Benito Perez Galdos and the Creative Process

Benito Perez Galdos and the Creative Process

WALTER T. PATTISON
Copyright Date: 1954
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 160
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttt5bv
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    Benito Perez Galdos and the Creative Process
    Book Description:

    Most critics would rank Benito Perez Galdos second only to Cervantes among the great novelists of Spain. However, in spite of the esteem in which he is generally held, Galdos has been the subject of relatively few scholarly studies. Professor Pattison, by an analysis of two of Galdos’ novels, attempts to reconstruct the creative processes that were involved in the writing of these novels. This is the first time that such a critical approach has been used in the field of Spanish fiction and the resulting study is significant not only to Spanish scholars but to all students of literature seeking further insights into the fascinating and still elusive creative process. Professor Pattison analyzes the novels Gloria, published in 1877, and Marianela, which was published the following year. Both are stories of contemporary life, the former having as its theme the conflict between noble religion and the fanaticism of individual religious sects, and the latter presenting a story of tragic love interwoven with the social problem of the responsibilities of the rich toward the poor. In tracking down the sources of ideas, characters, plots, and viewpoints that emerge in these novels, Professor Pattison worked first-hand in Galdos’ personal library in Madrid. From the notes and markings in the books and from other intimate observations, the scholar-detective put his finger on many of the original sources that contributed to Galdos’ artistic creations and identified the prototypes for fictional characters among persons Galdos knew.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6393-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-5)

    Benito Pérez Galdós is a great novelist —so great, in fact, that most critics would place him second only to Cervantes in the world of Spanish letters. As a figure of such stature he of course merits investigations into all aspects of his life and work; but strangely enough, relatively few scholars have chosen him as their theme. His Spanish compatriots have allowed his letters to go unpublished; most of his journalism remains uncollected; his novels await adequate analysis. What work has been done is largely the tribute of foreign admirers.

    My interest in this remarkable novelist has been long-standing,...

  4. FORMATIVE PERIOD: FOREIGN INFLUENCES
    (pp. 6-17)

    At the age of nineteen Benito Pérez Galdós left his home in the Canary Islands to study law in Madrid. From his nineteenth to his thirtieth year — that is, from 1862 to 1873 — he was, perhaps without realizing it, preparing for his career as a novelist. He lived in the capital, soon dropping his formal university studies and becoming a fledgling journalist. Finally he turned to fiction, and after three youthful trials, he began to novelize the history of nineteenth-century Spain in hisEpisodios Nacionales.The first twenty of these historical novels were produced between 1873 and 1879. But at...

  5. THE GENESIS OF GLORIA
    (pp. 18-113)

    According to Galdós’ own words, his novelGloriawas the result of a sudden flash of inspiration. One day in December 1876, as he walked in the Puerta del Sol on the short stretch of sidewalk between the Calle de la Montera and the Café Universal, the complete plan of the first volume of the novel flashed into his mind. The second volume, in a sense a sequel not necessary to the understanding of the theme, was not the result of inspiration, but was patiently contrived. Galdós wished later that he had not written it. The only reason that he...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. THE CREATION OF MARIANELA
    (pp. 114-136)

    The composition ofMarianelatook place less than a year after the completion of the second part ofGloria.It also has the north coast of Spain for its setting; in fact Ficóbriga is visible from the mines of Socartes, where the action ofMarianelatranspires. Yet despite the obvious linking of the two novels in time and space, their emotional viewpoint is quite different. InMarianelaGaldós turns away from the religious problem to tell an idyllic story of tragic love and to study the responsibilities of the rich toward the poor.

    Joaquín Casalduero sensed and expressed admirably the...

  8. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 137-140)

    We would do well to consider here the general tendencies noticed in Galdós’ creation ofGloriaandMarianela.Outstanding among these are the following: the deliberate search for material on the topic of the novel before its composition, the amalgamation of material from many sources by associative linking, the sorting and choosing of material because of its contribution to the over-all emotional tone the author wishes to achieve and maintain, and the predominance of now one, now another model for the same fictitious place or character.

    At the time Galdós wroteGloriaandMarianela,he thought of himself as a...

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 141-146)