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EMILIA PARDO BAZIN (1851– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 800 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EMILIA PARDO BAZIN (1851– ), Spanish author, was born at Corunna, Spain, on the 16th of September 1851. Married in her eighteenth year to Sr D. Jose Quiroga, a Galician country gentleman, she interested herself in politics, and is believed to have taken an active part in the subterranean campaign against Amadeo of Savoy and, later, against the republic. In 1876 she came into notice as the successful competitor for a literary prize offered by the municipality of Oviedo, the subject of her essay being the Benedictine monk, Benito Jeronimo Feijeo. .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 LDpez (1879), is a simple exercise in fantasy of no remarkable promise, though it contains good descriptive passages of the romantic type. It was followed by a more striking story, Un Viaje de novios (1881), in which a discreet attempt was made to introduce into Spain the methods of French realism. The book caused a sensation among the literary cliques, and this sensation was increased by the appearance of another naturalistic tale, La Tribuna (1885), wherein the influence of Zola is unmistakable. Meanwhile, the writer's reply to her critics was issued under the title of La CuestiOn palpitante (1883), a clever piece of rhetoric, but of no special value as regards criticism or dialectics. The naturalistic scenes of El Cisne de Vilamorta (1885) are more numerous, more pronounced, than in any of its predecessors, though the authoress shrinks from the logical application of her theories by supplying a romantic and inappropriate ending. Probably the best of Sra Pardo Bazan's work is embodied in Los Pazos de Ulloa (1886), the painfully exact history of a decadent aristocratic family, as notable .for its portraits of types like Nucha and Julian as for its creation of characters like those of 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 set down in an elaborate, highly-coloured style, which, if not always academically correct, is invariably effective. A sequel, with the significant title of La Madre naturaleza (1887), marks a further advance in the path of naturalism, and henceforward Sra Pardo Bazan was universally recognized as one of the chiefs of the new naturalistic movement in Spain. The title was confirmed by the publication of InsolaciOn and Morrina, both issued 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), though not wanting in charm, awakened less interest. In 1905 she published a play entitled Verdad, remarkable for its boldness rather than for its dramatic qualities. U. F.-K.)
End of Article: EMILIA PARDO BAZIN (1851– )
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