedo. Best known for his naturalistic novel La Regenta (1884-85), which is an analysis of provincial life, his other works include the novel, Su Unico Hijo [His Only Son] (1890), and short stories.

Valis spoke of his novel La Regenta in flowing terms and describes its intricacies well:

Reading the one thousand and more pages of La Regenta (1994-1885) by Leopoldo Alas (also known as Clarin), is an experience in entrapment. The more deeply we penetrate its reading surfaces the more exasperated and bewildered we as readers feel Folded and double-folded in multiple layers, Clarin's novel has the fearful capacity to absorb, to pull the reader in. This of course is exactly what a great novel should do: it should uproot us from our unwanted and various selves and repot us in more conducive soil. But what if the reader-critic stumbles in his understanding and experiencing of the text, and finds that apparently smooth, even impenetrable surfaces, once tapped in the right place, break into disquieting fragments? What if the order sought for isn't any order at all? (246).

La Regenta has novelistic order in form. It is highly organized and belongs to the mimetic tradition. It treats death and its role in life in such a skilled way that it is similar to bathing in a river where currents sweep one under and reveal it as the dark undercurrents of life.

Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish poet, novelist, and playwright who wrote on death. Born on September 29, 1864, in the Basque city of Bilbao, His father died when the poet was six, and his mother, Salome Jugo, gave her children a Catholic upbringing. Unamuno went to the University of Madrid, studying languages and philosophy and receiving a Ph.D. In 1884. He returned to Bilbao and taught Greek at the University of Salamanca. Later that year, he married his childhood sweetheart, Concepci n and had ten children. In 1900, he became the rector of the university. Throughout his life he published essays on travel; metaphysics, religion and politics as well as ten novels and many plays. His novels and plays bring the sorrows of death to the forefront.

Unamuno did not even begin to publish until he was forty-three. His first book, poesias (1907), used common Spanish language to offer impressions of travel and nature. In Dos Madres, he examined maternity, as well as family and death, a subject he also looked at in La ti Tula. Socialism, rationalism and positivism were eschewed here for the tragic sense of life where one desires immortality above all else, yet one knows that death is the end, so the solution is to have children.

In 1930, the dictator, Primo de Rivera, was removed and in February Unamuno returned home to regain his position as rector. However, when General Franco took power in 1936, Unamno's friends and colleagues were seized and executed. Unamuno angrily denounced Franco's rebellion and General Franco gave anyone permission to shoot him. However, to avoid an international incident, the poet was confined to house arrest, and he died on New Year's Eve, 1936. (Academy 25).

Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) was a Spanish poet and dramatist, an artist and a member of the 'Generation of 1928', a group of writers who advocated avant-gardism in literature. Lorca deals with violent death and tragedy in his poetry, prose and plays. Among Garc'a Lorca's best-known plays is Blood Wedding (1933), a story of a bride who runs away with a previous lover, and is subsequently murdered by her husband. Having spent a time in great creative activity, Garc'a Lorca himself was shot by Falangist soldiers during the opening days of the Spanish Civil war. (Lorca 2007).

Most of the Madrid critics praised the literary and dramatic merit of Marina…

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