Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/608

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LITERATURE]
587
SPAIN

Ftetloa.


Aires espanoles, represents the vivid colouring and resonant emphasis of Andalusia; Ramon Domingo Peres (b. 1863), a Cuban by birth but domiciled at Barcelona, strikes a Catalan note in Musgo (1902), and substitutes restraint and simplicity for the Castilian sonority and pomp; Vicente Medina (b. 1866) in Aires murcianos and La Cancidn de la huerta reproduces with vivid intensity the atmosphere of the Murcian orchard-country; Juan Alcover and Miguel Costa, both natives of Majorca, cele- brate thei r island scenery with luminous picturesqueness of phrase. The roll of Spanish poets may close with the name of Jose Maria Gabriel y Galan (d. 1905), whose reputation depends chiefly on the verses entitled "El Ama" in Castellanas; Gabriel y Galan was extremely unequal, and his range of subjects was limited, but in El Ama he produced a poem which is unsurpassed in modern Spanish poetry. The facility with which verses of a kind can be written in Spanish has made Spain a nest of singing- birds; but the chief names have been already mentioned, and no others need be recorded here.

Since 1850 there has been a notable renaissance of the Spanish novel. Fernan Caballero is entitled to an honourable place in literary history as perhaps the first to revive thenative realism which was temporarily checked by the romantic movement. In all that concerns truth and art she is superior to the once popular Manuel Fernandez y Gonzalez (d. 1888), of whom it has been said that Spain should erect a statue to him and should burn his novels at the foot of it. A Spanish Dumas, he equals the French author in fecundity, invention and resource, and some of his tales — such as El Cocinero de su majestad, Los Minfi.es de las Alpujarras and Martin Gil — are written with an irresistible brio; but he was the victim of his own facility, grew more and more reckless in his methods of composition, and at last sank to the level of his imitators. Antonio de Trueba followed Fernan Caballero in observing local customs and in poetizing them with a sentimental grace of his own, which attracted local patriots and uncritical readers generally. He had no gift of delineating character, and his plots arefeeble; buthewas not wanting in literary charm, and went his road of incorrigible optimism amid the applause of the crowd. His contemporary, Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, is remembered chiefly as the author of El Sombrero de Ires picos, a peculiarly Spanish tale of picaresque malice. Neither Trueba nor Alarcon could have developed into great artists; the first is too falsetto, the second is too rhetorical, and both are too haphazard in execution. Idealizing country life into a pale arcadian idyll, Trueba frowned upon one of his neighbours whose methods were eminently realistic. Jose Maria de Pereda is the founder of the modern school of realistic fiction in Spain, and the boldness of his experiment startled a generation of readers accustomed to Fernan Caballero's feminine reticence and Trueba's deliberate conventionality. Moreover, Pereda's reactionary political views — too frequently obtruded in his imaginative work — alienated from him the sympathies of the growing Liberal element in the country; but the power which stamps his Escenas montanesas was at once appreciated in the northern provinces, and by slow degrees he imposed himself upon the academic critics of Madrid. So long as Pereda deals with Country folk, sailors, fishermen, aspects of sea and land, he deserves the highest praise, for he under- stands the poor, hits upon the mean between conventional portraiture and caricature, and had the keenest appreciation of natural beauty. His hand was far less certain in describing townsmen; yet it is a mistake to class him as merely a successful landscape painter, for he created character, and continually revealed points of novelty in his descriptions of the common things of life. Pereda is realistic, and he is real. His rival, Juan Valera, is not, in the restricted sense of the word, realistic, but he is no less real in his own wider province; he has neither Pereda's energy nor austerity of purpose, but has a more in- fallible tact, a larger experience of men and women, and his sceptical raillery is as effective a moral commentary as Pereda's Christian pessimism. In Valera's Pepita Jiminez and Dona Luz, and in Pereda's Sotileza, we have a trio of Spanish heroines who deserve their fame: Pereda's is the more vigorous, full-


blooded talent, as Valera's is the more seductive and patrician; yet, much as they differ, both are essentially native in the quality of their genius, system and phrasing. Benito Perez Galdos gave a new life to the historical novel in his huge series entitled Episodios nacionales, a name perhaps suggested by the Romans nationaux of Erckmann-Chatrian; but the subjects and senti- ment of these forty volumes are intensely local. The colouring of the Episodios nacionales is so brilliant, their incident is so varied and so full of interest, their spirit so stirring and patriotic, that the born Spaniard easily forgives their frequent prolixity, their insistence on minute details, their loose construction and their uneven style. Their appeal is irresistible; there is no such unanimous approbation of the politico-religious novels such as Dona Perfecta, Gloria and Leon Rock, each of which may be re- garded as a roman a these. The quick response of Perez Galdos to any external stimulus, his sensitiveness to every change in the literary atmosphere, made it inevitable that he should come under the influence of French naturalism, as he does in Lo Prohibido and in Realidad; but his conversion was temporary, and two forcible novels dealing with contemporary lite—Fortunata y Jacinta and Angel Guerra — mark the third place in the develop- ment of a susceptible talent. The true leader of the naturalistic school in Spain is Armando Palacio Valdes, whose faculty of artistic selection was first displayed in El Senorito Octavio. Two subsequent works — Marta y Maria and La Hermana San Sulpicio — raised hopes that Spain had, in Palacio Vald6s, a novelist of the first order to succeed Pereda and Valera; but in La Espnma and La Fe, two social studies which caused all the more sensation because they contained caricatures of well- known personages, the author followed the French current, ceased to be national and did not become cosmopolitan. His latest books are more original and interesting, though they scarcely fulfil his early promise. Another novelist who for a time divided honours with Palacio Valdes was the lady who publishes under her maiden name of Emilia Pardo Bazan. The powerful, repellent pictures of peasant life and the ethical daring of Los Pazos dc Ulloa and La Madre Naturaleza are set off by graphic passages of description; in later works the author chose less questionable subjects, and the local patriotism which inspires Insolacidn and De mi tierra is expressed in a style which secures Emilia Pardo Bazan a high place among her contemporaries. Leopoldo Alas (1851-1901), who used the pseudonym of " Clarin, " was better known as a ruthless critic than as a novelist; the interest of his shorter stories has evaporated, but his ambi- tious novel, La Regenta, lives as an original study of the relation between mysticism and passion. Jacinto Octavio Pic6n (b. 1852), who has deserted novel writing for criticism, displayed much insight in Lazaro, the story of a priest who finds himself forced to lay down his orders ; this work was naturally denounced by the clerical party, and orthodoxy declared equally against El Enemigo and Dulce y sabrosa; more impartial critics agree in admiring Pic6n's power of awakening sympathy and interest, his gift of minute psychological analysis and his exquisite diction. No suspicion of heterodoxy attaches to Manuel Polo y Peyrolfin, the author of that charming story La Tia Levitico, nor to the Jesuit-Luis Coloma (b. 1851), who obtained a fleeting triumph with Pequencces, in which the writer satirized the fashionable society of which he had been an ornament before his conversion. Juan Ochoa (d. 1899) showed promise of the highest order in his two short stories, El Amado disclpulo and Un alma de Dios and Angel Ganivet (d. 1898) produced in Los Trabajos del in- fatigable creador Pio Cid, a singular philosophical romance, rich in ideas and felicitous in expression, though lacking in narrative interest. With him may be mentioned Ricardo Macias Picavea (d. 1899), author of La Tierra de campos, who died prematurely before his undoubted talent had reached maturity. Of the younger novelists the most notable in reputation and achieve- ment is Vicente Blasco Ibanez (b. 1866) who began with pictures of Valencian provincial life in Flor de mayo, made romance the vehicle of revolutionary propaganda in La Catedral and La Horda, and shows the influence of Zola in one of his latest books, La Maja desnuda. Blasco Ibanez lacks taste and


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[LITERATURE


judgment, and occasional provincialisms disfigure his style; but his power is undeniable, and even his shorter tales are remarkable examples of truthful impressionism. Ram6n del Valle-Inclan (b. 1869) tends to preciosity in Corte de amor and Flor de santidad, but excels in finesse and patient observation; J. Martinez Ruiz (b. 1876) is wittier and weightier in Las Confes- iones de un pequeno filosofo and the other stories which he pub- lishes under the pseudonym of " Azorin," but he lacks much of Valle-Inclan's picturesque and perceptive faculty; Pio Baroja's restless and picaresque talent finds vigorous but incoherent expression in El Camino de perfection and Aurora roja, and Gregorio Martinez Sierra (b. 1882) has shown considerable mastery of the difficulties of the short story in Pascua florida and Sol de la tarde.

The tendency of Spanish historical students is rather to collect the raw material of history than to write history. Antonio Canovas del Castillo was absorbed by politics to Criticism" lne l° ss °f literature, for his Ensayo sobre la casa de Austria en Espana is ample in information and impartial in judgment; the composition is hasty and the style is often ponderous, but many passages denote a genuine literary faculty, which the author was prevented from developing. The Historia de los Visigodos, in which Aureliano Fernandez-Guerra y Orbe collaborated with Eduardo de Hinojosa, illuminates an obscure but important period. Francisco Cardenas (1816- 1898) in his Historia de la propriedad territorial en Espana did for Spain much that Maine did for England. Eduardo Perez Pujol (b. 1830) in his Historia de las instiluciones de la Espana goda (1896) supplements the work of Fernandez-Guerra and Hinojosa, the latter of whom has published a standard treatise entitled Historia del derecho romano. Joaquin Costa's Estudios ibericos (1891) and Coleclivismo agrario en Espana (1898) have been praised by experts for their minute research and exact erudition; but his Poesta popular espanola y mitologia y liter a- tura celto-hispanas, in which a most ingenious attempt is made to reconstitute the literary history of a remote period, appeals to a wider circle of educated readers. The monographs of Francisco Codera y Zaidin (b. 1836), of Cesareo Fernandez Duro (1830-1907), of Francisco Fernandez y Gonzalez (b. 1833), of Gumersindo Azcarate (b. 1840), and of many others, such as the Jesuit epigraphist Fidel Fita y Calome, are valuable contribu- tions to the still unwritten history of Spain, but are addressed chiefly to specialists. Many of the results of these investigators are embodied by Rafael Altamira y Crevea (b. 1866) in his Historia de Espana y de la civilization espanola, now in progress. Literary criticism in Spain, even more than elsewhere, is too often infected by intolerant party spirit. It was difficult for Leopoldo Alas (" Clarin ") to recognize any merit in the work of a reactionary writer, but his prejudice was too manifest to mislead, and his intelligent insight frequently led him to do justice in spite of his prepossessions. In the opposite camp Antonio Valbuena, a humorist of the mordant type, has still more difficulty in doing justice to any writer who is an acade- mician, an American or a Liberal. Pascual de Gayangos y Arce and Manuel Mila y Fontanals escaped from the quarrels of contemporary schools by confining their studies to the past, and Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo has earned a European reputation in the same province of historical criticism. Among his followers who have attained distinction it must suffice to mention Ramon Menendez Pidal (b. 1869), author of La Leyenda de los infantes de Lara (1897), a brilliant piece of scientific, reconstructive criticism; Francisco Rodriguez Marin (b. 1855), wno has pub- lished valuable studies on 16th and 17th century authors, and adds to his gifts as an investigator the charm of an alembicated, archaic style; Emilio Cotarelo y Mori (b. 1858), who, besides interesting contributions to the history of the theatre, has written substantial monographs on Enrique de Villena, Villa- mediana, Tirso de Molina, Iriarte and Ramon de la Cruz; and Adolfo Bonilla y San Martin (b. 1875), whose elaborate bio- graphy of Juan Luis Vives, which is a capital chapter on the history of Spanish humanism, gives him a foremost place among the scholars of the younger generation.


Bibliography. — The basis of study is Nicolas Antonio's Biblio- theca hispana vetus and Bibliotheca hispana nova, in the revised edition of Francisco PeVez Bayer (4 vols., Madrid, 1 788). Supple- mentary to this are Bartolome Jose Gallardo's Ensayo de una biblio- teca espanola de libros raros y curiosos (4 vols., Madrid, 1863-1889), edited by M. R. Zarco del Valle and Jose' Sancho Rayon; Pedro Salva y Mallen's Catdlogo de la biblioteca de Salvd (2 vols., Valencia^ 1872); James Lyman Whitney's Catalogue of the Spanish Library and of the Portuguese Books bequeathed by George Ticknor to the Boston Public Library (Boston, 1879) ; Domingo Garcia Peres, Catdlogo de los autores Portugueses que escribieron en castellano (Madrid, 1890). For incunables the best authority is Conrado Haebler, Bibliografia iberica del siglo xv. (the Hague and Leipzig, 1904). Of general histories the most extensive is George Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature (3 vols., New York, 1849, and 6th ed., 3 vols., Boston, 1872), which is particularly valuable as regards bibliography; additional information is embodied in the German translation of this work by N. H. Julius (2 vols., Leipzig, 1852) and the supple- ment by F. J. Wolf (1867) ; and the Spanish translation by Pascual de Gayangos and Enrique de Vedia (4 vols., Madrid, 1851-1856) may be consulted with profit. On a smaller scale are G. Baist, Die spanische Litteratur (Strasburg, 1897) in the second volume of the Grundriss der romanischen Philologie (pt. ii.), H. Butler Clarke, Spanish Literature (London, 1893); Rudolph Beer, Spanische Literaturgeschichte (Leipzig, 1903) ; Philipp August Becker, Ge- schichte der spanischen Literatur (Strasburg, 1904). The three last- named include modern authors, as do E. Merimee, Precis d'histoire de la litterature espagnole (Paris, 1908) and J. Fitzrnaurice-Kelly, History of Spanish Literature (London, 1898; Spanish translation, Madrid, 1901, and French translation, with a revised text and ser- viceable bibliography). For the middle ages the best works are F. J. Wolf, Studien zur Geschichte der spanischen und portugiesischen Nationalliteratur (Berlin, 1859), and M. Mila y Fontanals, De la Poesia heroico-popular castillana (Barcelona, 1874). Jose Amador de los Rios, Historia critica de la literatura espanola (7 vols., Madrid, 1861-1865), is diffusive and inaccurate, but gives useful information concerning the period before the 1 6th century. On the drama the most solid works are Cayetano Alberto de la Barrera y Leirado, Catdlogo bibliogrdfico y biogrdfico del teatro antiguo espanol (Madrid, 1860) ; A. Paz y M<jlia, Catdlogo de las piezas de teatro que se conservan en el departamento de manuscritos de la biblioteca national (Madrid, 1899) ; C. P6rez Pastor, Nuevos dctos acerca del histrionismo espanol en los siglos xvi. y xvii. (Madrid, 1901); Jose Sanchez-Arjona, Noticias referentes a los anales del teatro en Sevilla (Seville, 1898); Antonio Restori, " La Collezione della biblioteca palatina-parmense," in Studj di filologia romanza, fasc. 15 (Rome, 1891); E. Cotarelo y Mori, Controversias sobre la licitud del teatro en Espana (Madrid, 1904). Adolf Friedrich von Schack, Geschichte der dramatischen Literatur und Kunst in Spanien (Frankfort-on-Main, 1846-1854), a valuable work when published and still to be read with pleasure, is now out of date, and is not improved in the Spanish translation by Eduardo de Mier; it is in course of being superseded by Wilhelm Creizenach's Geschichte des neueren Dramas, of which three volumes have already appeared (Halle, 1893-1903). Two fluent and agreeable works on the subject are Adolf Schaeffer, Geschichte des spanischen Nationaldramas (2 vols., Leipzig, 1890), and Louis de Viel Castel, Essai stir le theatre espagnol (2 vols., Paris, 1882). Julius Leopold Klein's extravagant prejudices detract greatly from the value of Das spanische Drama (Leipzig, 1871-1875), which forms part of his Geschichte des Dramas; but his acumen and learning are by no means contemptible. Other works on the Spanish drama are indicated by A. Morel-Fatio and L. Rouanet in their critical bibliography, Le Theatre espagnol (Paris, 1900). The prefaces by M. Menendez y Pelayo in the Antologia de poetas liricos castellanos desde la formation del idioma hasta nuestros dias (12 vols, already published, Madrid, 1890-1906) form a substantial history of Spanish poetry. The same writer's Origenes de la novela (Madrid, 1905-1907) and unfinished Historia critica de las ideas esteticas en Espana (9 vols., Madrid, 1884-1891), are highly instructive. For the 18th century the student is referred to the Historia critica de la poesia castellana en el siglo xv-iii. (3rd ed., 3 vols., Madrid, 1893) by Leopoldo Augusto de Cueto, marques de Valmar; Francisco Blanco Garcia, La Literatura espanola en el siglo xix. (3 vols., Madrid, 1891-1894), is useful and informing, but must be consulted with caution, owing to the writer's party spirit. Similar prejudices are present in the much more suggestive and acute volumes of Leopoldo Alas. The history of modern criticism is traced by Francisco Fernandez y Gonzalez, Historia de la critica literaria en Espana desde Luzon hasta nuestros dias (Madrid, 1870). Among miscellaneous monographs and essays the most recommendable are Count Theodore de Puymaigre, Les vieux auteurs castillans (Paris 1861-1862 ; 2nd ed., incomplete, 2 vols., Paris, 1889-1890), and La Cour litteraire de don Juan II. roi de Castille (2 vols., Paris, 1893) ; A. Morel-Fatio, L'Espagne au xvi me et au xvii me Steele (Heilbronn, 1878), and Etudes sur I'Espagne (3 vols., Paris, 1888-1904); Enrique Pifieyro, El Romanticismo en Espana (Paris, 1904) ; J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly, Chapters on Spanish Literature (London, 1908). The Revue hispanique (Paris) and the Bulletin hispanique (Bordeaux) are specially dedicated to studies on the literary history of Spain, and articles on the subject appear from time to time in