To make that case clearer, I start each chapter with brief reference to traditional readings of the elements from the Catholic imaginary on which I focus. I then move to reclaim a more three-dimensional reading of what a contemporaneous public might have found in the novel as echoes of such a commonly held body of cultural knowledge. Thereafter, as I noted above, I extend this argument in a final, fourth chapter, by recommending readings of religious imaginaries in other texts by canonical and often Realist Spanish and French authors.
Finally, in the conclusion to this study, I turn back to the more general question that motivated it: For a broader scope on the author, consult the standard bibliographies Theodore A. An Annotated Bibliography Albuquerque: Dolphin, the latter which looks with more distance at criticism from the mids through the early s. In this essay, I will not focus on this aspect of the criticism as the religious approach to the author has globally moved away from this reading.
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In addition, it is from the standpoint of what has looked conservative and religious--and not what has looked more progressive or anti-church--to standard scholarship that I will build my case for the author as a progressive thinker. That is, critics of later eras would straightforwardly transform the work itself from a national commentary into a moral-religious work and, ultimately, into a aesthetic and philosophically Christian as opposed to cultural Catholic masterpiece--a re-conceptualization which rectified what was puzzling to a century of critics who did not necessarily see the power of its rhetoric as a social call.
But before further characterizing this criticism and its ends, I will first examine more closely the troubling piece itself. He claims that he would often enter these rather dangerous sectors, accompanied by police escort or doubling as a public health physician.
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On one of these observational and adventurous jaunts, he recounts, he came across a street-roughened blind man notable for hurling curses in a hybridized Spanish, mixed with elements of Arabic or Hebrew. What Realists observed and brought into being as art, unlike other artistic traditions applying a standard of verisimilitude, was that which they considered to be the truth of their socio-historical moment and of their national fabric, e.
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See her Realism Harmondsworth: Stromberg, who treats Realism and Naturalism as European trends, approximates Realism as extending throughout and Naturalism as continuing nearly through the remainder of the century Nochlin delimits a longer period, from roughly until for Realism The movement found its outlet in Spanish intellectual life in concerns of national socio-political and economic progress and renovation, which the Generation of is famously known for espousing early on and then abandoning.
This new aesthetics replaced sources of knowledge found in the older divisions of reason and sentiment with a Neo-Platonist conception of intellectual intuition or imagination.
Phillips and Kathleen N. While no longer authoritative in its conclusions, the critic does note that the work still serves as a pool of ideas from which more contemporary critics draw. Flammand finds Jewish Moroccan communities to have been agricultural and religiously syncretic, i. Lambert and Vernon A. Chamberlin found parallels with non-documentary or print sources adaptation is still, if not more so, a creative discipline for Chamberlin.
A Reply to A. She begins to argue this perspective by asking why--if the stated intention of the author is to reproduce meticulously a reality drawing on a real model represented in the preface--does the detail of religious orientation appear as altered in his moving from the model of the blind beggar, who is reputedly Muslim, to his narrative reproduction, who claims to be Jewish? Here he raises an interesting question, but one couched in a bias to Lambert also refers, assuming the documentary method and, moreover, Realism to be unimaginative.
This strategy is quite typical of formalist criticisms, but particularly of New Criticism, an aesthetic school of the half-century span around World War II that tried to recuperate or renovate authors of older mimetic traditions as canonical. Indeed, the preface was at one time frequently mentioned or discussed in criticism on the novel, but now, as with its physical presence in editions, it too has faded from the critical dialogue.
Where not otherwise indicated, my sources are Donald J. Approaches, Scholars, Terms, ed.
Walton, Louis Menand, and Lawrence Rainey, eds. Norma, , publishing in Barcelona, Spain and in Latin America. See the following works from this critic appearing here in chronological order; some already mentioned: This approach would purposefully degrade or deform his stylistic choices to represent a Madrid seen by the author as artistically and politically stagnant, even degenerate. Twayne, ; Brown ; Kathryn G. Twentieth-Century Spanish Fiction Writers, ed. Alonso Zamora Vicente Madrid: Max will answer suggestively by redefining himself as an artist with a more common subject: Evidence of its resurgence in landmark aesthetic accounts is again clear, for example, in Ricard.
More recently, critics have assessed the term more subtly as they move beyond the idea that a national poet needed to be an aesthetic voice. No debemos hacer Arte ahora, porque jugar en los tiempos que corren es immoral, es una canallada. Consecutive editions maintain this definition as late as The association I am making here must be considered as a reading specific to the time, or as real or authentic for the people of the time--even though it may still not be enough to concretize the comment overall as laudatory.
U of Minnesota P, The more light we shed on the 53 if not as opposed to, the Realist notion of the artist as poet of the people. New Critics rejecting this perspective later in the century-especially after the Civil War --would initiate an almost complete change of critical face for the novelist, pulling him away from the nationalist projects of Realism and evaluating him as transcendent, but in specific ways. In this period, overall agendas for a national cultural criticism would largely respond to conservative currents under the authoritarian dictator Francisco Franco see my Introduction that tended to vilify the creative process, the less mysterious it seems and the more the author is removed from the exalted superhuman plane and brought nearer to the normal human stature.
It is not surprising--but it is limiting in terms of socio-historical perspectives on the author--that many of the major voices who would look to re-position his work within a canon embodying an aesthetic of pure art on a European level and in tacit resistance to an unacceptable regime would also look to recuperate the author as transcending his national art and culture e.
Las Americas, , surveys representations of anticlericalism in the work of Spanish liberal authors e. In a final section, it provides a near primary account of the suppression of anticlerical sentiments and ideologies in the press and in the literary establishment under the Franco regime. In doing so, the critic does not reject so explicitly the historical 67 In his Tres personajes Galdosianos: Gredos, , is also typical in this regard.
Referring to the workings of what has been seen as anticlerical in Casandra, Ricard remarks that the lesson seems rather to be a Christian one: In terms of religion, the later thesis of Christianity or post-Christianity seems to have redressed the question of Catholicism as a cultural tradition most fundamentally rooted in surrounding phenomena , reclaiming religion in the form of a set of aesthetic qualities, with little, if any, reference to the existing political and institutional references of the term for Spain.
As more modern critics would come to approach the work, they often found its emphasis on such values to be somewhat staid, with its supposedly problematic moralizing, which, they felt, put a distance between the values that it seemed to project and its cultural relevance. An earlier generation of critics associates the humble beginnings of Misericordia as a noteworthy work engaging the long history of a difficult social climate in a modernizing Spain.
Especially in the years surrounding the Civil War, critics would devote studies to hailing its artistic goal of national consolation and redemption, reading it as an ethical project with nationalist implications rather than a specifically sectarian 60 religious one. The later essay reprises her earlier one in re-evaluating the novel, as the critic portrays the worth of Misericordia as culturally twofold.
Her overall evaluation of the work will thus persist in becoming more plainly historically anachronistic. Biblioteca del Hispanista, Not yet having been accepted on an aesthetic level, as none of its sisters was, this novel was now slated to be the less worthy religious text of the group. Ese personaje se llama Benina, y es la protagonista de Misericordia.
https://kasvatache.tk Finding in this way a new in-road for judging the artistic worth of a religious text, the previously shelved Misericordia, would begin to acquire foothold within the New Critical canon, revived by supported artistry represented in its heroine. At the same time, the novel shed its residual promise of or claim to offering insight as a cultural-historical narrative. That is, while the older, mid-century reading had still been far from claming a genuine social relevance for the text claiming it as redemptive , it would certainly have come closer to it than would this new variant, which stressed its ethical or humanistChristian values as key to its aesthetics.
Here the metaphor of peddling garbanzo beans is replaced with that of pedaling a musical instrument. By this measure, Benina, an unexpected and rather unsuspecting heroine, will enable Russell to draw out his argument about the figure: The values of the Gospel [in Misericordia], positively conceived, are not laid out upon a hero or suggested mechanically by events. They arise from within the novel and from within the heroine. Las Americas, ; Robert Russell is confident enough in this regard to begin his study with the following: The critic was, it seems, successful in making this graft.
As the bulk of a scholarship surrounding the s would continue to focus on the novel as the exposition of an artistically heightened religious thematics, it would do so only in variants of these earlier strategies. Notable among critical voices in this period are Gilberto Paolini ,79 J.
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Yet while Paolini conceives of charity in all its aspects theological, philosophical, etc. Varey and Robert J. Many other notable accounts of this important decade for the text characterize the novel as globally Christian, in a reprise of Russell. For instance, Theodore S. Approaching the novel as more generally religious, Sara E.
Schyfter 87 reads Judaism and Christianity both as its central ideological principles--yet with the Jewish faith personified in the character of Almudena as revealing the comparative inauthenticity of the Christian one.
As case in point, Harry L. Romuald, the founder of the Order of the Camaldolese. Like author, like child: Rescued, according to the critics, from their sordid pasts as historically realistic in feature, they were reclaimed almost simultaneously 88 An exception to the consensus of the novel as religious is Donald W. Bleznick and Mario E. At the same time, these essentially partial readings of the novel are unstable, making it a tool by which scholars would stake their claim on the author in terms of their personal value structures as critics.
In this sense, this story of critical reappropriations of author and text--as many are--has been a tale of the loss of artistic nationalism, as well as of the 90 N. Writing at the outer historical limit of the New Critical period , Miller also attests to the modern feature and failure of this kind of religious aestheticization: It is so easy to see why it is that the relations of religion and literature are now of special concern.
In a time when the power of organized religion has weakened, people have turned, as Matthew Arnold said they would, to poetry as a stay and prop, even as a means of salvation. Arnold, however, was wrong, and T. Literature is not a means of salvation.