The Cathedral

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Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788498970067
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411264877
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788499531922

SKU: 9788499531915 Category: Tags: ,

In The Cathedral, by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Gabriel Luna returns to the Cathedral of Toledo, where he was born and grew up. His family worked in the cathedral for generations as gardeners. He studied in his seminary; but about to be ordered, the Carlist War breaks out and Gabriel fights for the cause of the pretender to the Crown.
The war ends and, instead of returning, Gabriel leaves for France. There he learns the language, makes new friends and reads Darwin, Kropotkin and Bakunin. He travels through Europe involved in anarchist plots, is persecuted, and imprisoned in the prison of Montjuich. After two years of hardship, sick and weak, he returned to the Cathedral of Toledo.
His brother Esteban takes him in. Gabriel is passive and docile, before his advice, while recovering some of his battered health. Then he befriends the rest of the neighbors, the bell ringer, the shoemaker, the kennel, who is his nephew, Don Luis, the chapel master. Then the anarchist Gabriel is reborn, defender of the marginalized.
Most of the group believes that Gabriel is just a man of words and decide to start a rebellion that ends in tragedy.

It was beginning to dawn when Gabriel Luna arrived in front of the cathedral. In the narrow streets of Toledo it was still night. The blue clarity of dawn, which barely managed to slip between the eaves of the roofs, spread more freely in the square of the Town Hall, taking out of the gloom the vulgar façade of the archbishop’s palace and the two blackboard hooded towers of the municipal house, a gloomy construction of the time of Charles V.
Gabriel walked for a long time through the deserted square, raising up to his eyebrows the embozo of the cloak, while coughing with painful shudders. Without stopping walking, to defend himself from the cold, he contemplated the great door called Forgiveness, the only façade of the church that offers a monumental aspect. He remembered other famous cathedrals, isolated, in a preeminent place, presenting all their sides free, with the pride of their beauty, and compared them with that of Toledo, the Spanish mother-church, drowned by the waves of tight buildings that surround it and seem to fall on its flanks, adhering to them, without letting it show its exterior finery more than in the small space of the alleys that oppress it. Gabriel, who knew their inner beauty, thought of the deceptive dwellings of the oriental villages, sordid and miserable on the outside, covered with alabaster and filigree on the inside. Not in vain had lived in Toledo, for centuries, Jews and Moors. His aversion to the sumptuous exteriors seemed to have inspired the work of the cathedral, drowned by the hamlet that pushes and swirls around it as if seeking its shade.

Reference edition: Valencia, Francisco Sempere y C.ª, Editores, 1903.

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