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Ursula Jung

The literary reception of Mme de Staël and George Sand in the novels of 19th century Spanish women writers

In Spain, compared with other European countries, Romanticism arrives rather late. It is not until the 1840s that a first group of 19th century female authors, writing in genres like theatre, poetry or novel, appears. Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda (1814-1873), who grows up in Cuba and later moves to Spain, follows the liberal tradition of French Romanticism, as it can be found in the works of Germaine de Staël (Corinne ou l’Italie, 1807) and George Sand (Indiana, 1832; Lélia, 1833). This becomes apparent in Gertrudis Gómez’ novels Sab (1841) and Dos Mujeres [Two Women] (1842).

Publishing under the male pseudonym “Fernán Caballero”, Cecila Böhl de Faber (1796-1877) is also familiar with the male as well as the female writers of French Romanticism. However, due to the fact that she is rather influenced by the German romantic tradition, she puts herself in opposition to Sand and writes – in contrast to Gertrudis Gómez – particularly against liberal ideas and the exaltation of the female passions, which she does with her novels La gaviota [The Seagull], La familia de Alvareda and Elia (1849).

The lecture will outline the preconditions as well as the consequences of these two different models of literary reception in Spain.

SvD, April 2008

  • Conferences > NEWW international conferences > Chawton 2008 > Jung

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