Emilia Pardo Bazán Analysis

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

ph_0111207204-Pardo.jpg Emilia Pardo Bazán. Published by Salem Press, Inc.

In addition to her novels, the writings of Emilia Pardo Bazán (PAHR-doh bah-ZHAHN) include essays, criticism, autobiographical pieces, short stories, and plays. Some of her better-known nonfiction includes La cuestión palpitante (1883), Apuntes autobiográficos (1886), La revolución y la novela en Rusia (1887; Russia: Its People and Its Literature, 1890), De mi tierra (1888), El nuevo teatro crítico (1891-1893), Polémicas y estudios literarios (1892), Los poetas épicos cristianos (1895), Lecciones de literatura (1906), Literatura francesca moderna (1910-1914), and Hernán Cortés y sus hazañas (1914).

Pardo Bazán also is credited with having written approximately four hundred short stories, collected in numerous anthologies. Her plays, which are virtually unknown, are Cuesta abajo (pb. 1906) and Verdad (pb. 1906).


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Of all the major nineteenth century Spanish novelists, none has aroused as much contradictory and erroneous comment as Emilia Pardo Bazán. Emilio González López seeks to prove that she was first and foremost a regionalist writer of Galicia. José Balseiro misunderstands the evolving nature of her literary creed and ignores the positive contribution French naturalism made to her novels. Julio Cejador y Frauca fails to comprehend both the naturalistic movement itself and the extent of Pardo Bazán’s understanding of the French techniques.

In fact, Pardo Bazán was, above all, an eclectic. The revolutionary period of 1870 to 1874 helped to shape her literary perspective, and the Restoration, years thereafter, caused her style to evolve and mature. These were years of social, political, and intellectual change, and Pardo Bazán, who studied and involved herself deeply in literary fashions and innovations, took part in the turmoil of this period. Perhaps to avoid monotony, perhaps to prove herself in literary circles dominated by men, perhaps because of her innate sense of curiosity, she moved among various literary schools, carefully avoiding extreme positions. Thus, there is a naturalistic emphasis in La tribuna, The Son of the Bondwoman, La madre naturaleza, Midsummer Madness, and Morriña; a mixture of naturalism and idealistic Romanticism dominates A Wedding Trip and The Swan of Vilamorta; a Christian idealism takes the form of increased optimism and abstract, religious thematic concerns in A Christian Woman and La prueba.

A symbolic emphasis is also evident in these two and in other later works. Yet one can apply no precise chronological divisions...

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Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Emilia Pardo Bazán began her literary career with a critical study of the eighteenth century scholar and essayist Feijóo y Montenegro and soon thereafter published her first novel. These were the two domains to which she devoted the bulk of her writing: literary criticism and fiction. The criticism took the form of journalistic articles, as well as book-length studies, and included one influential polemic, the book in defense of literary realism which she called La cuestión palpitante. Her fiction included not only novels and short stories but also several intermediate-sized works which she called novelas cortas and which might be called novellas. Several collections of travel pieces were published in her lifetime, and essays on social and political issues appeared in journals and were collected in book form as well. She also wrote some half dozen plays, a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, and a two-volume work on Spanish cuisine.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Emilia Pardo Bazán was the most prolific short-story writer of nineteenth century Spain. She achieved renown not only for the quantity of her work—publishing at least 579 short stories—but also for the art and skill with which she wrote, and she was made a condesa (countess) in 1907 in recognition of her literary achievements. Pardo Bazán worked tirelessly in the field of literary criticism as well. from 1891 to 1893, she wrote and edited a monthly literary review, Nuevo teatro critico. In 1906, she became the first woman president of the Ateneo, the literary intellectual circle of Madrid, and in 1916 she earned the title of chair of romance literature at the Central University of Madrid. It was Pardo Bazán’s willingness to champion the cause of equal educational, economic, and career rights for women, however, which gave her the widest influence she achieved throughout her career. Her genuine devotion to this crusade was recognized by her appointment as adviser to Spain’s ministry of education in 1910. Her strong interest in the status of women was also expressed in many polemical articles and in the founding of a book series, “Biblioteca de la mujer” (“Women’s Library”).


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Anderson, Lara. Allegories of Decadence in Fin-de-Siècle Spain: The Female Consumer in the Novels of Emilia Pardo Bazán and Benito Pérez Galdós. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006. Anderson examines the connections between Spanish decadence and the character of the female spendthrift in seven novels by Pardo Bazán and Benito Pérez Galdós, describing how this character reflects late nineteenth century concerns about Spain’s decline.

Brown, D. F. The Catholic Naturalism of Pardo Bazán. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1957. Brown situates Pardo Bazán within the literary movement of Catholic naturalism and discusses her connection with the theory and practice of French naturalist author Émile Zola. Emphasis is placed on Pardo Bazán’s novels.

González-Arias, Francisca. Portrait of a Woman as Artist: Emilia Pardo Bazán and the Modern Novel in France and Spain. New York: Garland, 1992. González-Arias traces Pardo Bazán’s intellectual and artist development during the course of her career by studying the intertextual relationships between her novels and novels by major French and Spanish authors of the same period.

Hemingway, Maurice. Emilia Pardo Bazán: The Making of a Novelist. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Hemingway traces the literary development...

(The entire section is 512 words.)