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Lisbon, Portugal. The three kings arrive into the municipal football field where they are greeted by the mayor who presents them with a magic key to access the boroughs houses to leave presents for the children. They then walk around greeting the children and accepting letters with requests for presents. This is the traditional Spanish Christmas when the 'Reyes' bring the gifts to the children.
Sharing, trading and wearing beads is a tradition during the parade. His wife was the daughter of the French consul in Alicante, and therefore we know that he sustained contact with at least one woman of some reading and culture. Las cerezas del cementerio is a classic modernist novel in its layering of literary references to reveal a view of the modern Spanish nation.
Beatriz, on what we might call the first level of reality, is a beautiful woman in her thirties whose father married her off to an English businessman to further his own commercial interests. Beatriz and the boorish Englishman have lived separate lives for a number of years. Since prehistoric times, the moon and the sea have allegorized the female element, especially its fertility functions. Beatriz is the great mother, the virginal Dantesque muse, and a destructive Eve the garden setting in the rural agricultural region of Alicante and the ritual eating of forbidden fruit—the cherries that grow in the cemetery—make the parallel to the Garden of Eden unmistakable.
Not only is womanhood of a whole cloth—the eternally divine and damned virgin and whore—she ensnares the male in a cycle of sacrifice and suffering. As an engineering student, he represents an attempt to introduce European modernity into Spain, but his modernity is crushed when he returns full of idyllic illusions to a traditional, rural sector of his country. If women are not directly responsible for his tragic demise, they remain as the eternal earth mothers who take their sustenance from him.
She effects this sympathy through a female protagonist whose subjectivity governs much of the narrative. By contrast, from the beginning of La esfinge maragata, Florinda or Mariflor, as she is known in the village of Valdecruces displays the same imaginative powers as Rogelio. She becomes the central consciousness that guides the narration after she leaves Rogelio on the train to undertake the journey to Valdecruces by horseback. She tells Rogelio that the man her family has designated as her husband, a cousin who owns a grocery store, is not her ideal.
Upon hearing this new, unusual utterance, Marinela, to whom it alluded, took the traveler for a heretic or a madman. Mariflor follows the romantic model of a woman who waits for the man she loves in spite of numerous obstacles, chief among them pressure from her family to accept the offer of marriage from a wealthy cousin. Mariflor initiates the association between Rogelio and Don Quixote when she imagines him as the white knight who will save her from the harsh life that she has entered in Valdecruces. She intensifies her work on behalf of her family, pawning her personal possessions and seeking charity to pay household expenses.
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She also decides to marry her cousin, who in his own rough-hewn way loves her more than does Rogelio. Presumably, the agricultural relatives will have learned a lesson about sound business practices from this recent brush with destitution. Significantly, Mariflor, having left her quixotic illusions behind, will move to the city after her marriage. In the Valdecruces world inhabited almost entirely by women, Florinda encounters a natural paradigm that contrasts with the idyllic model of the romance; instead of a union with an idealized male who idealizes her in return, she is offered the opportunity to establish genuine ties with her female relatives, especially through her cousin Olalla.
Olalla, who is capable of deep emotional ties and an unflagging constancy, speaks through her physical presence. Espina endows Mariflor with Quixote-like qualities, which she gradually sheds in order to assume a mature womanhood that accepts social responsibility. Instead of engaging in quixotic dreaming, Teresa theorizes about it.
She criticizes the visions that women forge for their lives from the earliest age. Don Quixote mistakenly transferred the world of medieval chivalry to a materialistic sixteenth-century Spain represented in Manchegan peasants and prostitutes. Even so, Teresa cannot be considered a true protagonist, as she shares the limelight with two men.
A very brief four-page letter from Teresa to her friend announces her departure for an extended research trip to Australia with her husband. Unlike Mariflor of La esfinge maragata, Teresa rejects the role of female Quixote from the outset and refuses to be deluded by bookish ideas of love. Teresa complains that novels project false images of women, which women then attempt to achieve. Male novelists, she believes, have spread abroad the notion that all women come into the world enamored of a nameless prince. She emphatically and pace modernist biases asserts that life and art are not one and the same.
Her own less than idyllic relationship with Raimundo took a very different course. She concludes that young men dream of beautiful, tall, blond or brunette women of a certain body type, whereas young women dream of an engineer, doctor, soldier, or sailor. Each envisions something that he or she does not have.
Men want physical beauty that will give them repose, and women want careers that will provide them with a public presence. She urges her friend to marry and has even selected a husband for her. Pero Ciencias. But the Sciences. She studies diligently, because she has the rather unfeminine vice of learning everything]. For her part, Maud refers to the backwardness of Spanish customs with respect to women. Teresa, he believes, combines the paradoxical qualities of an absolute anarchist within her Catholicism; she is charitable and full of common sense.
Significantly, he dreams of the Catholic Teresa while he makes love to Maud. Teresa embodies feminine and intellectual qualities. If mothers voted, she claims, education would improve to create better schools for future citizens see G. Unite, workers of all countries. Other national types overshadowed the Quixote intertext after the second decade, when new national discourses on gender arose. Significantly, four of the women who impinge on his consciousness are French; the only Spanish woman is the temporally remote Santa Teresa.
And that is the charm. And her languid and vigorous abandonments. As she also supported a republic, he was able to continue conceptualizing the ideal Republican state in her company. Spain does not have anything but past, but a past that attracts us all because of the deficiencies and miseries of the present. But Santa Teresa and twentieth-century women share characteristics.
She was an entrepreneur who founded the Carmelite order and a number of convents. He attempts to weld the present and the past, imagining Santa Teresa in an automobile with a telegram in her hand. But these devices do not help him bring the Saint to life in a way that allows him to complete his lectures. He needs a contemporary experience, so he travels to Biarritz, leaving behind his books about the past.
In Biarritz, he is surrounded with all the trappings of modernity—crowds; automobiles; sounding horns; beautiful, sensual women—and he renews his relationship with Andrea, the catalyst he needs to complete the work on Santa Teresa. Andrea is married, but she lives an independent life; she represents the modern European woman that Spanish women were only beginning to imitate for example, the Lyceum Club was modeled on British and U. He completes the lectures, which will constitute a book, thanks to the presence of the modern French woman Andrea.
Felix, like Don Quixote, awakens from his romance with the past, but he is not disillusioned, and does not die. He revises his view of reality to incorporate past and present. Don Quixote as a national icon served as a fulcrum on which male and female Spanish modernists could leverage their ideas about how sexual roles and gender relations inside and outside of marriage should be negotiated in early twentieth-century Spain.
In the nineteenth century and similarly in the twentieth century , Don Juan was the subject of disperse and often conflicting renditions. According to Maeztu, Don Juan appeared as an irrefutable example of the failure of humanism to reduce good to what is good for man. Don Juan is an ideal, dream, or myth of immense energy channeled into pleasure, because in moments of crisis, according to Maeztu, we cannot find any other outlets for human endeavor. Maeztu traced the origins of the Don Juan figure and his story to medieval romances; he located all the elements that we associate with the Don Juan legend in the Spanish literary tradition and in traditional Spanish customs.
Princess Gaetani and her family, whose palace and lifestyle call up the splendor of another age, embrace him and accord him full honors. Like his country, now a weary shadow of his former self, he is reduced to futile nostalgia about what he once was. His prowess as a soldier fuses with his prowess as a lover, and his fortunes with women parallel his soldierly defeats. His nostalgia is twofold—for a strong, powerful nation and for his ability to attract forbidden women. In Sonata de invierno, the last installment, his married lover elects to remain with her husband and breaks off her affair with him.
It was the first chill of old age]. Spain now needed to allow the eternal soul of the Spanish people to guide the nation into the modern era of Europeanization. It was a time full of dark voices, a vast burning and mystical sound, which made my whole being sonorous like a conch shell. I felt the breath of that great unknown atavistic voice like a blast from an oven, and the sound like the murmur of the sea that filled me with disquiet and perplexity. As a child, and even as a youth, the story of violent and fierce adventuresome captains had filled me with a deeper emotion than the lunary sadness of the poets: It was the shiver and the fervor with which one should announce religious vocation.
I so admired heroic deeds and courageous souls, and this impassioned feeling served as a bonfire to purify my Aesthetic Discipline. A las pobres se las puede hacer unicamente la justicia de la conocida frase de Schopenhauer. What are you saying! In the present civilization. Ay, I knew that those velvety, sad eyes that had opened for me like two little Franciscan flowers in the dawn light would be the last to look at me with love!
Now I could only assume the posture of a broken, indifferent, cold idol in front of women. Women novelists of the early twentieth century employed irony primarily from an objective realist narrative standpoint to judge social ills and to secure an ethical position. She is also educated and an avid reader. Her nationalism, however, was not so inward-looking as that of her male counterparts. According to M. While political regimes and institutions wax and wane, race, history and family remain constant.
She is exceptionally intelligent and enthusiastic about book learning. She spends her days searching for bargains and her nights carping at her daughters and husband. He is a literary and a social decadent. In denying their natural gender connections to their mother, the daughters sow the seeds of their own moral destruction.
Lita, for her part, becomes more worldly, begins to attend tertulias, and engages in flirtations with men. He remains only as an invisible presence, a pernicious influence to be overcome. What would happen to one without the other if providence untied that knot of juxtaposed twinship? Well, for begging or Uneducated girls like Dora and Lita have few options if they must support themselves. Here the father was the first cause, sowing the seeds of his own dishonor. Her relationship to Spain and its cultural tradition were especially complex.
She followed him and committed suicide at his feet. No emana de usted la sombra; no es usted la desgracia. Shadows do not emanate from you; you are not misfortune. All those that you felt and caused are your own work, Carlos. I am going to be coquettish, yes coquettish, which is to play dice with souls. Both were married to unsuitable men at a young age. Both had children early, and soon found it necessary to support themselves and their families.
Writing became an important source of income.
On his deathbed, he constructs an elaborate legal plan to ensure that Carmen will continue to be protected and cared for. He divides his large fortune between his adopted son and his impoverished widowed sister, who lives in a neighboring town. It is a Cinderella tale that adds three lascivious stepbrothers to a jealous stepsister and a wicked stepmother aptly named Rebeca for the deceitful biblical Rebecca. Added to these emotions is the congenital mental illness that affects the aunt and one of the stepbrothers. Carmen negotiates these terrors with religious faith and occasionally a sense of humor, especially during visits from Salvador.
He turns out to be another Don Juan, who is simultaneously carrying on an affair with a loose woman in the village. She writes Don Manuel and Fernando and his brothers out of the story, leaving only Salvador, the man who is able to appreciate the woman in all her dimensions, especially her kindness and sincerity.
Salvador is the Spanish man of the future who will be capable of a lasting, empathetic relationship with a woman. Whereas his quixotism shifts to Mariflor, his donjuanism remains to the end as a narratorial critique of his fickle romanticism. Most of the healthy men work abroad, leaving the women to tend the land. Life is a daily struggle to feed and shelter the children fathered by the men on their yearly visits. Of the five women authors discussed in this chapter, Burgos was the most militant feminist.
Her own life could serve as the basis of a feminist novel. After a few years and the birth of a child, she decided to leave her husband and move to the environs of Madrid, where she took a teaching post and began to support herself and her child by teaching classes and writing. Perhaps he cannot even accept that women have a subjectivity. Prostitution, the primarily female profession occasioned by the pressures of male needs and male social forms, becomes a metaphor for the relationship between men and women in the literary as well as the carnal world.
In their versions, Don Juan escapes gender difficulties not through emigration but through interior exile, casting their gaze beyond the immediate material world. He has even abandoned the overtly cautionary and prescriptive use of Golden Age classics of his earlier narratives, finding other ways to insinuate his views on gender relations. Don Juan has already set aside his philandering past and has initiated a humble existence in a Spanish village.
In the last chapter, Don Juan is one of a company of people who go to the train station to say good-bye to a family that is leaving the town. It is compassion for everything. Her plans for the future are ambiguous, even frivolous perhaps. Women assumed striking visibility, shortening their hair and their skirts, going out alone, and smoking in the street and in other public places. Spanish feminism finally found official organization in groups such as ANME, although they often had a conservative orientation. If Spain was slow to embrace feminism, it was ahead of the curve in testing fascist dictatorship.
As a sign of the times, the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera declared himself a feminist and during his regime even instituted a few fairly benign measures that favored women—work legislation, posts in municipal government, and university education—although these hardly satisfied large numbers of women or solved domestic problems.
Many feminist leaders were strong advocates of a Spanish Republic. In contrast, most of the male writers discussed herein, including those whose novels had female protagonists, did not unconditionally endorse the Republican cause. I cannot address the psychology of these authors in relation to women, but it is interesting to note that each had a special relationship to his mother.
English feminism was the earliest and most strident feminist movement in Europe and by the late nineteenth century had infiltrated the Spanish male consciousness as a particular threat that might spread to Spain. Baroja was also the first of the major Spanish male modernist writers to create female protagonists. His wife, Dolores, is the quintessential angel of the house. She survives most of the events narrated in the two novels—orphanhood, anarchistic turmoil, and exile—as an independent woman, but finally succumbs to social pressures for marriage and domestic duties at the end of the second novel.
She was the youngest of a family that already had three sons, two of whom became well-known artists and writers.
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She struggled her entire life with the social strictures placed on women who wished to develop artistic and intellectual talents. Her declarations make Burgos, Espina, and Casanova, who did leave husbands and support themselves with their writing, seem all the more courageous. She comforted her children by writing a story about a protective elf duende , which she read to them each night. How many other Judith Shakespeares were unable to shake the bonds of traditional Spanish womanhood to break into print?
Even though he never married and he wrote publicly against the institution of marriage, his novels reveal a hide-bound Spanish traditionalism in domestic affairs. She was doubtless depressed by the confinement of marriage. Carmen mentions that although the lecture program was very popular, she personally was unable to take advantage of it. Equally unaware of what motivated himself or others, he had formulated an abstract scheme about human psychology at some point and never bothered to change it. Gentes que van y vienen en la vida de un lado a otro viendo cosas, tirando tiros, hablando, viajando.
People who come and go in life from one place to another, taking shots, talking, traveling. Although Sacha is ostensibly the focalizer of a narrative that includes her letters and diary, her interiority is often no more than a vehicle for observations about places or other people. Why not a vacuous landlady of the kind that Baroja portrayed in many of his other novels?
Otra muchacha. All these girls had lost their feminine air. Another girl. In Italy, Sacha meets Velasco, who will become her second husband. She turns to the diary form because her correspondent, Vera, who has married Leskoff, one of their former medical school companions, is preoccupied with her new domestic life.
Sacha takes a dismal view of the education that Spanish women receive in her adopted country. Women spend their time thinking about the parties that they attended during the last season and that they will attend in the next. Nearly half of the important section toward the end of the novel after Arcelu appears is devoted to exposition of his worldview; meanwhile, Sacha is relegated to the role of interlocutor.
Complicating the sympathetic portrayal of Arcelu is the narrative irony with which his extreme biologism is presented. Inertia on the part of both Arcelu and Sacha prevents them from then forming the romantic relationship that the reader has been led to expect. Sacha, bitterly disappointed in her marriage to Velasco, leaves Spain to return to Russia. Upon learning of her abrupt departure without a farewell, Arcelu requests that his newspaper assign him to cover the political turmoil in China. His donjuanesque nature dictates that he prefer to live in hotels and move from city to city.
No lo comprendo bien. Gran parte de su manera de ser creo que procede de la falta de hogar. A life like that seems too exterior for me, too superficial for my taste. I think a large part of the way they are comes from the lack of home life. For these southerners, the street is like the hallway of their house; they talk to their girlfriends in the street; they discuss in the street; they save only the vegetative functions and severity for the house.
She is not even able to form a long-lasting relationship with a kind and intellectual man like Arcelu. She is now trapped in an impossible limbo—she has lost her intellectual and professional footing, but she is not suited for the traditional domestic realm either. Sacha, similarly, is more feminine than the other Geneva students, but she lacks the female coquettishness.
Pairing the feminine, intellectual Sacha with the equally feminine but unintellectual Vera, Baroja, who often used opposing characters to make a point, sets the stage for his final message about which kind of woman will succeed in the modern world. Vera is more devoted to fashion and socializing than to her studies. Le gusta hablar de amores, de trajes, de joyas. He offers no positive role models.
Nonetheless, the message of the ending that favors traditional marriage and domesticity cannot be ignored. A woman of independent spirit ends badly, whereas her stereotypically feminine friend who embraces marriage and home ends well. Baroja was fully aware that he was preaching to a female readership in Spain. Unamuno abhorred feminism, which he mentioned often in his extranovelistic writing. Raquel, in Dos madres, is apparently barren, and Tula never engages in sexual activity. Both women choose surrogate mothers and are strong-willed and manipulative enough to force marriage between the surrogate mother and a weak-willed man.
Both novels engage the Don Juan legend to characterize the weak-willed male character destroyed by the monstrous female. Don Juan, emblem of the once-strong Spanish nation, is now reduced to simpering dependence on a strong-willed, even vicious and destructive woman. In Dos Madres, Raquel, whose name and story echo those of biblical women, is a childless widow engaged in a long-standing affair with Don Juan.
When their union fails to produce offspring, Raquel encourages Juan to marry his childhood sweetheart, Berta. Juan has already signed over his own assets to Raquel. In the first paragraph of the novelette, Unamuno establishes the centrality of formal family arrangements to the denouement. Rapacious language characterizes Raquel. And Don Juan felt himself being dragged down into the earth by her. She is his inferno, death itself. When Juan hears her, he experiences the dream of death, and an insane terror fills his hollow heart.
If, as David W. Criado Miguel claims for the protagonist of Dos madres the position of first modernist demythified Don Juan a Don Juan who lacks physical vigor and masculine decisiveness. In fact, the roles of male seducer and female victim are completely reversed in Dos madres. She converts him into a mere instrument of her desire to become a mother.
Los Campuzano-Polanco, una familia de la élite de la ciudad de Santo Domingo
When Luisa dies shortly after giving birth, Carolina brings her own illegitimate son to live at the estate; she and the widower marry, and she maneuvers her own son into the position of heir. Again, the issue of legitimate versus illegitimate male-female relations is central to the story, and the illegitimate relationship read: woman and child are portrayed as monstrous and destructive. Here the male is dominant and reduces the female to desperation. Alejandro is incapable of showing Julia any real love and uses her as one more object to display his wealth and power.
In order to secure her release, Julia confesses to having lied about the affair. Al principio, cuando nos casamos, no. Ciegamente, locamente. With all my heart, and with all my blood, and with all my entrails; more than myself! A t first, when we got married, no. But now? Now, yes! Blindly, insanely. I am yours more than you mine. My goddess! My everything! Interestingly, the portrayal of Alejandro, whose initial heartlessness and egotism could be compared to that of Eugenia, Raquel, or Carolina, ends on a sympathetic note. Once the marriage takes place, Tula intervenes in several ways to ensure that the couple will have children immediately.
Rosa dies shortly after the birth of the third child, exhausted from the rapid succession of births manipulated by Tula. In desperation, Ramiro has an affair with the serving girl Manuela, who becomes pregnant by him. Tula then insists that they marry and adds their two progeny to the brood that she considers her own.
Like Augusto, Tula eschews carnality to engage in a vicarious relationship with the real world. Also like Augusto, she overemphasizes the mental to the denigration of the carnal embracing the Cartesian split between mind and body. Although both Tula and Augusto modify their attitude toward carnality in their final days, they meet unhappy even tragic ends. Her existential failure derives from her refusal to engage in a traditional marital relationship with any of the men that seek her hand—Ramiro, Ricardo, and Don Juan.
Tula believes that her existence her individual identity depends on maintaining her independence from both Rosa and Ramiro and on possessing her adopted children. Rosa insinuates that the best way for Tula to prevent this is to marry Ramiro. She thus implies an absolute identity between herself and Tula. When Ramiro comments that she could have married if she had wished, Tula replies that women cannot seek suitors; only men can do that.
Ramiro asks Tula why she did not become a nun, which evokes the reply that she does not like others to order her about. Estos hombres. Either filth or idleness! She convincingly argues that Tula, a manly-thinking woman forgoes a negatively viewed carnality. I do not, however, agree with Turner that Tula eventually escapes Unamuno. She is held firmly in his antifeminist grasp and is eliminated as a danger to traditional Spanish society.
She is a hybrid; she is a strange combination of both male and female whose dual characteristics make her an aberration, something to neutralize. Tula equates marriage with servitude; thus, she limits her domestic commitment to childcare and avoids the constraints of male-dominated marriage. She is anchored in her physical body, although she paradoxically refuses carnal engagement in the sexual world, which the narrative suggests is her natural place and obligation. She unnaturally eschews marriage out of repugnance for its physical aspects.
Ni hace falta eso para casarse con un hombre. Tula is not simply an example of an undomestic woman who wreaks havoc on the home in which she inserts herself. She dies regretting the life that she has lived, a life in which she has forced others into marriage and childbearing so that she could raise children without having to engage in sex or a relationship with a husband—in other words, the whole domestic package.
Unamuno relegates Tula, a new breed of Spanish woman who lives according to her own ideals outside of Spanish tradition, to the ash can of oblivion. In the romantic play, Don Juan, like his seventeenth-century counterpart, is a seducer and a braggart. Spain was in tumult. In September, a revolution had broken out in Madrid. A motley art—romanticism—reflected an anarchic sensibility.
If the nineteenth-century revolutions focused on workers and class society, the twentieth-century revolution centered on women. She is independently wealthy and has never married. At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist is walking alone through the city presumably Madrid on her way to an assignation with Don Juan in a room that they have rented for their love trysts. Her whole figure has begun a slight decline. She is a woman whose life experiences have left their traces on her body and spirit. Instead of carrying out a seduction, the modern letter ends an illicit affair.
Don Juan then disappears from the novel without having made a personal appearance. She appears, however, in only approximately half of the fifty-two chapters of the novel. La mirada de la dama va pasando por los renglones. Have you seen the lividness of a dead body?
Los frutales se entremezclan entre los tablaros verdes. Y el follaje va reptando por el repecho y se cuela por los portillos y entraderos de la ciudad. Green covers the bank on one side and ascends toward the town. And the foliage snakes around the short, steep incline and slips through the openings and entrances of the city.
Now in these June days the trees have finished budding. Above its terse glass, the fronds on the banks bend and kiss the water, as if the trees, thirsty, were facing downward to drink. In no Spanish city does one find such perfect agreement between the old stones and the luxuriant green leaves as in Segovia. If we were to go to the nearby ruins of the monastery of Parral with its caved-in roofs, with the rooms full of debris, with the wild grapevines curled around the worm-eaten wood, in a remote room we would hear the flow of water from a fountain fall into a trough and at the same time, like a replica of this sound, in the depths, in a subterranean place, a deliberate, irregular sound of water that spreads out, overflows slowly, sluggishly.
As a historian who lives entirely in the past, he has completely disengaged himself from the contemporary world and is pathologically preoccupied with time. Sometimes he is aware of the monotony of life, and he attempts to engage with the world around him, but he soon realizes that when in the throes of activity, he cannot think. His innermost self is then blank, and he retreats once again to his hermetic existence.
Beatriz, married to a crude and insensitive man, fell in love with a troubadour. Upon seeing the shorn hair, Beatriz went mad; she lived only a few years longer, secluded in a country house. All the traditional moral and judicial values must be revised. He was a master of presenting various sides of an issue and committing himself to none of them. He describes the Residencia as a place where girls from all social classes and nationalities study, read, meditate, and learn to be good citizens and housewives. From this description, he moves to a consideration of what is required for a woman who will eventually establish a family, an undertaking that he considers very difficult.
Fray Luis instructed that tradition should mold women in the bosom of the family. Y ser buena es principalmente cumplir con sus deberes tradicionales. Fuera del hogar, no existe nada para la mujer. And being good is principally fulfilling the traditional duties. Nothing exists for the woman outside the home. Bishop Dupanloup opined that not only should women read; they should read critically and studiously with pen in hand.
However, the bishop imposed certain limitations on the kinds of materials that women should read. Will they carry with them a sixteenth-century ideal or one more consonant with the twentieth century? Only spiritual autonomy gives sweet and pleasant family life. External pressure is the nightmare of every day, the divergence of opinion, the quarrel, the disagreement, the obedience to something outside and alien to us and that inserts itself into our life and dominates.
Do you want to know how Spain is doing in the social or political order? Take a look at the wives of the politicians; see what external influences they obey; and see how they translate, convey that pressure to the brain of the man tied to them for life. Nada tan grato. Nothing so pleasing. But, what are we going to put in the clear, healthy, clean house? What hours is the woman going to give her husband: hours of bitterness, deaf and obstinate struggle or hours of sweet peace, of marvelous and beneficent neutrality?
Millares y millares las hay ya de tendencia distinta. Of course, not all women are like that. Todas las luces de la casa han sido apagadas. All the lights of the house have been turned off. In the daylight one sees torn papers, glass, pieces of wood in the narrow and blackish patio]. An extense and shady orchard backs the house; a wide patio borders the orchard. Only the sconces with cloudy mirrors remain irreplaceable.
Aunt Pompilia cannot keep still. Compressed in the closed house, the dense atmosphere closes off access to the exterior. Clarisa also chooses to live abroad, but rather than adopt a pseudomaternal role, she once again engages in the feminist activities that had occupied her before she returned to Spain from the New World. Biological considerations on the nature of the sexes fueled new polemics over gender, some concerned with gender roles as naturally determined and others with cross-gendering.
He was fully engaged in Spanish politics while he maintained his medical practice and kept up his essay writing. Don Juan, earlier judged by some male writers a symbol of masculine national energy, now assumes feminine characteristics. Don Juan lives to love, avoids sociopolitical life, and cultivates lying, traits that ally him with femininity.
Alicia Andreu explores the many ways in which the paired novel draws on the Don Juan legend to contemplate various facets of Spain as a nation. Tigre Juan is a misanthropic, misogynist merchant, owner of a medicinal herb stand in the public square of Pilares Oviedo. He is identified with Spanish tradition in both folklore folk medicine and high culture the Golden Age honor play.
Tigre Juan espouses extremely misogynistic views. He has avoided the company of women for many years, and his shadowy past may include the murder of a wife. Tigre Juan, fully cognizant that he lacks courtship skills, enlists the aid of his friend Vespasiano, an infamous Don Juan. Once the couple is married, Vespasiano lures Herminia away with him in typical donjuanesque fashion.
Despite his sullied honor, Tigre Juan allows Herminia to return home, and he assumes the unlikely role of mother figure to the child. For Tigre Juan, Don Juan is a Christ figure or saint who redeems men by taking revenge on women and vindicating all men. He mounts a highly specious argument to sustain this questionable view. He avers that Don Juan turns the tables on women embodied in Eve for committing the original sin.
If there were no Don Juans, women could not deceive men. Women deceive themselves, having taken him for a very masculine man. Tigre Juan also exhibits feminine maternal traits, despite his misogyny and self-proclaimed radical masculinity, and these qualities evoke reader sympathy for him. Tigre Juan manifests his femininity in his kind heart, his affection for children, his attempts to perform works of charity, and finally in the maternal role that he assumes with his own child. His tactile gaze that reaches out like elastic tentacles to caress their object also contributes to his appeal to women.
His gaze makes women feel as though he were undressing them with translucent, viscous arms that emerge from his eyes. Tigre Juan considers her a virgin martyr, insinuating that her husband, much older than she, did not perform his masculine duties. Iluminada fulfills her need to nurture by adopting a child whose impoverished mother has died. Like many male-authored novels of the Spanish modernist period, Tigre Juan y El curandero de su honra is replete with dialogues on philosophical subjects. Herminia occupies narrative space during these dialogues in order to demonstrate her marginal relationship to them.
After the reconciliation between Juan and Herminia, men carry on several philosophical dialogues while the women sleep. Herminia, however relegated to the shadows she may be, has other ideas. First of all, she is in love with Vespasiano. When Vespasiano installs her in a house of prostitution in another town, Herminia observes the illicit lives of the women who inhabit the brothel and repents having fled her conventional home.
She knows, however, that she has engaged in unforgivable behavior, even though she has not actually committed adultery with Vespasiano. She assumes that Tigre Juan would murder her in Calderonian fashion, if she were to return. Herminia finally settles on the man who represents the traditional aspects of manhood that society expects, the man who is willing to put his love at the service of marriage and childbearing.
Vespasiano argues that the essence of love is freedom, but ultimately Herminia understands that such freedom is an illusion. Tigre Juan gets into bed with Herminia during the birthing process; he participates in the birth with her to convey his role as the sole progenitor. First of all, the male child is named for Iluminada and Herminia, simply converting these feminine names into Iluminado and Herminio, Mini for short. Tigre Juan insists that Herminia alternate bottle feeding with breast feeding early on so that he can feed the baby. In the final image of the married couple, Herminia sleeps while Juan cuddles the baby in his arms as they depart for an extended train trip.
When he left Pilares a disappointed lover, he joined the Spanish military in the Philippines, where he lost a leg. Delighted, Tigre Juan congratulates him on taking the reasonable course of action. All that he does is false, and falsity does not endure. He also calls him deficient and castrated, which leaves the final message ambiguous. What is not ambiguous is that Tigre Juan knows that he possesses Herminia absolutely after her attempted escape and return.
She has prostrated herself before Tigre Juan and asked him to murder her. Stated in slightly different terms, this is the fear or the absorption of the self by its roles. Just as we recognize the inversion of certain somatic and physiological characteristics, defined as masculinism and virilismo, we also recognize a kind of psychic inversion that corresponds to the masculinization of the feminine mind. At the beginning of El hermano Juan, Don Juan has already abandoned his profligate past and has initiated a more introspective phase.
His relationship to women is not that of the traditional seducer. In fact, Elvira sequesters Don Juan in order to make him a man and, thus, herself a woman. Juan does not conform to the traditional strong male gender stereotype, and therefore he does not exist in an ontological sense. Ultimately, Juan is reduced to a shadow existence. Rather than portray a diabolical Don Juan, Unamuno creates diabolical women.
Don Juan His sin was not that he defiled women but that he breached traditional male and female roles. Biology disappears along with biography, matter along with spirit. Don Juan is a solitary pleasure seeker, who, like a frog spreads his seed without real contact with the female of the species.
Y cabe decir que el verdadero hombre, el hombre acabado, cabalmente humano, es la pareja, compuesta de padre y madre. Y a ese hombre acabado le hace el nombre. Con el hombre acabado, con la pareja humana, aparecen la paternidad y la maternidad conscientes. It is a category common to humanity. And one can also say that the true man, the complete man, fully human, is the couple, composed of father and mother. And the name makes this complete man. But certainly not the one sought by that poor Don Juan, the bachelor, that is, the solitary man.
With the complete man, with the human couple, conscious paternity and maternity appear. Not surprisingly, Unamuno once again cast women in the role of mothers. Es anonadarse como individual separado y distinto. It is to annihilate oneself as a separate and distinct individual. And Don Juan, without knowing it, sought himself in his victims. He did not want to just die with nothing more]. Also like Tigre Juan, the telescoping of male and female means that the male possesses maternal qualities. Man should subsume woman. Paternity is masculinity, and therefore also maternity. Don Juan, he continues, is more like the drone bee, whose sole function is to impregnate the queen.
Rather, she employed gender amalgams and cross-dressing to question traditional marriage. Set in Madrid, probably toward the end of the First World War, Ellas y ellos portrays a society in sexual chaos. Unlike El permisionario, which places a heterosexual couple within a range of other sexualities, Ellas y ellos does not include a single traditional heterosexual couple, married or otherwise.
Sexual freedom is an emblem of the general social liberation that the First World War ushered into Europe, including Spain, even though Spain did not actively participate in the war. Within the kaleidoscopic movement of people, Manuel, an effeminate man married to Mercedes, manages to rise above the general din. Mercedes has, in fact, become attracted to her constant companion, the seductive lesbian Luisa.
Gender and Nation in the Spanish Modernist Novel
Ultimately, the old solutions to marital infidelity, just like traditional sexual arrangements, are inadequate for a modern setting. Burgos never relinquishes a belief in fundamental human characteristics that cross historical barriers. As we see later, she also endorses a certain biological determinism. El permisionario, set during World War I, similarly compares traditional marriage to alternative sexual arrangements. Fernanda a female name formed from a more common masculine name married Luis shortly before he went off to the French front, and now, after several months of separation, he has been granted a leave to meet her in Nice.
Later we learn that the woman is a lesbian. Citing Greek myths in which men engendered by the sun and women engendered by the earth produce androgynous beings, she first points out that man is the only animal to consider his female companion inferior. Isabel attempts and to an extent succeeds in living a fairly independent life, spending a great deal of time with female friends and even taking a lover. She is educated in the idea that her mission on earth is only to marry and have children. She becomes excessively religious, further alienating her husband. Burgos appropriates the sexual jealousy that was traditionally the province of men for women and portrays Isabel with the capacity to act on strong emotions.
Isabel gives herself the rights that the social and legal systems have denied her. In her novels with characters that cross gender lines, there is no falling back on male dominance in the heterosexual couple or on strictly maternal roles for women. When there is a more traditional couple, as in the case of Fernanda and Luis of El permisionario, they must lock themselves away in a decidedly unsatisfactory social isolation. For women, maternity is the absolute, whereas men participate in a transcendent duality.
An only child whose enlightened parents lavished on her not only education but also encouragement for her artistic talents, Chacel was fortunate that her natural brilliance she had a prodigious memory that lasted to the end of her very long life and strong character did not suffer the constraints that did the talents of other intelligent women of the early century. Gender precedes existence and shapes it, and the process of acquiring existence, coming into being, impacts on gender. Rather than face public shame when the affair is discovered, the man commits suicide. We must read between the lines of her essays and fiction and sift through the sparse correspondence for clues.
Both women were very disappointed when he returned to Francoist Spain after the war. Additionally, the novel embodies her ideas about the confessional genre, which also has gender implications. Without mentioning Ortega y Gasset, in whose Revista de Occidente she published her article on the problematics of love in contemporary life, Chacel confronts Simmel, one of his German sources who wrote on women in the love relationship.
At first glance, all this seems to concern the destiny of culture and thus remains out of place. What is unimaginable is that such a thing—not loving, not being—would happen to me. Don Daniel cruelly ostracizes Leticia whenever she abandons her books for a few days to engage in other more female-identified activities associated with Luisa.
Leticia defies her two father figures—her biological father and Don Daniel, who symbolize the Spanish masculinist tradition—by approaching the world through her body her senses and by revealing her position through the confessional genre. Chacel finds a positive value in novels with a confessional dimension. Her theoretical scheme for confession includes a sense of guilt, which, along with solitude, is a fundamental requirement of the genre.
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Also lacking in all the maleauthored novels discussed herein including those by Unamuno is a sense of guilt, which Chacel associates with confession. Chacel instinctively sought to form the kind of pact between author and reader that Eakin, borrowing from Lejeune, theorizes. Gender and genre boundaries are confounded in both books. She joined Maurice Merleau-Ponty avant la lettre in assigning the body a central place in selfhood.
His body eventually overwhelms Don Daniel, the intellectual man and seducer. It was all intrinsically irrational, I will say, if with that expression I can indicate that it was like an abysmal, corporal, almost spiritual love. For Zambrano, the body and the mind are inseparable, and the heart symbolizes the union. Carnal knowledge forges its way through the labyrinth of boundaries and obstacles of male rationality. El amor era aquello! Light is literally the medium of illumination. Although the masculine world of the intellect appears to intrigue Leticia more than female confines and activities, strategic use of light reveals another scenario.
Chacel had already made use of these gestures in Memorias de Leticia Valle to delineate masculine and feminine spheres. It is the culminating moment in her seduction of the teacher, and shortly thereafter, he finally succumbs to his physical attraction for his pupil. In fact, however, she has created a new kind of bildungsroman in which a person very much like herself, instead of coming of age in and being socialized into the values of the surrounding Spanish culture, struggles through a miasmically bipolarized social sexuality to listen to her own body and consciousness and find her own place essentially outside of social norms.
She may have encased feminist ideals in a more vanguard novelistic format, but Carmen de Burgos, Margarita Nelken, Federica Montseny, and Concha Espina, who, like Chacel, were pro-Republican feminists, paved the way for her messages on gender in Spain. Jokes that centered on women similarly circulated among members of the Spanish vanguard. Obsession with female corporeality is central to canonized vanguardism and often provides the basis for its shock value.
In surrealism, for example, women are the objects of male dreams, but they are not the dreamers.