Rosalia de Castro and her work in relation to the society and culture of nineteenth-century Spain

Davies, Catherine (1984) Rosalia de Castro and her work in relation to the society and culture of nineteenth-century Spain. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The thesis studies Rosalia de Castro (l837-1885) and her work in relation to the society and culture of her times, the aim being to assess the extent to which the pre-dominant way of thinking in Spain shaped her work in both content and form. It was found that Rosalia 's work was primarily nonconformist, indicating a reaction to the ideas and values of the conservative establishment and an accord-ance with the current of radical liberalism which struggled unsuccessfully to impose itself throughout the nineteenth century. Following a historical perspective, the thesis is divided chronologically into three parts : pre-1854, 1854-1874, post-1874. Bach part deals with successively; con-temporary social and political developments; the author's biography; current literary conventions; the most significant of the author's texts. The first part studies the legacy of Romanticism in Spain and the effect of its ethos on Rosalia's first writings, La Flor and La hija del mar. Although Rosalia was already within the circle of influence of the Galician Provincialists at this stage, she was more concerned with the defence of women than Galician self-rule. The second part examines the years preceding and immediately following the Revolution of 1868 when the feasibility of the radical alternative reached its apogee, concurring with a revived interest in popular culture. During this period Rosalia, at her peak of social awareness, was integrated into the small but vociferous Galician nationalist cause. Using the techniques of the popular lyric she wrote Galician poetry which incorporated reformist demands and thus she initiated the Galician literary renaissance (Cantares gallegos and Follas Novas). Her "costumbrista" novel of social criticism, El caballero de las botas azules, reveals a preoccupation with wider social issues, including the role of women and Krausist ethics. The third part of the thesis assesses the extent to which the defeat of the radical alternative affected the literature of the Restoration and Rosalia's later poetry (Follas Novas, En las orillas del Sar). Profound demoralization, scepticism and existential questioning on a general scale are echoed in Rosalia's tragic consciousness of life, while the changing role of the author freed her from current conventions making for creative, individual experimentation with form. It is therefore both in an ethical and an aesthetic capacity that Rosalia's work is seen to link the insight and rebellion of the Romantics to that of the Modernists and Generation of 1898.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: G W Connell
Keywords: Romance literature
Date of Award: 1984
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1984-71588
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 14:11
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2020 11:21
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71588
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71588

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