Arrives in 3-7 Business Days
Ramn Mara del Valle-Incln (1866-1936), one of early twentieth-century Spain's most celebrated authors, wrote short stories, novels, plays, and poetry, as well as sui generis works that he called esperpentos, or theater of the grotesque. In much the same way that he cultivated style in his literary creations, he invented a distinctive persona when, having left his native Galicia, he appeared in Madrid in long hair, flowing beard, and pince-nez secured by a black ribbon, and in dress that was picturesque, eccentric, and, by some standards, outlandish. The Sonatas are stages in the life of the Marquis of Bradomn, a man whose very aunt calls him (in Winter) [t]he most admirable of Don Juans: ugly, Catholic, and sentimental. The four appeared between 1902-05 and produced a mild sensation in Spain, a cause clbre of sorts, on account of the then daring treatment of forbidden loves. Each recounts the marquis's pursuit of a woman: Spring, of Mara Rosario, in Italy; Summer, of Nia Chole, in Mexico; Autumn, of Concha, in Spain, mostly in a Galician palace; and Winter, of Mara Antonieta, in Spain, in and around the Navarrese city of Estella. The prose is lush, evocative, and descriptions abound; and since the marquis's celebration of woman is single-minded and steadfast, fantasies also abound. While each becomes a self-contained episode, as well as a passage in the inexorable march of the marquis's encounters with Eros and Thanatos, they intersect through thematic unity as an aging Don Juan's fixation on woman proves to be an inquiry into love and the pursuit of love. In addition to encounters with death and the pervasive presence of religion (which means Catholicism), there are brushes with cruelty, homosexuality, satanism, and Carlism. Robert M. Fedorchek (the translator) is a professor emeritus of modern languages and literatures at Fairfield University. He has published eighteen books of translations of Spanish literature. This is his second translation for Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs. John C. Wilcox (Introduction) is a professor of Spanish at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has published widely on late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish literature, with particular emphasis on poetry.