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Memoirs of Leticia Valle [Paperback]

Rosa Chacel , Carol Maier

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Book Description

Dec 1 1993 European Women Writers
Memorias de Leticia Valle (1945) is the fictionalized diary of an eleven-year-old girl who records an "inconceivable" seduction. Set in early twentieth-century Spain, the events she chronicles take place in the village of Simancas, site of a castle that houses a famous archive. Leticia, the archivist, and his wife—Leticia's piano teacher—are the actors in this drama, which is rehearsed in a purely introspective way. The seduction resembles that of a thirteen-year-old girl in Dostoyevsky's The Possessed, but it does not result in Leticia's mental or physical destruction. Rather, it acts as the catalyst for a deep questioning and exploration of life.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (Dec 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803263600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803263604
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 308 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this dynamic work, Chacel paints a powerful and disturbing portrait of a precocious girl's coming of age. First published in Spain in 1945, and appearing in English for the first time in a clear and sensitive translation, the story reads like a diary in which Leticia, obsessed with her fast-approaching twelfth birthday, chronicles her life. This imaginative, introspective girl lives with her aunt and alcoholic father in the village of Simancas and contemplates life, death, truth, meaning and language in a way that belies her young age. She begins studying with the local archivist and quickly develops a passionate but complex relationship with him and his wife. She seduces them both, creating a tension that inevitably explodes. But don't expect precise detail: sensory memories take precedence over the mundane. Though Leticia's recollections are so allusive that what happened at the archivist's house is never explained, the often dense and abstruse narrative is always lucid. Maier's afterword helps illuminate the plot and provides a historical and literary context in which to interpret the text, making important connections to Dostoyevski and Freud.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Originally published in Spanish in 1945, this intriguing exploration of memory and awakening sexuality has now been skillfully translated into English. Leticia is a precocious 11-year-old and an intelligent but bored student in the Spanish city of Valladolid. When her disabled father moves the family to the village of Simancas, she becomes something of a "wild child," allowed indolently to pursue learning as she sees fit. She is soon befriended by the local archivist and his wife, who take her into their home and continue her education in a somewhat more structured manner. Leticia carefully chronicles events and allows us to see relevant moments (albeit through a glass darkly), offering glimpses of the woman she will soon become. Chacel, born in Valladolid in 1898, contributed to the second Golden Age of Spanish literature. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.
- Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll., N.H.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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