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The birth insured an uninterrupted succession: Despite the political intrigues and their ensuing turmoil, industrial advancements found their way into Spain and slowly helped to modernize what was then one of the most backward countries in Western Europe. Progress came haltingly in a two-steps-forward, one-step-backward fashion.
In , for example, after centuries of persecutions and public burnings, the Inquisition the tribunal to suppress deviation from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church was formally dissolved. Its dissolution was followed.
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Yet the general population also experienced improvements in life. Most Spaniards came to enjoy the economic, health, and safety benefits of such innovations as the use of steam power in factories in Barcelona in and the public lighting of streets in large cities in the s. This, in turn, promoted longer hours of commerce, stricter building codes, paved streets, the addition of sidewalks to separate traffic from pedestrians, and enough prosperity to warrant new storefronts with large windows to showcase merchandise.
The July adoption of a uniform chart of weights and measures , based on the decimal system , further aided commerce and consumer confidence. The following year, the first postage stamp was issued, promoting long distance communication over land. In a faster means of bridging distances, the telegraph system began operating as a regular service.
Foreign business was further aided by the passage in of a fairly comprehensive set of trade laws that encouraged the exportation of great quantities of minerals and other goods.
La Regenta I (CLASICOS CASTALIA. C/C.)
Of course, established factions of society ardently resisted change. Against their ruling status we begin to notice the growing economic forces of a the nouveaux riches—individuals who make their money in business and commerce, b the returning emigrants who have accumulated wealth abroad in the colonies and now seek preeminence, and finally c the very large, menacing masses of salaried factory workers ready to strike and hold protests as a means of gaining higher wages, better working conditions and a more equitable distribution of capital.
Examples of the three groups are sprinkled throughout La Regenta. The elite, as might be expected, resisted the elevation of average citizens that had been experienced in nearby France since the French Revolution there. As a dandy, his clothes, his impeccable shirt-fronts, his cologne, his mannerisms of speech and his tastes in cheap popular literature are all imported from Paris, a city he knows only superficially. The minor aristocracy and landed gentry, however, preferred to live in the provinces. There the less powerful or wealthy families saw their resources diminish with each passing generation.
Su Unico Hijo (Spanish Edition): Leopoldo Alas: nifaquniky.cf: Books
Titles, such as count or marquis, meant only past glories but present financial ruin unless marriages of convenience could be arranged so that new money could be added to an impoverished lineage. Giner was a follower of the German idealist philosophers—mainly Karl Krause, His importance lies in assembling a small group of like-minded educators, whose teachings shaped the lives and writings of men such as the author of La Regenta and every generation of intellectuals in the last third of the nineteenth century.
They also championed a host of principles that would liberate students from the dogmatism and stagnation long prevalent in Spain.
Their places outside of marriage were the convent, the brothel, the agricultural field, or domestic service. With the onset of urban commerce, they slowly made their way into the workaday world as lowly clerks in fabric concerns, groceries, and flower shops, where they catered to other, more well-to-do women. In all cases, such working women would be supervised by male managers or owners.
Few of them engaged in meaningful intellectual pursuits since, as of , only 9 percent of all women could read. That he, Don Victor, is older does not much matter to either of them. In the end, however, the thirty-some-year age difference between Ana and the judge, with all of its attendant implications differences in tastes, habits, and sexual and other needs , dooms them. In the realm of literature, two great movements stand out, Romanticism and realism Although the action in La Regenta takes place in the late s during the early stages of the Restoration Period , the work spans the larger part of the nineteenth century.
Its 30 chapters are divided into two halves. Part 1, published in , contains the initial 15 chapters and lasts three days, beginning in the early afternoon of October 2, , and ending well into the evening of October 4. Part 2, published in , spans a three-year period, its chronology based on the liturgical calendar whose dates correspond to well-known holy days in Catholic Spain.
The setting is a small provincial city that is located in the northern region of Asturias and functions as the religious center of an equally unimportant diocese in this remote area. The cathedral, a mixture of gothic architecture and later additions, constitutes the symbolic, spiritual, and physical center of the daily lives of its inhabitants. Thus, appropriately, the novel begins and ends in this edifice. Two days before the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, as the townspeople sleep off the effects of a typically heavy midday meal, we are introduced to the most formidable character of the novel as he plies his trade from his center of operations.
Because only three days transpire in the first part of La Regenta , the narrative tempo is slow—not time but space, through abundant but rather static descriptions, fills the pages. The narrator dwells on the lives of the protagonists and the places where they thrive. From the confessional, he controls wives and through them their husbands and lovers, and he also learns those secrets that no one else can know since he alone can connect all of the dots. Information gives him power.