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Emilia Pardo Bazán

Emilia Pardo Bazán

Spanish writer, novelist
Emilia Pardo Bazán
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Spanish writer, novelist
A.K.A. Emilia Pardo Bazan, Emilia Pardo, Condesa de Basán, Condesa de Pardo ...
Was Noble Writer Critic Essayist Literary critic Novelist Journalist Salon-holder
From Spain
Type Business Fashion Journalism Literature Royals
Gender female
Birth 16 September 1851, A Coruña, A Coruña Province, Galicia, Spain
Death 12 May 1921, Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain (aged 69 years)
Family
Father: José Pardo Bazán
Children: Jaime Quiroga Pardo Bazán
Emilia Pardo Bazán
The details

Biography

Emilia Pardo Bazán (16 September 1851 – 12 May 1921), countess of Pardo Bazán, was a Spanish novelist, journalist, literary critic, poet, playwright, translator, editor and professor. She is known for introducing naturalism to Spanish literature, for her detailed descriptions of reality, and for her role in feminist literature of her era. Her ideas about women’s rights for education made her a prominent feminist figure.

Life

Pardo Bazán was born into a noble family in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. The culture of her birthplace was incorporated into some of her most popular novels, including Los pazos de Ulloa (The House of Ulloa) and its sequel, La madre naturaleza (Mother Nature). She was acknowledged for her creative stories such as Temprano y con Sol, which explicitly describes an ironic misfortune. She wrote a book called in which she expressed her opinion about equality. She was educated in Madrid.

At the age of sixteen she married Don José Antonio de Quiroga y Pérez de Deza, a country gentleman. She became interested in politics, and is believed to have taken an active part in the underground campaign against Amadeo of Spain and, later, against the republic. In 1876 she was the successful competitor for a literary prize offered by the municipality of Oviedo, the subject of her essay being the Benedictine monk Benito Jerónimo Feijoo. This was followed by a series of articles inserted in La Ciencia cristiana, a magazine of the purest orthodoxy, edited by Juan M. Orti y Lara.

Her first novel, Pascual López (1879), was followed by Un viaje de novios (1881), in which a discreet attempt was made to introduce the methods of French realism. The novel caused a sensation, which was increased by the appearance of another naturalistic tale, La tribuna (1885), wherein the influence of Émile Zola is unmistakable. Meanwhile, the writer's response to her critics was issued under the title of La cuestión palpitante (1883).

Emilia Pardo Bazán memorial in Paco Mermela gerden, A Coruña.

The naturalistic scenes of El Cisne de Villamorta (1885) are more numerous, more pronounced, than in any of its predecessors, though the author shrinks from the logical application of her theories by supplying a romantic and inappropriate ending. Probably the best of Emilia Pardo Bazán's work is embodied in Los pazos de Ulloa (1886), which recounts the decadent of an aristocratic family, as notable for the heroes Nucha and Julián as for characters including the political bravos, Barbacana and Trampeta. Yet perhaps its most abiding merit lies in its pictures of country life, its poetic realization of Galician scenery portrayed in an elaborate, highly colored style. A sequel, with the significant title of La madre naturaleza (1887), marks a further advance in the path of naturalism, and henceforth Pardo Bazán was universally recognized as one of the chiefs of the new naturalistic movement in Spain. The title was confirmed by the publication of Insolación and Morriña in 1889. In this year her reputation as a novelist reached its highest point. Her later stories, La cristiana (1890), Cuentos de amor (1894), Arco Iris (1895), Misterio (1903) and La quimera (1905), attracted less interest. In 1905 she published a play entitled Verdad, known for its boldness more than its dramatic qualities.

She inherited the title of Countess on her father's death in 1908 and in 1910 was appointed a member of the Council of Public Instruction. Her last novel Dulce Dueño was published in 1911. In 1921 she was appointed to the Senate but never formally took up her seat.

Her husband, José Quiroga, purchased Castle of Santa Cruz in A Coruña, Galicia at an auction and they resided there for years. She died in Madrid in 1921.

Childhood and education

Emilia Pardo Bazán was the daughter of a Galician noble family that was very wealthy and affluent in Spain. The papal count of Pardo-Bazán, José María Pardo-Bazán and Mosquera, were titles Alfonso XIII bestowed upon her in 1908, and Amalia María de la Rúa-Figueroa and Somoza. Her father, believing in the rights of women, provided her with the best education possible, that cemented her love for literature. Besides the residence on a street called Tabernas, the family owned two other houses, one close to Sanxenxo, and the other near the outskirts of A Coruña, the Pazo de Meirás. At nine year of age, she was already beginning to show great interest in the scriptures. In her father's library she had access to a broad variety of readings; she stated that among her favorite readings were Don Quijote de la Mancha, the Bible and the Iliad. In the house by A Coruña, she read La conquista de México by Antonio de Solís and the Parallel Lives by Plutarch. The books about the French revolution fascinated her. When her family would travel to Madrid during the winters, Emilia attended a french school sponsored by the Royal Family, where she was introduced to the work of La Fontaine and Jean Racine —her frequent visits to France would prove to be especially useful later in her life, by helping her connect with the literary world of Europe and become familiar with relevant authors like Victor Hugo—. At twelve years of age, her family decided to stay in A Coruña during the winters and there she studied with private tutors. She refused to follow the rules that limited women to just learning about music and home economics. She received formal education on all types of subject matter with emphasis in the humanities and languages. She became fluent in French, English, and German. She was not permitted to attend college. Women were forbidden to study science and philosophy, but she became familiar with those subjects by talking with friends of her father and by reading books on the subjects.

Approach to her writing

In the first chronicles she published, about a trip to France and Italy, Pardo Bazán asserted the need for the Europeanization of Spain, also recommending to travel at least once a year as a means of education.

In 1876, she presented her first work as a writer, an essay entitled Estudio crítico de las obras del padre Feijoo (Critical Essay on the Works of Father Feijoo). Emilia Pardo Bazán always had a great admiration for Feijoo, an eighteenth-century Galician intellectual, possibly due to his feminism avant la lettre. She won an important literary contest with this work. She also published her first book of poems in the same year, titled Jaime in honor of her newborn son.

Her first novel Pascual López: autobiografía de un estudiante de medicina (Pascual López: Autobiography of a Student of Medicine) appeared in 1879, was a realistic and romantic work. Its success encouraged her to keep following that path and two years later, she published the novel Un viaje de novios (A Honeymoon Trip), in which an incipient interest in naturalism can be observed.

Her admiration for French naturalism, together with her appreciation for the genuine. realistic quality of Spanish literature, will lead to the publication of La Tribuna in 1883, which is considered to be her first social novel and the first Spanish naturalist novel. Despite part of her work being regarded as "naturalist", some specialists state that what is truly relevant is the fact that her informative journalistic essays sparked the debate on the proposals of Émile Zola in Spain.

During her last years of writing, Emilia Pardo Bazán wrote many essays and gave lectures in renowned institutions. She also began to intervene in political journalism as well as to unremittingly fight for the right of women to social and intellectual emancipation. Thus, around 1890, her work evolved towards greater symbolism and spiritualism.

Women's rights work

Emilia Pardo Bazán was a standard bearer for women's rights and dedicated both her literary production and her life to their defense. In all of her works she incorporated her ideas on the modernization of Spanish society, on the need for female education and on women's access to all the rights and opportunities men already had.

In 1882, she intervened in a pedagogical conference of The Free Educational Institution, and openly criticized the education received by the Spanish women, in which values like passivity, obedience and submission to their husbands were constantly transmitted.

In spite of the patent sexism in the intellectual circles of her era, Emilia Pardo Bazán became the first woman to preside over the literature section of the Ateneo de Madrid in 1906, and the first to occupy a chair of Neo-Latin literature at the Central University Of Madrid (former name of The Complutense University of Madrid). In addition, she was named Counselor of Public Instruction by Alfonso XIII in 1910.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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