a glass of vodka and a cup of lindenlin

It is common practice to call a celebrity writer “extraordinary” or “ahead of their time”. At times, this type of admiration disguises the idea of ​​the successful woman as an inexplicable phenomenon, a kind of spontaneous miracle we must accept, without asking about the historical and social circumstances that “permit” the awkwardness. In the case of Emilia Pardo-Bazan, the common thing is tempting. As Isabel Burdeel collects in her splendor Biography (Taurus, 2019) It had a perfect storm of modernity and conservatism – as if it expressed Spain’s nineteenth-century dichotomy – humor and mystery, feminism and eccentricity. Privileged from a cradle, greatly supported by her parents – she began publishing as a teenager – Emilia Pardo-Bazán made the most of her position and lived at the door of a few places, but it kept her from standing out. Not stopping and crying against the limits of its historical time. He delivered the war, and his sense of action and joy is another reason to celebrate his centenary in 2021. We are going to tell in two drinks – one vodka and the other linden – why Pardo-Bazhan is an indispensable writer who deserves to be well read and worth knowing.

The glass of vodka was drunk by Emilia in Paris in 1886. She had recently separated, having left her three children in La Corua in the care of their mother, the faithful Amalia de la Rua, and she was determined to become a professional writer – “I’ve had my parents. (…) has proposed to live exclusively from literary works, without obtaining anything from it; and this purpose, wholly masculine, demands strength and peace in me”, he later told Benito Pérez Galados. Tell-. Paris was the world capital of literature and Emilia became involved in social gatherings. Her attitude of aristocratic heritage was often heavy, in intellectual circles, to a more bourgeois controversy, and especially to a closed gender code, where few assistants behaved with discretion. On the other hand, she dressed in white satin, cut very short, laughed loudly; or else she was ready to argue with Zola or Goncourt to the end. Emilia, in her own way, “a Not a woman with whom you have to keep compliments, but a mate, most affectionate, candid and not too annoying”, as she said in a letter to Catalan writer Narcis Ol. R was told. Emilia Pardo-Bazan wanted to become “another” among writers, but she was not quite successful, as evidenced by the malicious testimony of several of her alleged comrades. He insisted on staying up late with his companions; On one of these occasions he wanted to go further in the name of integration, and drank a glass of vodka for the first time. She felt dizzy, had to retreat to a room, and reappeared two hours later, frustrated, asking to be returned to her hotel. Condescending giggles and comments were served. This disagreement between Pardo-Bazán’s expectations and the discomfort of the “right” of his time would be a precursor to his later losing battle around the Royal Spanish Academy. He applied as an academic and was never admitted; Although some academics supported him, other famous writers of his time openly mocked his ambition, as well as made regrettable references to his body and weight. Recently, RAE has dedicated an act of indemnity to him.

What would it be like to wake up in Paris after that first glass of vodka? On insolation, a short novel written by Pardo-Bazán a few years later, in 1889, the protagonist becomes paralyzed from a hangover. You need a cup of linden to relieve your headache: “What happened yesterday?” A sip of hot water allows her to reconstruct the facts: the narrator tells us that she went to the San Isidro meadows in Madrid on the arm of a seductress from Cádiz. From now on, insolation The woman creates an excellent story of ambivalence about indulgence and her social vigilance. insolation It was a scandal to submit to a woman’s desire, without a doubt, with the end – meditation, spoiler Soft – marked by self-determination, and not by punishment of the sinner, as was the tradition in Castilian literature. Many wanted to see in the book a reflection of the romance that the author had with Lázaro Galdiano during his visit to Arena de Mar, as well as the relationship of friendship and love with Benito Pérez Galdos; The gossip of the time fed by the aforementioned Narcisse Oler, which brought a lot of tail and thereby managed to overwhelm the relationship between Emilia and Benito.

The importance of, beyond the sometimes forced linear relationship between fiction and biography insolation This is how Emilia Pardo-Bazán dared to explore in her writings both the addition and the day after. Hundreds of his stories, his novels and other texts show us a vibrant connection between words and the way we live in the world. A cup of linden, written by Emilia Pardo-Bazan, and a good talk with a friend – read insolation-, they can do with the fear of living. Clarins, a former friend who became a fierce critic—and one of the most destructive of the above novels—once told him that writing would hurt him greatly. “Why does it hurt you?”, Emilia replied, “None for me: it is true that I owe to God a magnificent bodily complexion, the fullness of life that allows me to enjoy everything and everything. enables.”

María Folguera is the artistic director of Teatro Price, a writer, and has recently launched the novel Herman (Placer) en Alianza, where she analyzes the role of joy in the lives of great Spanish writers.

The event held yesterday at Condé Duc with the presence of Paula Bonet, Remedios Zafra and Lorena Alvarez can be viewed in full here

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