In February, 1897, Benito Pérez Galdós read his speech of income in the SAR. In that text, entitled The Spanish society as a matter novelable, exhibited what we would now call his poetics, his way of understanding the novel as a genre, the ambitions and purposes that guided his writing. One of the phrases in that speech was to become a motto galdós-esque. Image of life is the novel, then said, and the count of the spaniards, their books were tracing the image of a country that had the same name as ours, though they are no longer the same. But beyond the emotion, of admiration, of pleasure, the best reason to read today to another great storyteller in Spanish of all times, is his amazing ability to explain what has happened to us, what is happening to us still.
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, Galdós was never neutral, and in principle encourages a new illusion of democracy. La Fontana de Oro, his second novel, was published in 1871, a year before the appearance of the first of the Episodes National, it is taken as a model. In The Fontana, Galdós goes back to Madrid, 1821, where the liberals have regained hope. The odious Ferdinand VII has sworn to the Constitution. The public happiness, the progress, the birth of a Spain that is more modern and egalitarian can be seen on the horizon. So sorry the young Bozmediano to the exalted that have been run over in the street who looks like a poor old man. There are No revolutions, no excesses, he says, while he is accompanied home, but the Government put an end to these altercations. Meanwhile, the old man is silent. Bozmediano may not know that it is precisely he who, with money from Ferdinand, pay to the rioters, the arsonists, to the energúmenos intended to scare the people, to convince you that only the absolute power of a king tyrannical style of his peace and his happiness.
In the course of the Episodes National, Galdós develops this bitter principle in a tragic rosary of frustrated hopes, armed riots, and civil wars that always begin the same way. In the richest regions of Spain, the Basque Country, Navarre, Catalonia, the old aristocracy and the rising bourgeoisie who have nothing to gain with the plans modernizers of the liberal governments in Madrid, raised armies under the banner of God, the Tradition and the King all that identify with don Carlos, the younger brother and even more reactionary Fernando VII. From 1833, the carlists always lose the wars they start but are, also always, so generously forgiven by the victors, who are in conditions of re-plotting at the same moment of his defeat. Thus, in 1840, in 1849, and in 1876, when on the surface it seems that everything has ended, in the basement all start again.
readers of Galdós have a broader perspective of what we are experiencing that the spaniards who have never read it. We know why the pro-independence Catalan suppresses the NINETEENTH century in a story that insists monotonously repeating in the EIGHTEENTH century, as if this is closer than that. We know that the supporters of the heavy hand they called themselves moderates, just like the right wing is now benefiting from terms such as centre-right or constitutionalism. We know that republicanism was not a virus overseas inoculated betrayal at the ignorant people Spanish of 1931, but an aspiration solidly installed in the progressive thinking national from the Courts of Cadiz. We know why the term “liberal”, which exists in almost all the languages of the world, is a Spanish word and that, precisely for this reason, Franco endeavored to remove the memory of the NINETEENTH century of “your” Spain, condemning it to a limbo from which it has not been fully salvaged yet. We know in addition to, perhaps above all, that the only Civil War that we know by that name —as if the carlists had not been— was the outcome of a conflict that lasted more than a century. Since 1812, two Spains fought among themselves under banners antagonistic. Freedom, progress, equality, fought to the tradition, to clericalism, to the reaction, and even beating them in three wars in a row managed to win the future. The country where I was born was still a product of his defeat.
Galdós was never neutral, and in the end, the desolation is almost absolute. In 1897, Mercy certified the wreck of all the dreams. The Restoration had smothered the illusions of Bozmediano, the attempts of modernization of the country agonizaban covered in dust. The bourgeoisie, which should have been the engine of social transformation, mimicked the proverbial selfishness of the aristocracy instead of leading the democratic State. The middle class only aspired to come up in the same elevator, while the poorest, who were left to die in the creek.
The dignity of Benina
A millimeter here and survives Benign, the señá Benina, Nina, three different names for a character who embodies the dignity of the Spanish people in the context of the crisis more fierce. Benign, asks for alms at the door of a church to feed his lady, the lady with ruined to eat that your maid gives you. The señá Benina runs, goes, comes, asks for a hard-borrowed, committed, rescues, exhausts itself in an implacable struggle and still come to the aid of those who have less than her. Your only heritage is your friend Almudena, a beggar moro, blind, more marginal and miserable, and that the want well. Galdós, creator of extraordinary female characters, through which he told the world with as much ambition as the one that unfolded in her male characters, deposited in Benign, in his nobility, his generosity, in his tenderness, the last of their hopes. She represents the fragile thread of vitality that preserves the dying empire, self-absorbed and musty, maybe even deserves the opportunity to be reborn.
Read Galdós is to understand Spain, shipwrecked with her, find reasons to keep believing.
Also this is why it is an indispensable writer.
Dating for one year anniversary
2,000 books. to Coincide with the centenary of his death, the Instituto Cervantes and the autonomous Community of Madrid give away today 2,000 copies in a facsimile edition of the third of the Episodes National, the novel The 19 march and 2 may. Are collected at the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute and the ministry of Culture.
Tributes. Madrid city Council pays homage to the writer in his statue in the Retiro Park from 12.00. An hour before, there will be another tribute at the tomb of Galdós in La Almudena cemetery, attended by representatives of several institutions. The Ateneo of Madrid will host throughout the year conferences and events around to the life and work of the author of Fortunata and Jacinta.
special Day. The Government of Canarias, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria and the City of Las Palmas has organized a special day to commemorate the writer canary and disclose his work with street theatre acts and institutional open doors day in his house-museum, which will give away books to the visitors. These days, boots in addition to the filming of Galdós, a documentary about the author of the director canary Gustavo Relief.Updated Date: 04 January 2020, 06:00