By T. E. Bell

Even though Darwinian idea used to be maybe the massive inspiration of the 19th century, such a lot critics some time past have assumed that Benito P?©rez Gald??s may have remained unaffected through this medical and philosophical revolution. This paintings contends in a different way, charting the impression of evolutionary theories on Gald??s all through his literary occupation. From his model of the early nineteenth-century costumbristas' depiction of social species right into a extra refined portrayal of Madrid society to his remedy of transferring social forces at a time of significant socio-economic switch, Gald??s's outlook is proven to be deeply enmeshed within the Darwinian debate. cognizance is paid not just to the hypotheses of Darwin himself, but additionally for example to Ernst Haeckel's evolutionary proposal, to Herbert Spencer's social Darwinism, and to the novel histology of Santiago Ram??n y Cajal. BR>Gald??s and Darwin discusses how Spain's maximum novelist considering Cervantes imaginatively transformed those epoch-making theories and investigates the effect of technology on tradition because the Spanish kingdom approached the 20 th century.

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19 17 William H. Shoemaker, La crítica literaria de Galdós (Madrid: Insula, 1979), p. 189. 18 These sentiments are echoed by Augusto Miquis in La desheredada, where evolutionary theory is put into a universal context: ‘evolución tras evolución, enlazados el nacer y el morir, cada muerte es una vida, de donde resulta la armonía y el admirable plan del Cosmos [. ] todo el mundo se compone de las mismas sustancias no creadas [. 2. p. 67). 19 Hoar has noted, however, that in a series of articles in 1867 ‘Galdós apartó en SOCIAL SPECIES 27 It is to these groups that Galdós makes reference in his first article for the Revista del Movimiento Intelectual de Europa.

Manso is unashamedly repelled by the sight of the wet-nurses. He considers 26 Michael Gordon, ‘ “Lo que le falta a un enfermo le sobra a otro”: Galdós’ Conception of Humanity in La desheredada’, Anales Galdosianos, 12 (1977), 35. 27 Peter A. Bly, Galdós’s Novel of the Historical Imagination (Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983), pp. 14–15. 28 ‘Persona más inofensiva no creo haya existido nunca; más inútil, tampoco. Que Ponte no había servido nunca para nada, lo atestiguaba su miseria, imposible de disimular en aquel triste accidente de su vida’ (III, 16.

The primitiveness apparent in aspects of Spanish life depicted above has another association in Galdós’s work, namely a sense of nationhood, untainted by foreign influences. ). Clothes are a means of determining the variety of social species as well as being an expression of social status. These two concepts are drawn together in the above quotation where the all-conquering frac is seen by Galdós to have homogenised Madrid society to its detriment. Galdós feels a nostalgia for a more colourful Spain as portrayed by Velázquez and Goya, and he sees the dominance of this foreign influence in clothing as damaging to the variety of indigenous Spanish types, or at least making it less easy to identify them.

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