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The objective of the study is to show that Galdos's appraisal of successive levels of confinement in La desheredada constituted a crucial stage in his development as a writer that would lead him to innovations in both his literary content and form after the publication of this work.
The narrative of La desheredada reveals that nineteenth-century psychiatric therapies such as the moral treatment and medical interrogation were indebted to the pastoral practices of consolation and confession. This melding of disparate discourses establishes a troubling continuity between the cultural systems of the Old Regime and modernity that is expressed in the text through the motif of enclosure.
The notion of confinement is shown to pervade the novel at the formal level of narrative technique through the fusion of medico-religious discourse with narrative modes of representing consciousness. And the physical particulars of the publication history of La desheredada are shown to extend the motif of confinement beyond the pages of the novel.
The first chapter of La desheredada was serially excerpted in the medical journal El Diario Medico, thereby enclosing the narrative in the same medical discourse that the novel is engaged in critiquing. In an essay entitled "Observaciones sobre la novela contemporanea en Espana," written in at the start of his novelistic career, Benito Perez Galdos lamented the lack of a national novel in Spain, while at the same time he explained why he felt its arrival was imminent.
In this prophetic essay, so concerned with belatedness and the need for timely action, the terms with which Galdos describes the predicament of the modern Spanish novel are striking precisely because they are not temporal, but spatial. Confinement, or the restriction to a single social space or class, is the malady of the novel of the time. Liberation from such restraints, the novelist implies, will be the defining characteristic of the national novel to come.
Galdos associates wide open space with what he foresees will be the new novel of the middle class: "No ha aparecido aun en Espana la gran novela de costumbres, la obra vasta y compleja que ha de venir necesariamente como expresion artistica de aquella vida. Suffocating, since Galdos seems to have been stricken with claustrophobia every time he found himself ensconced in the pages of a society romance.
Anticipating how the novel of the bourgeoisie will differ from that of high society, he writes impatiently that. Confinement, consolation, and confession in Galdos's La desheredada. Author: Liana Ewald. Date: Autumn From: Hispanic Review Vol. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press. Document Type: Critical essay. Length: 9, words. Anticipating how the novel of the bourgeoisie will differ from that of high society, he writes impatiently that La novela, el mas complejo, el mas multiple de los generos literarios, necesita un circulo mas vasto que el que le ofrece una sola jerarquia, ya muy poco caracterizada; se asfixia encerrada en la perfumada atmosfera de los salones, y necesita otra amplisima y dilatada, donde respire y Access from your library This is a preview.
Get the full text through your school or public library. Source Citation Ewald, Liana. Accessed 4 June
Confinement, consolation, and confession in Galdos's La desheredada
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Perez Galdos was Spain's outstanding nineteenth-century novelist. At a time when most Spanish novelists were limited by their regional backgrounds, Galdos possessed the intellect and vision to embrace the Spanish people as a nation. In he began the Episodios nacionales National Episodes , a volume series of historical novels in which he was concerned less with details and facts of history than with their impact on the lives of ordinary people. His works are sometimes divided into two periods: novels of the first period and contemporary Spanish novels. His early novels, Dona Perfecta , Gloria , Marianela , and The Family of Leon Roch , may be characterized as realistic with touches of romanticism. The novels are united by common characters and themes in the manner of Balzac's Human Comedy. Dona Perfecta is a denunciation of intolerance.