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This new translation of Spanish novelist Perez Galdos's 19th century tale depicting society during the Alfonsine restoration of 1875, a masterpiece patterned on Balzac and Dickens, provides a read that is startlingly fresh and immediate. Fortunata, a glorious woman of the people, struggles all her life against the angelic, bourgeois Jacinta; both adore Jacinta's charming, selfish husband, the sybarite Juanito. Perez Galdos (18431920) steeps his story in scenes of working- and middle-class Madrid that are panoramic and intimate: the streets and reeking tenements, shops and stalls that open like mouths, the fashion trades, cafes where idlers thrash out politics, the pharmacy where Fortunata's sickly husband Maxi goes mad with jealousy, the convent in which the passionate Fortunata is locked to repent her promiscuity, the twin beds where Juanito caresses Jacinta with lies. Gentle Jacinta buying a baby she thinks is Fortunata's is just one of the novel's shrewd, unforgettable characterizations that reveal the commercial nexus and often animal thirst for power infecting the populous Perez Galdos world. A vast, savory novel in the great tradition, this is not to be missed.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This masterpiece of Spain's greatest novelist after Cervantes, appearing on the centennial of its composition, complements the same publisher's issue of another overlooked classic, Alas's La Regenta ( LJ 3/1/84). The sprawling plot and polyphonic structure resist easy summary but essentially focus on the interrelationships of two married couplesthe refined but barren Jacinta and her pampered, philandering husband, whose mistress, the lowborn but fertile Fortunata, is wed to a sickly schizophrenicinto whose lives swarms a hive of secondary characters from all walks of 19th-century Madrid life. Gullon's translation is much more readable, contemporary, and accurate than Lester Clark's partial translation (Penguin, 1973). An essential acquisition. Lawrence Olszewski, P.L. of Columbus & Franklin Cty., Ohio
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.