Amatory Tales

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788493343910

SKU: 9788498169515 Category: Tags: ,

Cuentos amatorios, by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, is a book of short stories in which the influence of Edgar Allan Poe is felt. These are stories written in the style of the American author, where love stories alternate with others of a markedly police nature, being El clavo the best known of them.
Alarcón comments in the preface of this book that his stories

“Neither by form nor by essence are they amatory in the manner of certain books of contemporary French literature, in which sensual love superimposes itself on every divine and human law, drying up the sources of true virtues, cutting down the empire of the soul, tearing faith and hope from it, and destroying the innate respects that serve as the basis of the family and society…”

The Commander. Story of a woman who had no love

I
It will be about a century ago that one morning in March, at about eleven o’clock, the Sun, as cheerful and loving at that time as today that the spring of 1868 began, and as our great-grandchildren will see in another century (if by then the world has not ended), entered through the balconies of the main room of a large manor house, located in the Carrera de Darro, in Granada, bathing in splendid light and pleasant heat that vast and stately room, animating the ascetic paintings that covered its walls, rejuvenating old furniture and faded tapestries, and acting as the already suppressed brazier for three people, at the time alive or important, of whom there is hardly any trace or memory today …
Sitting near a balcony was a venerable old woman, whose noble and energetic face, which would have been very beautiful, reflected the most austere virtue and an inordinate pride. Surely that mouth had never smiled, and the hard folds of his lips came from the habit of commanding. His already trembling head could only have bowed before the altars. His eyes seemed armed with the ray of Excommunication. As soon as one looked at that woman, he knew that, wherever she reigned, there would be no more discretion than to kill her or obey her. And yet, his gesture did not express cruelty or bad intention, but narrowness of principles and an intolerance of behavior incapable of compromising on anything or anyone.
This lady wore saya and jubón of black alepin of the queen, and covered the scarcity of her gray hair with a toquilla of yellowish flamenco lace.
On her skirt she had an open prayer book; but his eyes had stopped reading, to fix on a child of six to seven years, who played and talked alone, rolling over the carpet of one of the squares of sunlight that projected the balconies on the floor of the wide room.
This child was flimsy, pale, blond and sickly, like the sons of Philip IV painted by Velázquez. On his bulging head were vigorously marked the network of his cardenas veins, and large blue eyes, very protruding. Like all the stunted, that boy revealed extraordinary vividness of imagination and a certain provocative anger, always on the lookout for contradictions to face.
He dressed like a little man, black silk stockings, shoe with buckle, blue satin breeches, suck of the same, very embroidered of other colors, and luenga black velvet jacket.
At that time he amused himself in tearing the leaves from a beautiful book of heraldry and in tearing them into small pieces with his stark fingers, accompanying the operation of an incoherent, sour, unbearable talk, whose dominant spirit was to say:
“Tomorrow I’m going to do this. I’m not going to do that today. I want such a thing. I do not want such another…—as if its object were to challenge the intolerance and censure of the terrible old woman.
The poor boy was also terrifying!

Fragment of the work

Madrid, Establecimiento Tipográfico de Fortanet, 1912.

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