Friday, August 01, 2014

The Galdós Drawings

It's August already? I wish I could say I'm tanned, rested, and ready to post. Unfortunately it feels more like pasty, stressed…but at least wanting to post.

I'll start with a wonderful site I've found regarding drawings by Benito Pérez Galdós. Dr. Michael A. Schnepf at the University of Alabama has a page on The Galdós Drawings (no longer active). Dr. Schnepf
"has been studying the original manuscripts of Benito Pérez Galdós since 1987." According to The Galdós Drawings page, Galdós said that "Before literarily creating the characters of my works," he tells Carretero, "I draw them in pencil to have them before me as I speak of them." In some cases, the fascinating manuscripts housed in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid and the 'Galeradas' housed in the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós in the Canary Islands have gone virtually unnoticed for more than a hundred years . Galdós scholars can now see many of these drawings for the first time on this web site.

While the drawings are great, the part I enjoyed the most was the section on the Galeradas, or proofs. They show a combination of corrections, doodles, and many side notes. A wonderful site for anyone interested in Galdós! As Dr. Schnepf put it in his kind reply to some of my questions, "The more people we have talking about Galdis, the better." Indeed!


scott g.f.bailey said...

This is great, thanks for sharing the link!

I'm searching for another Galdos to read. Manso was so different from Fortunata that I don't know where to turn next. I really liked Manso, though. 19th-century postmodernism.

Dwight said...

Scott, a humble recommendation—read the upcoming NYRB release of Margaret Jull Costa's translation of' Tristana. I really enjoyed the translation I read (and it isn't long) and look forward to Costa's treatment…see here for the summary.

Plus, you can watch the Buñuel film for a great comparison. Not to mention get to see Catherine Deneuve. Wait, did I say that out loud?

Anyway, I think it's slated for a mid-October release. Glad you liked Manso. As I alluded to in a comment on Himadri's Argumentative Old Git blog, I don't think Galdos gets enough credit for how far ahead of the curve he was at times.

scott g.f.bailey said...

Someone should erect a statue of Margaret Jull Costa. I'll keep an eye out for Tristana. I remember your post about the film, and I'll keep it in mind. For some reason, this last year or so we've been watching original-language films of books we know (there are a lot of Russian-language treatments of 19th-century Russian novels, for example).

Dwight said...

The awards and accolades to MJC doesn't seem enough, does it?

The book is great and I'm looking forward to reading it again. Galdós disappointed a lot of people with it, especially his former lover Emilia Pardo Bazán. Galdós had done so much for showing the plight of women in Spanish society and Tristana initially highlights that problem, then seemingly goes against it. As I titled one post, "This is not the feminist manifesto you're looking for." Or something similar. But then almost every character in the book seems to ooze disappointment.

I think it's better to read the book and then watch the movie, although I did it in reverse. I think you'll appreciate what Buñuel did with it even more knowing what the starting point was.

The book made me appreciate Galdós even more since he doesn't go for simple ideological answers.