The Impure

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Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788490075463
Hardcover ISBN: 9788499533230
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788499539935

SKU: 9788499539928 Category: Tags: , , ,

Nobody like the novelist Miguel del Carrión (1875-1929) to describe the female universe and demonstrate an unusual knowledge of psychology, women’s conflicts and an insightful dissection of Cuban society. Particularly in the novels The Honest (1917) and The Impure (1919), where their female protagonists dragged by love passion reveal a universe of social contradictions, while embodying two paradigms: the “honest bourgeois” and the “poor impure”.
Not in vain the appearance of Las honradas shocked the Havana society of its time and Las impuras was forbidden for several years for the single castes, until reaching recognition and becoming one of the most successful literary works, with numerous editions, theatrical and television versions.
Some critics have argued that Las impuras is a continuation of Las honradas because it takes up several characters and situations from the first, although each piece presents plot independence and fulfills a different objective.
Las Impuras, both for its theme and for the locations and characters, is closely related to Las Honradas. However, Teresa, the protagonist of Las Impuras, represents the most torn submission to the masculine being, even above social conventions, rammed in her individuality by brother and lover.
Teresa, despite her moral rectitude and the stoicism with which she assumes her liberation, crushed by the intransigence of her brother and her lover, is defeated by a world she renounced to give channels to an “illicit” love, which condemns her and pushes her into prostitution.

In Las impuras Miguel de Carrión sketches a picture of the gallant life of Havana in its third five years of republican existence with inferences that penetrate deeply into the substrate of the superficial impression. There are glimpses that evoke Zola’s Naná and Murger’s Scenes from Bohemian Life , but the repercussions of the students’ promiscuity with elements of the underworld and prostitution are guessed. Indeed, there is no doubt that the consequences of this early contact with a crapulous environment, for lack of suitable houses or university dormitories, would later manifest themselves in these future professionals who arrived from the countryside. His premature involvement in politics, by then already corrupted to the marrow, with the total absence of a healthy party or well-defined ideology, must also have affected the mentality of those young people, many of whom were called to lead the country. One thing is the atmosphere of the great European university cities and quite another the moral laxity that our students knew, contaminated by the opportunistic defeatism that had taken over their parents after the initial frustration of the republic.
As in the novels of Carlos Loveira and Cabrera, the identity between some protagonists and well-known real personalities is clearly perceptible. Among them stands out the extravagant courtesan Carmela, an unrepentant spendthrift “who had been married and had, before entering fully into the whirlwind of the gallant life, a certain refinement of manners and tastes.” These other words of Carrión are also significant: “In Havana it is difficult for a gallant woman to live on the liberalities of a single man. Our rich are stingy, as if they still preserve in this the tradition of their venerable ancestors, the shopkeepers and the stockkeepers of tasajo, who barely amassed their fortunes. The great wealth of heritage no longer exists, and that of politicians, enriched by fraud, is too recent to weigh in a balance of our national customs.”

Marcelo Pogolotti

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