Biography of José María de Pereda (1833-1906)

Spanish novelist, born in Polanco (Santander) on February 6, 1833 and died in Santander on 1 March 1906. He/She took part (son number 21) from a rich family mountain; educated at the heart of Catholicism and social discrimination, never put in doubt the existence of social classes. The triumph of the liberal revolution, to which attacked vigorously, prompted to write articles. After joining the carlism, happened to be a Deputy in the courts of 1871. By this time, he/she got married.

According to Galdós, Pereda represents, in revolt society that emerged from the crisis of 1968, the desire of self-absorption, locked in the Spain of the past, while adapting it to the requirements of the new times. But he/she admires him for his wit and his character; and praise its effort to resurrect everything human and beautiful of the past, to defend their beliefs and by the simplicity of his life.

The political ideas of Pereda were not very clear. Concerned more men than the ideas. Their sympathies and antipathies are less ideological that kind or moral incompatibilities. It was not like the modern reactionary who saw liberalism the first cause of the ruin of Spain, rather considered it consequence.

In the literary evolution of Pereda three periods can be distinguished: local customs, the novels of moral and political dualism, the regionalist novel. The Cantabrian writer began his narrative career in the world of local customs, common in the Spain of the mid century. But his account of customs escapes from its descriptive genre. Paint the mountain in a naturalistic way, without forgetting the details, including the more unpleasant. Pereda knew thoroughly costumbrista literature, which had preceded his first writings in a few years. He/She took the methods that apply to the exploration of reality. He/She was especially inspired by Fernán Caballero (discarded then by vulgar and inelegant), Mesonero Romanos and Larra. Thus, its first santanderinos writings appear attached to the customs, with analysis of the popular space full of satirical acuities.

He wrote in the press scenes, types, sketches, later collected in books. Scenes mountain (1864) was the first work of this type. The author sought to paint the reality that watched the Spanish realist tradition. Here were many formulas and narrative techniques that were repeated in subsequent novels. The author has a typical posture of the conservative local customs: recover so much that they are about to miss out for future memory (picturesque corners, places, buildings, etc.). Therefore scenes dominated by memories, and painted scenes, although recent, already smell old. Types and landscapes (1871) and sketches and scratches (1881) highlights memory linked to children and the youth, and those experiences are associated to the process of transformation of Santander or the current state of the city, i.e. a vision with longing and nostalgia.

The second time of its narrative creation corresponds to the novels of political and moral dualism a logical evolution of customs, under the influence of Fernan Caballero. They express their Catholic and traditional ideology, and his political conservatism. The first romantic attempts of Pereda, decoupling of customs, are collected in sketches distemper (1876). In 1878 he/she published loose ox, dated in Polanco, which was well received. The issue of conjugal life, and wants to be a replica of Balzac, Petites courtisanes of the vie conjugale, and more remotely the Physiologie du mariage.

Progressed within this trend growing that Montesinos has referred to as "realistic eclogue", where Pereda cultivates a conscious realism. His fictional world is based on a poetic and moral reality at a time, in which the beauty is conditioned by the purity of the feelings and the rectitude of actions. For this reason its realism becomes an idyllic conception of life. The Idyll novels have a very similar structure: love affair between characters, accompanied by a nature bucolic breaking with the presence of a disturbing element (politically liberal, ideologically freethinking). It is then engages in a struggle between two types of characters, representing good and evil respectively. And turns to the early situation after the defeat of the disturbing element. Gives even inner atmosphere for happy nature (spring-summer: good weather, beautiful landscape...) or conflict (winter: rain, snow...) in line with the passions of the characters. To this group belong Don Gonzalo González of the Gonzalera (1878), in which the author sums up his political experiences and draws conclusions from the ten years of revolutionary period, after the consolidation of the restoration; and so stick, like son (1880), novel by religious thesis, which is intended to be a replica to the Gloria of Galdós, and its protagonist, Agueda, the counterpart of the character she. Pereda, opposite to the Canarian writer, thesis is that of a skeptical man can only come misfortunes.

At the third time of his narrative evolution cultivated realistic regionalist novel, which coincides with the totalizing vision of the Decade 80-90. In the idyllic novel or "realistic eclogue" used a plot very light to recreate the regional universe, dominated by the descriptive. The flavor of the tierruca (1882), preceded by a laudatory foreword by Galdós, is the culmination of the artistic formula already targeted. With it, the Santander writer accomplishes what can be called the great realistic regionalist novel. Critics saw in the work a little action, just an excuse to baste pictures of different uses and customs of the mountain. It is a compendium of mountain life, although not for this reason, the fictional content is less dense. The author presents the life of a village, Cumbrales, and its inhabitants. It dominates the happiness in this rural world, facing the grim drama of big cities. Two trends of art are juxtaposed in this novel: the idyllic or poetics and the realistic or fictional, which are kept in balance without which no thesis is imposed.

With Pedro Sánchez (1883), novel highly valued by some critics, approaching the world she. Written in autobiographical form, as memories of the protagonist, it presents the story of a boy Montañés who, after a few years in the capital, ends up returning to his homeland. Pereda style is looser, with fewer descriptions than in other novels. They are two traits that are often missing in the rest of the work: certain evocations of autobiographical nature and a slightly satirical painting of reality.

Sotileza (1885), Santander's novel sailor, is the best work of Pereda and one of the most important 19th century. He/She had extraordinary success and was praised by his contemporaries. The book responds to the desire of Menéndez Pelayo: "If you want to raise a true monument to your name and your people, has maritime epic in your hometown," suggested it. It is, therefore, a reconstruction of the Santander who the author knew in his childhood. The argument is very basic: falling in love by three men from the young Sotileza. However, the true protagonist of the work is the people of the sea, the life of sailors santanderinos observed and described with great fidelity in a wide variety of types and customs. There are many descriptions of the city and the sea.

After the success of Sotileza, Pereda wanted to try his luck again out of its regional boundaries and wrote a novel environment Madrid: La Montalvez (1888). It is regarded as the biggest failure of the author. Menéndez Pelayo thought that I was due to two causes: the lack of direct observation and hostility to the characters of the aristocracy.

With the puchera (1889) he/she returned Pereda to the rural world, where he/she was most comfortable. For Montesinos, is one of the masterpieces of the novelist because it has a structural issue that gives the work a unity of tone and intention. It tries to show how hard life is for them a few men who are exposed to constant dangers, in the field or at sea, for sustenance. There is here no Idyll, but a vision more pessimistic and bitter, with primitive characters suffering to injustice. It includes scenes of habits and environments very engaged with intrigue. Other values are the quality of their discussions and the value of his language.

In 1891 he/she published two new novels, clouds of summer and the first flight, considered by critics as flimsy books, a setback in the evolution of the novelist Pereda. The first is "nomads" summer each year destroying the rhythm of the region. The second, of great extension, is a slightly strange novel, primarily because the outcome is in charge of the reader's imagination.

Sentences above (1895) is the culmination of the literary work of Pereda. It is the best novel of the mountain. He/She was received with enthusiasm and rave reviews. It is a hymn to nature. The characters are subordinate to the landscape in which they live. It defends a world that believes that it can still be saved. Missing notes traditionalists, but rustic language is reflected correctly.

José María de Pereda, sentences above.

Even Pereda wrote a novel, González Pachín (1896), which recounts the great catastrophe that occurred in Santander three years earlier, upon the outbreak of Cabo Machichaco boat, moored at the pier. The action is seen from the point of view of the protagonist, describing the spectacle of the city before and after the explosion.

One of the greatest merits of Pereda, and a major contribution to the 19th-century novel is the use of the spoken language, especially the vulgar. It was a great innovator. For Ferreras, Pereda enriches the realistic novel with its language, giving it not only a vigorous, almost naturalistic descriptions, but a dialogue to the new extent. It incorporates some forms or dialectal expressions of the province of Santander that seems it necessary to characterize a character. His dialogues are rich and appropriate, in an era in which seeks the realistic likelihood.