Quixotic Modernists

Louise Ciallella

Reader Gender in [i] Tristana [/i], Trigo, and Martínez Sierra

2007
308 pages
$60.00
ISBN 1611482683

Quixotic Modernists gives close readings of two novels by two little-studied writers of the early twentieth century in Spain, Felipe Trigo's Les ingénues (1909) and María Marínez Sierra's Tú eres la paz (1906), in relation to the canonical Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós, Spain's greatest nineteenth-century novelist. By doing so, the study reveals the modern message (regarding gender), and modernist qualities of the prose of these works. Included are discussions of Quijote intertexts, proverbial language and tactics, the angel and the "muder-niña," flower, water, and animal imagery, and visual arts in relation to gender definition. Also included are contemporary responses to the novels and material about the authors' lives and Spain's social conditions in the early twentieth century. Quixotic Modernists integrates these themes into a study of the novelization of difficulties in transforming contemporary gender and class roles. In all three authors' works, this process of change in roles for both men and women becomes a quixotic enterprise, in which artists as/and characters search to reconnect with an elusive material, social body.

Review

"Full of informative and detailed close readings simultaneously put into their broader literary and historical contexts, focusing on the particularities of Spanish modernization and modernity while tracing the links of the late nineteenth-century literary texts to the Golden Age, this book is illuminating and necessary for anyone interested in the literature and gender issues of Spain's late nineteenth century." --Susan Larson, University of Kentucky (Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, vol. 12, Dec 2008)

About the author:

Louise Ciallella received her doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000, and since then has been an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Northern Illinois University. Her essays have been published in Cervantes, Feminist Media Studies, and Decimonónica, as well as in the collection of essays Traces of Contamination: Unearthing the Francoist Legacy in Contemporary Spanish Discourse (BUP, 2005). Ongoing research interests include the representation of gender, class, photography, and film in Spanish-language texts from the turn of the twentieth century.

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