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A History of the Spanish Novel$
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J. A. Garrido Ardila

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641925

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641925.001.0001

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On the Matter of Inner Realism

On the Matter of Inner Realism

Clarín’s La Regenta and Galdós’ Fortunata y Jacinta

Chapter:
(p.255) 11 On the Matter of Inner Realism
Source:
A History of the Spanish Novel
Author(s):

Noël Valis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641925.003.0011

This chapter examines Galdós’ Fortunata y Jacinta and Clarín’s La Regenta, generally regarded as the two master pieces of Spanish realism-naturalism. These two novels appear to work on the premise that belief in illusory worlds is predicated on a belief that something might be real. Novelists like Galdós and Clarín were also responding to a specific social-religious reality of more sharply etched class differences, growing secularization, and political-economic change. The stress on community becomes the stresses of community, with conflict built into human relations. Galdós’ understanding of spiritual naturalism as he termed it in Fortunata y Jacinta is predicated on human imperfection, while insisting on the transformative nature of the spirit, which binds his characters together as much as economic, familial, and social ties do. Clarín, on the other hand, creates the photographic negative of the Galdosian community in La Regenta.

Keywords:   Galdós, Clarín, realism, realist novel, social literature

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