A Honeymoon

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788499534824

A Honeymoon (Un viaje de novios) (1881) is the first supposedly naturalistic novel by Emilia Pardo Bazán. According to critics, she was influenced by Victor Hugo, whom she met during her stay in Vichy.
In the preface the writer from A Coruña rejected the exclusivism of the naturalist school. However, in the transcribed text it is deduced that he accepted to apply his methodology as an instrument for the necessary renewal of the Spanish narrative.
For Emilia Pardo Bazán, the naturalistic novel, without distancing itself from reality, should rather give an accurate image of life and human beings, in their double material and spiritual dimensions.
For this reason, he proposes as an ideal solution:

  • a new realism that acts as a bridge between the two antagonistic philosophical doctrines,
  • The traditional Spanish idealist realism
  • and the new French materialist naturalism.

A honeymoon narrates the adventures and misadventures of Lucia, an eighteen-year-old Leonese girl, daughter of a rich merchant. Lucia marries a forty-year-old, Aurelio Miranda, made to life easy and with the patrimony decimated by idleness and pleasures.
During the honeymoon to Vichy to take the medicinal waters, given the age of her husband; Lucía begins to be aware of the life that really awaits her, the entry of a third and young character, Artegui, will change the course of the trip.
Pardo Bazán explores the transcendental aspect of the journey. The different stages of the physical journey show in parallel a progressive subjective transformation of the main protagonist.

That the wedding was not of people from the great world, he knew a crossbow shot, at the first glance. There is no doubt that the betrothed could alternate with the most select society, at least by their external appearance; But most of the accompaniment, the choir, belonged to the middle class, at the limit where it almost merges with the popular mass. There were curious groups worthy of examination, offering the platform of the station of León very interesting sight for a painter of genre and customs.
Neither more nor less than in the fan countries whose mythological paintings represent nuptials, it was noticed there that the entourage of the bride was composed of females, and only individuals of the stronger sex formed that of the groom. There was also a great difference between the social status of the two courtships. The escort of the bride, much more numerous, seemed populated anthill: old and young women wore the sacramental suit of black wool, which comes to be as a uniform of ceremony for the woman of lower class, not exempt, however, of stately trimmings: that the people still retain the privilege of dressing themselves in cheerful colors in the circumstances of rejoicing and festive. Among those human ants there were those of a few years and good palm, some smiling and rowdy with the wedding, others complaining and lit the eyes of crying, with the farewell. Half a dozen mature masters authorized them, pulling out of the veil of the mantle the nose, and turning everywhere their pupils full of experience and malice. The whole bunch of friends crowded around the new wife, manifesting the puerile and avid curiosity that awakens in the crowds the spectacle of the supreme situations of existence. They were eating glances that they saw a thousand times, the one they already knew by heart: the bride, who with the road suit figured another woman, very different from the one known until then. The heroine of the party would count about eighteen years: she appeared less, attending to the childish mohín of her mouth and the round contour of her cheeks, and more, considering the already blooming curves of her size, and the fullness of robustness and life of her whole person. No high and narrow shoulders, no implausible hips like those seen in the engravings of figurines, which bring to mind the doll stuffed with sawdust and straw; but a woman conforming, not to the conventional type of fashion of an age, but to the eternal type of the feminine form, as nature and art wanted it. Perhaps this physical superiority somewhat impaired the effect of the girl’s capricious travel attire: perhaps a flatter body, harder lines on the arms and neck, were required, to wear with the convenient casualness the semi-masculine suit, of brown cloth, and the coarse straw headdress, on whose helmet she rested, open wings, on a nest of feathers, iridescent hummingbird. It was well noticed that such strangeness of clothing was new to the bride, and that the tight and folded skirt, the casaquín that exactly modeled her bust hindered her, as the nudity of the neckline usually hinders the maidens at the first dance: that there is in every pilgrim fashion something immodest for the woman of modest customs. In addition, the mold was narrow to enclose the beautiful statue, which threatened to break it at every moment, not precisely with the volume, but rather with the freedom and ease of its youthful movements. The race of the tough and burly old man, of the father who was standing there straight, without taking his eyes off his daughter, was not denied in such a lucid specimen. The old, tall, straight and firm, like a telegraph pole, and a short and middle-aged Jesuit, were the only males who stood out among the well-known female anthill.

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