The Reframing of Realism

Galdós & the Discourses of the 19th-Century Spanish Novel

The Reframing of Realism
Book Pages: 255 Illustrations: Published: June 1993

Author: Hazel Gold

Subjects
Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

In virtually every aspect of human behavior, ritual, language, and art, perceptions are organized through the act of framing. In the writing of Benito Perez Galdós, Spain's most prolific and innovative nineteenth-century novelist, Hazel Gold finds this principle insistently at work. By exploring Galdós's methods of structuring and evaluating literary and historical experience, Gold illuminates the novelist's art and uncovers the far-reaching narratological, social, and epistemological implications of his framing strategies.
A close look at Galdós's novels reveals the artist at pains to contain and interpret what he perceived to be the distinctive and often disheartening experience of bourgeois liberalism of his day. At the same time, he can be seen here undermining or negating the accepted conventions of realist fiction. Looking beyond text to context, Gold examines the ways in which Galdós's work itself has been framed by readers and critics in accordance with changing allegiances to contemporary literary theory and the canon.
The highly ambiguous status of the frame in Galdós's fictions confirms the author's own signal position as a writer poised at the limits between realism and modernity. Gold's work will command the interest of students of Spanish and comparative literature, narrative theory, and the novel, as well as all those for whom realism and representation are at issue.

Praise

“[A] very solid and significant contribution to Galdós studies. . . . Gold offers us a veritable treasure-trove of information, opinion, and bibliographical data in this error-free study. . . .” — Petra A. Bly , Hispanic Research Journal

“This is a book that serious students of Galdós should read, not least for its critical aperçus on the individual Galdosian texts it discusses. . . . [Gold] brings to bear an impressive familiarity with modern critical theory.” — E. A. Southworth , Journal of European Studies

"Professor Gold has a superb frame of reference in both theory and the European novel, as well as in the specifically Spanish texts that surround the corpus she studies." — H. L. Boudreau, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


"Hazel Gold's book . . . will be an excellent addition to studies of Galdós from a contemporary theoretical point of view; moreover, its implications go beyond the author studied to embrace the realist novel itself, and thereby assist in the task of incorporating a major writer into the European mainstream." — Geoffrey Ribbans, Brown University


"Hazel Gold's book is outstanding: gracefully written, theoretically significant, argued with verve and sophistication, and full of brilliant insights into the novels." — Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Duke University


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