Christmas Tales and Kings

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Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788498166941
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411260725
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788499538174

SKU: 9788490077511 Category: Tags: , , , ,

In her own way and with her peculiar vision of the social and the costumbrismo of her time, Emilia Pardo Bazán writes these eighteen original stories that take place on the same day December 24, Christmas Eve, and 25, Christmas.
In 1893 Doña Emilia published the first collection: Cuentos de Navidad y Año Nuevo. In 1902 Cuentos de Navidad y Reyes stops his literary gaze in points of view as eclectic as that of the pope (then Pius IX) or the hairy mule. There is also the girl Jesusa, who is born on December 24, and a couple who discover the magic before the nativity scene.
The detailed and precise descriptions that the Countess of Pardo Bazán offers us in these narratives portray a society with extreme differences, helplessness and the most ostentatious wealth. The protagonists embody charity, reconciliation, mystical devotion, sometimes in a way that may seem unusual. Unusual at any other time in their lives, on any other day than Christmas.

The Pope’s Christmas Eve

Under the blanket of stars of a splendid and glacial night, Rome stretches out, showing the shadow of its mysterious gardens of cypresses and secular laurels that have seen so many things, and, on wider islets, the clear whiteness of its monuments, wrapping like a shroud, the corpse of History.
Cheerful and bustling people run down the street. Few cars. On foot go the rich, mixed with the “contadinos”, peasants from the countryside who have come to the great city bringing baskets of merchandise or gifts. Their picturesque and brightly colored rags distinguish them from the bourgeois; His sonorous exclamations echo in the crystal-cold, clear environment. They tingle, they push each other, they run: even if they do not return to their homes until dawn – which is a sure thing – they want to witness, in the Basilica of Trinità dei Monti, the Pope’s prayer before the birthplace of Gesù Bambino.
“Yes; the Pope in person — not as his statue is today, but himself, in flesh and blood, because Rome still belongs to him — is the one who, in the presence of a crowd throbbing with enthusiasm, will kneel there, in front of the cradle where, on fluffy straw, the Child rests and smiles. It is the night of December 24: already the serious bell of Santángelo prepares to wound twelve voices in the air and the pontifical carriage, without escort, without apparatus, stops at the foot of the steps of Trinità.
The Pope descends, helped by his waiters, calmly resting his foot in the stirrup. With such art the ceremony has been prepared, that when Pius IX sits the floor on the first step, vibrates, slowly and solemnly, the first chime of midnight, in every bell tower, in every clock of Rome. The dramatic clamor of the hour rises to heaven imposing like a hosanna and envelops in its magnificent trembling waves of sound the Pontiff, who little by little ascends the steps, blessing, among the crowd that prostrates and murmurs ejaculatory adoration. In the light of the stars and the much more alive of the thousands of candles of the Basilica illuminated from high below, made an ember of fire, adorned as for a party and with the doors wide open, where the crowd anxious to contemplate the Pontiff slides, squeezing, one seems, standing out from the red ermine bordered muceta that floats on the snowy tunic, the beautiful head of the Pope, the pure medal design of his features, the artistic form of his white hair, arranged like that of the stale marble busts that populate the Museo degli Anticchi.

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