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José-Carlos Mainer

Benito Pérez Galdós URL: http://www.march.es/conferencias/anteriores/voz.aspx?p1=22497&l=2

Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920) was the "national writer" par excellence in a similar way as Charles Dickens was so for United Kingdom or Victor Hugo for France. Such thing became explicit in the selection of the title Episodios Nacionales (national episodes), which defined his narrative project between 1873 and 1912, conceived as the story of the birth and development of the Spanish liberal nationalism. But his "contemporary novels" where not any less "national" and included a chronicle of the clash of ideas, the domestic interiors of the bourgeoisie, and the role of money in the Spanish life of the second half of the 19th century. And maybe his late theater was even more "national", including premiers like Electra, Casandra, Alma y vida and Sor Simona, which leveled relevant episodes of the moral life in our country at the beginning of the 20th century.

The conference will deal on this dimension of community service that can be observed in the work of Galdós, but will also address in what way that task also stained his own biography and image: the decoration of his houses, the planning of his works, his journalistic and political declarations, and even the dimension of his posthumous fame, will illustrate us on the reach, significance and controversies of this "national writer". 

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