[xmca] Re: Reading for Sevilla

From: David Daniel Preiss Contreras (davidpreiss@puc.cl)
Date: Wed Aug 03 2005 - 22:41:18 PDT

What about this one?:)

The Golden Fountain Cafe: A Historic Novel of the Xixth Century = LA Fontana
De Oro (Discoveries) (Paperback)
by Benito Perez Galdos, Walter Rubin (Translator)

Editorial Reviews

 From Publishers Weekly
This lengthy first novel, written in 1870 when the author, the "Spanish
Balzac," was 27 years old, now seems excessively contrived; nevertheless, as
meticulously translated into English for the first time and annotated by a
leading Galdos scholar, it exhibits themes and flashes of genius that would
later earn Galdos his reputation. The time is the early 1820s, a
revolutionary period in Spain's history when King Fernando VII was scheming
to undermine the constitution, and crowds heatedly discussed the day's
political issues in cafes like The Golden Fountain. One of Fernando's
supporters is Elias, an elderly royalist, plotting to infiltrate and subvert
the populist gatherings at The Golden Fountain. Elias has raised a young
orphan, Clara, who, as a beautiful, unworldly teenager, falls in love with
Elias's nephew, Lazaro, a staunch liberal loathed by his uncle. Lazaro
learns of Elias's plan to have a group of prominent liberals--including his
rival for Clara's affections--murdered; after struggling with his emotions,
Lazaro does his duty and saves his rival. Elias is then disgraced, and the
two lovers wed.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

 From Library Journal
The author of some 80 novels, Galdos is universally recognized as second
only to Cervantes in Spanish letters. This is a political novel set in 1870s
Madrid and takes its names from the cafe where the political liberals of the
day congregated. Lazaro, symbolic of the idealistic liberal, comes from the
provinces, promptly gets himself arrested, and risks losing his beloved
Clara. To boot, he becomes the love object of the repressed edlerly spinster
Dona Paulita. The costumbrismo typical of Galdos is evident in the attention
lavished on Madrid street scenes and character types, but the major thrust
is Galdos's message to the liberals to use moderation. In this case
happiness for Lazaro and Clara is found only in renunciation of the
tumultuous politics of Madrid for the retirement of their villa in Aragon.
Since this is Galdos ' s first novel, it will be of most interest to
libraries specializing in the history of the European novel.
 - Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland

Mike Cole writes:

> I had not thought of Don Quixote as an historical novel, which is clearly
> a categorical error on my part. My wife is currently reading Homage of
> Catalonia, so I am second in line. 17th, 18th century anyone? 19th?
> mike
> On 8/3/05, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:
>> what about Orwell's Homage to Catalonia?
>> not the kind of thing that you were asking about, really, but it does
>> intersect in other ways with interests of this group (not just political
>> in a partisan sense, but in terms of representation, mediation, etc.)
>> On Wed, 3 Aug 2005, David Daniel Preiss Contreras wrote:
>> > Nobel Prize winner Camilo Jose Cela might works as well:
>> > http://www.recepty.biz/camilo-jose-cela/
>> > http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/C/Cela-C1am.asp
>> > Mike Cole writes:
>> >> David's note about readings for discussion reminded me that I am
>> looking
>> >> for
>> >> good suggestions about books to read to gain a deeper understanding of
>> >> Spain, its
>> >> history, and culture. My favorite way to learn about history is through
>> >> good historical novels and I would
>> >> really welcome suggestions. There are a ton of interesting historical
>> >> novels in English
>> >> about England and the Americas, but I know of few about Spain. in the
>> >> non-fiction realm a visitor from Spain, Nacho Monter has suggeted
>> Pierre
>> >> Vilar,
>> >> *Spain: A brief history* and I have a book titled *Ornament of the
>> World*
>> >> about medieval
>> >> Spain that looks really interesting. In the novel department I have
>> found
>> >> only two historical novels, one *Captain Alatriste" by
>> >> Perez-Reverte and an old classic that was made into a Hollywood film,
>> >> *Captain from Castillo."
>> >> There are novels about more recent times, such as Zafon, *A shadow of
>> the
>> >> wind" set in
>> >> Barcellona and *The blind man of Seville* set there, but with an
>> >> historical memory that
>> >> dates back to the immediate post-civil war days.
>> >> Can anyone make other suggestions?
>> >> mike
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > David D. Preiss
>> > home page: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > xmca mailing list
>> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>> >
>> Tony Whitson
>> UD School of Education
>> NEWARK DE 19716
>> twhitson@udel.edu
>> _______________________________
>> "those who fail to reread
>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)

David D. Preiss
home page: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
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