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Tristana (1892) (Spanish Edition) af Benito…
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Tristana (1892) (Spanish Edition) (original 1892; udgave 2009)

af Benito Perez Galdos

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
334859,051 (3.77)31
The tale of a high-spirited, ambitious young woman or man breaking free from stifling provincial constraints to pursue a life of independence is a staple of the novel. In Tristanathe great Spanish novelist Benito Pe rez Galdo s disconcertingly reverses the formula. His beautiful and brilliant and very winning heroine breaks free from a perverse and imprisoning relationship to a womanizing older man, supposed by all to be her father. But after a terrible stroke of misfortune, she retreats-either out of timidity or, perhaps, simply because confinement has its own seductive power. Tristana, here in an exceptionally fine and fluent new English rendering by Margaret Jull Costa, is an unequaled exploration of the tragedy of human desire.… (mere)
Medlem:plumilla
Titel:Tristana (1892) (Spanish Edition)
Forfattere:Benito Perez Galdos
Info:Kessinger Publishing, LLC (2009), Paperback, 260 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Tristana af Benito Pérez Galdós (Author) (1892)

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» Se også 31 omtaler

Engelsk (6)  Spansk (2)  Alle sprog (8)
Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
Me ha dejado buah, es... no sé cómo decirlo pero me ha gustado sí. ( )
  dieciseislunas | Jun 2, 2019 |
This book is a curious mixture - a classic novel in style with some rather modern attitudes, especially for a book written in the nineteenth century.

There are three main characters. Don Lope is an ageing seducer with a diminishing fortune. Tristana is the orphaned daughter of his best friend who he is supposedly caring for and Horacio is her charismatic and apparently altruistic lover. The story concerns the awakening of Tristana's consciousness, her affair with Horacio and its aftermath. Much of it centres on the lack of choices faced by women of the time who are not interested in marriage, and much of the book is written from Tristana's perspective. There is also quite a lot of gentle humour, and some linguistic invention which must have presented a challenge to the translator. This edition has a modern translation by the estimable Margaret Jull Costa.

An intriguing book, and a very readable one. ( )
  bodachliath | Apr 3, 2019 |

“Young, pretty, and slender, and her skin was the almost implausible white of pure alabaster; she had the palest of cheeks and dark eyes more notable for their vivacity and brightness than for their size; her remarkable eyebrows looked as if they had been drawn with the tip of the very finest of brushes; her delicate mouth, with its rather plump, round lips, was so red it seemed to contain all the blood that her face lacked; her small teeth were like pieces of concentrated crystal; her hair, caught up in a graceful tangle on the top of her head, was brown and very fine, and had the sheen of plaited silk. This singular creature’s most marked characteristic, however, was her ermine-white purity and cleanliness.”

From the above quote, you would think Spanish novelist Benito Pérez Galdós was describing Parmigianino's 1525 painting Portrait of a Young Woman; but, alas, he is not writing about a wealthy sixteenth century aristocrat but a poor nineteenth century orphan by the name of Tristana, who, at age nineteen, is placed in the care (and clutches) of one Don Lope Garrido.

Make no mistake, this is a tale of fire and passion –I can vividly picture all the señoritas in the author's day relishing every page of Tristana, a romantic Spanish female heart on fire, yearning for love, for artistic expression and, above all else, yearning for freedom. True, at age nineteen Tristana comes to live with Don Lope Garrido, a seasoned Don Juan who uses all his stock repertoire of sweet words and caresses to seduce his young charge but then at age twenty-one it happens - Tristana awakens to how her womanhood has been violated and thus her rebellion against what she now regards as an evil, lecherous tyrant.

But this novel is much more than unadorned melodrama, for Benito Pérez Galdós is a true literary master, creating complex, rounded characters, as when he writes of Don Lope being a generous, noble gentleman, a throwback to the courageous knights of yore, an expert in all affairs of honor, ready to make every sacrifice in the name of duty and friendship, as when he rescued his dear friend, Don Antinio Reluz, Tristana’s father, from financial ruin, and later after Reluz’s death, making sacrifice after sacrifice, even selling his treasured weapons collection, to fund Tristana’s mother in her continuous insane moving from lodging to lodging right up until the day of her death. Is Don Lope a good, even saintly man, or is he a bad, evil man? Given the author's ample information and many examples, a sound case could be made for either or both together.

No sooner does Tristana leave the rapidly aging fifty-six-year-old Don Lope at home to join maid Saturna on afternoon walks out in the countryside and around town, then the plot thickens: Tristana meets and falls in love with Horacio, a handsome young painter. Of course, finding her beauty irresistible, Horacio, in his turn, falls in love with Tristana. The two lovers take their romantic afternoon walks together; they share both their tragic backgrounds and romantic dreams of life and art. However, there is one thing they will never share - Tristana boldly proclaims to Horacio that under not circumstance will she ever surrender her freedom and be bound to a man as his wife.

This New York Review Books (NYRB) edition features the author’s fluid prose rendered into clear, elegant English by translator Margaret Jull Costa. A real joy to read. And I must say, this novel brings to the fore two sets of pressing philosophical questions. Firstly, since Tristan’s life and dreams are so entwined with art, music and literature (as the story progresses, we discover she is exceptionally gifted in both language and music) how far can the arts go in transforming a woman in Trastana's position? Drawing, foreign languages and letter writing each serve Tristana as a catalyst in propelling and expanding her sense of freedom but, ultimately, other forces are in play.

Secondly, we have the issue of feminism. Saturna tells Tristana that in this society of ours women have but three alternatives – to be wives, to be actresses or to be something too low to be mentioned in polite society. Tristana will have none of it - by turns she envisions herself as a painter, an author, an actress, even a political leader; not to mention she argues with Horacio in a decidedly modern way how, if she has a child and lives as a single mother, she has more rights to her child than the father. One can easily imagine men - journalists, politicians, heads of households - who looked askance at Benito Pérez Galdós putting such scandalous ideas into the heads of women.

These philosophical questions move into yet again another dimension. In speaking of Don Lope’s sense of morality, Benito Pérez Galdós writes: “Despite being very much his own, was also quite widespread, the abundant fruit of the times we live in; a morality which, although it seemed to have sprung solely from him, was, in fact, an amalgamation in his mind of the ideas floating around in the metaphysical atmosphere of the age, like the invisible bacteria that inhabit the physical atmosphere.” With these words we hear echoes of the fatalism and social and cultural pressures molding men and women articulated by such as Émile Zola and his literary school of naturalism. So, it’s Tristana versus her society, culture and fate. What a riveting story. Highly recommended.


Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920) - Leading literary voice of nineteenth century Spain, author of dozens and dozens of novels and many plays and short stories, frequently compared to Dickens, Balzac and Zola. Tristana was published in 1892. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
“Young, pretty, and slender, and her skin was the almost implausible white of pure alabaster; she had the palest of cheeks and dark eyes more notable for their vivacity and brightness than for their size; her remarkable eyebrows looked as if they had been drawn with the tip of the very finest of brushes; her delicate mouth, with its rather plump, round lips, was so red it seemed to contain all the blood that her face lacked; her small teeth were like pieces of concentrated crystal; her hair, caught up in a graceful tangle on the top of her head, was brown and very fine, and had the sheen of plaited silk. This singular creature’s most marked characteristic, however, was her ermine-white purity and cleanliness.”

From the above quote, you would think Spanish novelist Benito Pérez Galdós was describing Parmigianino's 1525 painting Portrait of a Young Woman; but, alas, he is not writing about a wealthy sixteenth century aristocrat but a poor nineteenth century orphan by the name of Tristana, who, at age nineteen, is placed in the care (and clutches) of one Don Lope Garrido.

Make no mistake, this is a tale of fire and passion –I can vividly picture all the señoritas in the author's day relishing every page of Tristina, a romantic Spanish female heart on fire, yearning for love, for artistic expression and, above all else, yearning for freedom. True, at age nineteen Tristana comes to live with Don Lope Garrido, a seasoned Don Juan who uses all his stock repertoire of sweet words and caresses to seduce his young charge but then at age twenty-one it happens - Tristana awakens to how her womanhood has been violated and thus her rebellion against what she now regards as an evil, lecherous tyrant.

But this novel is much more than unadorned melodrama, for Benito Pérez Galdós is a true literary master, creating complex, rounded characters, as when he writes of Don Lope being a generous, noble gentleman, a throwback to the courageous knights of yore, an expert in all affairs of honor, ready to make every sacrifice in the name of duty and friendship, as when he rescued his dear friend, Don Antinio Reluz, Tristana’s father, from financial ruin, and later after Reluz’s death, making sacrifice after sacrifice, even selling his treasured weapons collection, to fund Tristana’s mother in her continuous insane moving from lodging to lodging right up until the day of her death. Is Don Lope a good, even saintly man, or is he a bad, evil man? Given the author's ample information and many examples, a sound case could be made for either or both together.

No sooner does Tristana leave the rapidly aging fifty-six-year-old Don Lope at home to join maid Saturna on afternoon walks out in the countryside and around town, then the plot thickens: Tristana meets and falls in love with Horacio, a handsome young painter. Of course, finding her beauty irresistible, Horacio, in his turn, falls in love with Tristana. The two lovers take their romantic afternoon walks together; they share both their tragic backgrounds and romantic dreams of life and art. However, there is one thing they will never share - Tristana boldly proclaims to Horacio that under not circumstance will she ever surrender her freedom and be bound to a man as his wife.

This New York Review Books (NYRB) edition features the author’s fluid prose rendered into clear, elegant English by translator Margaret Jull Costa. A real joy to read. And I must say, this novel brings to the fore two sets of pressing philosophical questions. Firstly, since Tristan’s life and dreams are so entwined with art, music and literature (as the story progresses, we discover she is exceptionally gifted in both language and music) how far can the arts go in transforming a woman in Trastana's position? Drawing, foreign languages and letter writing each serve Tristana as a catalyst in propelling and expanding her sense of freedom but, ultimately, other forces are in play.

Secondly, we have the issue of feminism. Saturna tells Tristana that in this society of ours women have but three alternatives – to be wives, to be actresses or to be something too low to be mentioned in polite society. Tristana will have none of it - by turns she envisions herself as a painter, an author, an actress, even a political leader; not to mention she argues with Horacio in a decidedly modern way how, if she has a child and lives as a single mother, she has more rights to her child than the father. One can easily imagine men - journalists, politicians, heads of households - who looked askance at Benito Pérez Galdós putting such scandalous ideas into the heads of women.

These philosophical questions move into yet again another dimension. In speaking of Don Lope’s sense of morality, Benito Pérez Galdó writes: “Despite being very much his own, was also quite widespread, the abundant fruit of the times we live in; a morality which, although it seemed to have sprung solely from him, was, in fact, an amalgamation in his mind of the ideas floating around in the metaphysical atmosphere of the age, like the invisible bacteria that inhabit the physical atmosphere.” With these words we hear echoes of the fatalism and social and cultural pressures molding men and women articulated by such as Émile Zola and his literary school of naturalism. So, it’s Tristana versus her society, culture and fate. What a riveting story. Highly recommended. ( )
  GlennRussell | Mar 8, 2017 |
This is a strange and depressing book, relieved by the portrait of a budding feminist young woman. Tristana is an orphaned 19-year-old, entrusted to and taken in by an old family friend who tried to help her parents when they fell on hard times. But this family friend, Don Lope Garrido, is an unrepentant Don Juan: he "was a skilled strategist in the war of love and prided himself on having stormed more bastions of virtue and captured more strongholds of chastity than he had hairs on his head." Soon, of course, he adds Tristana to his "very long list of victories over innocence."

Needless to say, Tristana is depressed by her life with Don Lope, especially because most of the day she helps the servant, Saturna, and is confined to the house. But she is able to go out with Saturna when she goes shopping or visits her son, who she had to place in an institution when her husband died and she had to go to work, and in the course of one of these excursions she meets a young artist, Horacio. Of course, they fall in love, and talk talk talk about their love, his art, and his unhappy childhood. But Tristana is enlivened not only by love but also by her innate imagination and ability to think, as we would now say, outside the box. She develops a love for and skill at painting and drawing, once they progress to Horacio's studio; reads literature; and declares she never wants to marry but wants to have her own work which will support her. And this in 19th century Spain! She turns out to be enormously talented at languages, and eventually music, too.

But things do not go well. Don Lope, of course, has his suspicions. Horacio has to take his elderly aunt to a house he owns near the Mediterranean, and the lovers correspond daily. I found this section, with their endless epistolary expressions of love, tedious. And then, Tristana has a very serious health crisis, which in turn provokes Don Lope to discover he truly cares about her "as a daughter" and to realize that the relationship with Horatio will come to naught because of both changes in Tristana and Horacio's reaction to the aftermath of her health problem. The changes in Tristana because of this crisis and its aftermath are not entirely hard to believe, but they also seem to be very dependent on a a time and a place. I found the conclusion of the novel depressing, but the last lines of it are brilliant.

All in all, I'm glad I read this book. Parts of it were, as I said, tedious, and overall I found it hard to read, but it was a fascinating portrait of two people, Tristana and Don Lope. The introduction to my NYRB edition notes that Pérez Galdós wrote other books with the names of women as titles and women as protagonists.
1 stem rebeccanyc | Apr 8, 2015 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Galdós, Benito PérezForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Costa, Margaret JuliOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lemm, RobertOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Treglown, JeremyIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The tale of a high-spirited, ambitious young woman or man breaking free from stifling provincial constraints to pursue a life of independence is a staple of the novel. In Tristanathe great Spanish novelist Benito Pe rez Galdo s disconcertingly reverses the formula. His beautiful and brilliant and very winning heroine breaks free from a perverse and imprisoning relationship to a womanizing older man, supposed by all to be her father. But after a terrible stroke of misfortune, she retreats-either out of timidity or, perhaps, simply because confinement has its own seductive power. Tristana, here in an exceptionally fine and fluent new English rendering by Margaret Jull Costa, is an unequaled exploration of the tragedy of human desire.

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