Air

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Air is a fantastic story by the Spanish writer Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921), published in the 1898 anthology: Cuentos de amor.
Emilia Pardo Bazán tells here the story of Cecilia, a girl who falls madly in love with a horrible man who fills her with insecurities, pain and anguish. Plunged into a dark abyss of depression, Cecilia is committed to an insane asylum and finally resolves her torment by throwing herself into the void. Thus she becomes precisely what led her to commit such folly; that is, in air.
In a way, Aire is perhaps one of the first stories to talk about gender violence. In this case it dissects psychological violence.
Here is a man who insists on treating the woman as something empty, without form or density, literally, like a gust of air. Indifference and contempt are perceived as a root motive
In this remarkable story the author recovers the mythological archetypes of the woman in love who becomes invisible like air, suffering the rejection of her lover. It also alludes to the romantic spirit that insinuates death as the only way to cure loving contempt.

“We have another crazy woman; But this one is interesting,” said the director of the asylum, after the disheartening visit to the women’s department. Another crazy one that forms the most perfect contrast with the unhappy ones we have just seen, and who cling to the visitors’ coat, with cynical laughter … And imagine that this crazy woman is in love…; but in love to the point of delirium. She speaks only of her boyfriend, who, by signs, since the poor girl has been confined here, did not come to see her once alone… If I believe that this girl, suppressed love, would be completely sane. It is true that the same thing happens to many mortals. Passion is perhaps a transitory form of mental alienation, ever since we have become civilized…
“No,” I replied. Antiquity is precisely where the characteristic cases of passion are found: Phaedra, Myrrh, Hero and Leander…
“Ah! It is that even then the species was civilized. I mean primitive times.
“God knows,” I objected, “what happened in those times, of which we have no testimonies or documents. What is certain is that suffering so much for love is one of the sad privileges of humanity, a sign of nobility and punishment at the same time … Can you see that girl?

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