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ISBN paperback: 9788498163339
In 19th century Andalusia, the young Pepita Jiménez – forced by her aunt Salvaora to marry the usurer Gumersindo – becomes a widow during her wedding banquet. After her husband’s funeral, Pepita is sought after by a count and by the landowner Pedro, father of the seminarian Luis. However, the young woman is attracted to Luis, who returns to his hometown for a vacation before being ordained a priest and holds back his desire out of respect for his father.
Juan Valera’s most famous novel is Pepita Jiménez (1874), which was published in installments in the Revista de España, translated into ten languages at the time and sold more than 100,000 copies.
March 22Fragment of the work
Dear uncle and venerable teacher: It has been four days since I happily arrived in this place of my birth, where I have found my father, the vicar, friends and relatives in good health. The joy of seeing and speaking with them, after so many years of absence, has overwhelmed my spirits and robbed me of time, so that I have not been able to write to you until now.
You will forgive me.
As I left here as a child and I have returned as a man, it is singular the impression that all these objects that I kept in my memory cause me. Everything seems smaller to me, much smaller; but also more beautiful than the memory I had. My father’s house, which in my imagination was immense, is undoubtedly a large house of a rich farmer, but smaller than the Seminary. What I now understand and estimate better is the field around here. The vegetable gardens, above all, are delicious. What beautiful trails there are among them! On one side, and perhaps on both sides, the crystalline water flows with a pleasant murmur. The banks of the irrigation ditches are covered with fragrant herbs and flowers of a thousand kinds. In an instant one can pick up a large bouquet of violets. These paths are shaded by pompous and gigantic walnut, fig and other trees, and the hedges are formed by blackberry, rose, pomegranate and honeysuckle.
The multitude of birds that brighten up these fields and poplar groves is amazing.
I am delighted with the orchards, and every afternoon I walk through them for a couple of hours.
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