Online Encyclopedia

ARMANDO PALACIO VALDES (1853— )

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 523 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
ARMANDO PALACIO VALDES (1853— ), Spanish novelist and critic, was born at Entralgo, in the province of Asturias, on the 4th of October 1853. His first writings were printed in the Revista Europea. These were pungent essays, remarkable for independent judgment and refined humour, and found so much favour with the public that the young beginner was soon appointed editor of the Revista. The best of his critical work is collected in Los Oradores del Ateneo (1878), Los Novelistas espanoles (1878), Nuevo viaje al Parnaso and La Literatura en r88r (1882), this last being written in collaboration with Leopoldo Alas. In 1881 he published a novel, El Senorito Octavio, which shows an uncommon power of observation, and the promise of better things to come. In Marta y Maria (1883), a portrayal of the struggle between religious vocation and earthly passion, some-what in the manner of Valera, Palacio Valdes achieved a very popular triumph which placed him in the first rank of contem-. porary Spanish novelists. El Idilio de un enfermo (1884), a most interesting fragment of autobiography, has scarcely met with the, recognition which it deserves: perhaps because the pathos of the story is too unadorned. The publication of Pereda's Sotileza is doubtless responsible for the conception of Jose (1885), in which Palacio Valdes gives a realistic picture of the manners and customs of seafaring folk, creates the two convincing characters whom he names Jose and Leonarda, and embellishes the whole with passages of animated description barely inferior to the finest penned by Pereda hiinself. The emotional imagination of the writer expressed itself anew in the charming story Riverita (1886), one of whose attractive characters develops into the heroine of Maximina (1887); and from Maximina, in its turn, is taken the novice who figures as a professed nun among the personages of La Hermana San Sulpicio (1889), in which the love-passages between Zeferino Sanjurjo and Gloria Bermudez are set off with elaborate, romantic descriptions of Seville. El C'uarto poder (1888) is, as its name implies, concerned with the details, not always edifying, of journalistic life. Two novels issued in 1892, La Espuma and La Fe, were enthusiastically praised in foreign countries, but in Spain their reception was cold. The explanation is to be found in the fact that the first of these books is an avowed satire on the Spanish aristocracy, and that the second was construed into an attack upon the Roman Catholic Church. During the acrimonious discussion which followed the publication of La Espuma, it was frequently asserted that the artist had improvised a fantastic caricature of originals whom he had never seen; yet as the characters in Coloma's Pequeneces are painted in darker tones, and as the very critics who were foremost in charging Palacio Valdes with incompetence and ignorance are almost unanimous in praising Coloma's fidelity, it is manifest that the indictment against La Espuma cannot be maintained. Subsequently Palacio Valdes returned to his earlier and better manner in Los Majos de Cadiz (1896) and in La Algeria del Capitals Ribot (1899). In these novels, and still more in Distills, 6 el pesimismo (1906), he frees himself from the reproach of undue submission to French influences. In any case he takes a prominent place in modern Spanish literature as a keen analyst of emotion and a sympathetic, delicate, humorous observer. (J. F.-K.) PALACKt, FRANTISEK [FRANCIS] (1798–1876), Czech historian and politician, was born on the 14th of June 1798 at Hodslavice (Hotzendorf) in Moravia. His ancestors had been members of the community of the Bohemian Brethren, and had secretly maintained their Protestant belief throughout the period of religious persecution, eventually giving their adherence to the Augsburg confession as approximate to their original faith. Palacky's father was a schoolmaster and a man of some learning. The son was sent in 1812 to the Protestant gymnasium at Pressburg, where he came in contact with the philologist gafafik and became a zealous student of the Slav languages. After some years spent in private teaching Palacky settled in 1823 at Prague. Here he found a warm friend in Dobrovsky, whose good relations with the Austrian authorities shielded him from the hostility shown by the government to students of Slav subjects. Dobrovsky introduced him to Count Sternberg and his brother Francis, both of whom took an enthusiastic interest in Bohemian history. Count Francis was the principal founder of the Society of the Bohemian Museum, devoted to the collection of documents bearing on Bohemian history, with the object of reawakening national sentiment by the study of the national records. Public interest in the movement was stimulated in 1825 by the new Journal of the Bohemian Museum (Casopis Eeskeho Musea) of which Palacky was the first editor. The journal was at first published in Czech and German, and the Czech edition survived to become the most important literary organ of Bohemia. Palacky had received a modest appointment as archivist to Count Sternberg and in 1829 the Bohemian estates sought to confer on him the title of historiographer of Bohemia, with a small salary, but it was ten years before the consent of the Viennese authorities was obtained. Meanwhile the estates, with the tardy assent of Vienna, had undertaken to pay the expenses of publishing Palacky's capital work, The History of the Bohemian People (5 vols., 1836—1867). This book, which comes down to the year 1526 and the extinction of Czech independence, was founded on laborious research in the local archives of Bohemia and in the libraries of the chief cities of Europe, and remains the standard authority. The first volume was printed in German in 1836, and subsequently translated into Czech. The publication of the work was hindered by the police-censorship, which was especially active in criticizing his account of the Hussite movement. Palacky, though entirely national and Protestant inhis sympathies, was careful to avoid an uncritical approbation of the Reformers' methods, but his statements were held by the authorities to be dangerous to the Catholic faith. He was therefore compelled to make excisions from his narrative and to accept as integral parts of his work passages interpolated by the censors. After the abolition of the police-censorship in 1848 he published a new edition, completed in 1876, restoring the original. form of the work. The fairest and most considerable of Palacky's antagonists in the controversy aroused by his narrative of the early reformation in Bohemia was Baron Helfert, who received a brief from Vienna to write his Hus and Hieronymus (1853) to counteract the impression made by Palacky's History. K. A. K. HSfler, a German professor of history at Prague, edited the historical authorities for the period in a similar sense in his Geschichte der hussitischen Bewegung in Bohmen. Palacky replied in his Geschichte des Hussitenthumes and Professor Li flier (Prague, 1868) and Zur bohmischen Geschichtschreibung (Prague, 1871). The revolution of 1848 forced the historian into practical politics. He was deputed to the Reichstag which sat at Kromefice (Kremsier) in the autumn of that year, and was a member of the Slav congress at Prague. He refused to take part in the preliminary parliament consisting of 50o former deputies to the diet, which met at Frankfort, on the ground that as a Czech he had no interest in German affairs. He was at this time in favour of a strong Austrian empire, which should consist of a federation of the southern German and the Slav states, allowing of the retention of their individual rights. These views met with some degree of consideration at Vienna, and Palacky was even offered a portfolio in the Pillersdorf cabinet. The collapse of the federal idea and the definite triumph of the party of reaction in 1852 led to his retirement from politics. After the liberal concessions of 186o and 1861, however, he became a life member of the Austrian senate. His views met with small support from the assembly, and with the exception of a short period after the decree of September 1871, by which the emperor raised hopes for Bohemian self-government, he ceased to appear in the senate from 1861 onwards. In the Bohemian Landtag he became the acknowledged leader of the nationalist-federal party. He sought the establishment of a Czech kingdom which should include Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, and in his zeal for Czech autonomy he even entered into an alliance with the Conservative nobility and with the extreme Catholics. He attended the Panslavist congress at Moscow in 1867. He died at Prague on the 26th of May 1876. Among his more important smaller historical works are: Wiirdigung der alien bahmischen Geschichtschreiber (Prague, 1830), dealing with authors of many of whose works were then inaccessible to Czech students; Arch= eesky (6 vols., Prague, 184o—1872) ; Urkundliche Beitrage zur Geschichte des Hussitenkriegs (2 vols., Prague, 1872—1874) ; Documenta magistri Johannis Hus vitam, doctrinam, causam . illustrantia (Pr'tgue, 1869). With Safarik he wrote Anfange der bohmischen Dirhtkunst (Pressburg, 1818) and Die altesten Denkmdler der bohmischen Sprache (Prague, 1840). Three volumes of his Czech articles and essays were published as Radhost (3 vols., Prague, 1871—1873). For accounts of Palacky see an article by Saint Rene Taillandier in the Revue des deux mondes (April, 1855) Count Liitzow, Lectures on the Historians of Bohemia (London, 1905).
End of Article: ARMANDO PALACIO VALDES (1853— )
[back]
PALACE (Lat. Palatium, the name given by Augustus t...
[next]
PALADIN (Lat. palatinus)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.