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Pattison, 132, takes this declaration by Galdós at its face value: «Galdós wishes to contrast industrialism with the patriarchal simplicity of agriculture. If the latter has its charm, the former has its epic qualities, heretofore completely overlooked by the Spaniards.» He does not take into full account the strength of the preceding description which makes Galdós's final two sentences seem pathetically ironic.



The numerous, technical details in this chapter recall to the modern reader similar descriptions of the mines and workers at Montsou in Emile Zola's Germinal. There is a particularly striking parallel between the first impressions the reader receives of the respective mines. In both novels, they suddenly appear as fantastic, abnormal objets in the night sky, viewed from a distance by men (Teodoro, Etienne) who are going towards them with a specific purpose: «Brusquement, à un conde du chemin, les feux reparurent près de lui, sans qu'il comprît davantage comment ils brûlaient si haut dans le ciel mort, pareils à des lunes fumeuses. Mais, au ras du sol, un autre spectacle venait de l'arrêter. C'était une masse lourde, un tas écrasé de constructions, d'où se dressait la silhouette d'une cheminée d'usine; de rares lueurs sortaient des fenêtres encrassées, cinq en six lanternes tristes étaient pendues dehors, à des charpentes dont les bois noircis alignaient vaguement des profils de tréteaux gigantesques; et, de cette apparition fantastique, noyée de nuit et de fumée, une seule voix montait, la respiration grosse et longue d'un échappement de vapeur qu'on ne voyait point» (Emile Zola, (Oeuvres Complètes, ed. Henri Mitterand, Paris, 1967, V, 23-4). But of course it would be absurd to talk of any influence by Zola on Galdós in this passage, as Germinal appeared seven years after Marianela. Also, in Zola's book, the mine in question is a coal mine, whereas that at Socartes is a zinc mine. Yet the abundance of technical details in Chapter V is rather perplexing. Where did Galdós obtain this material? From direct observation?



Montesinos, I, 238. «esto de los símbolos es terreno escurridizo, pues es posible verlos a muchas luces».



On his first appearance in the book he is described «cual muñeco de piedra» (704). His idealism, according to Teodoro, is «como un yacimiento colosal, como el mármol en las canteras» (737). He feels at home winding his way through the shapes of La Terrible: «hallo aquí cierta conformidad de la tierra con mi propio ser» (708), but feels ill at case near La Trascava: «A mí me causa horror este sitio [...]. Y ahora ¿vamos hacia las minas? Sí, ya conozco este camino. Estoy en mi terreno. Por aquí vamos derechos al Barco» (727). Teodoro remarks to Nela that Pablo is «guapo como una estatua» (761).



Favourite of Hadrian, the emperor, he drowned in the Nile in A. D. 130. Hadrian said that it was an accident, but rumour spread that he had committed suicide in a sacrifice to his master. He was deified after his death and depicted in art as an ideal type of youthful beauty.



Francisco Penáguilas compares his son's potent imagination to «mi Hércules atado con cadenas dentro de un calabozo y que forcejea por romper hierros y muros...» (737). When confronted with two paintings, one of the Crucifixion and another of the Greek nymph, Galatea, sailing in her shell over the Ocean with an escort of tritons and nymphs, the now-seeing Pablo prefers the Classical portrait (765).



Interestingly, Galdós chooses to describe the appearance of Florentina in terms of the portraits of the Virgin Mary painted over the centuries (745). Besides leading os to believe that Nela is really looking at the Virgin, they also tend to associate Florentina with Pablo who had been compared to Classical works of art. Both of these futuro lovers are the products of society in their different ways. Nela is the product of Nature and is described in appropriate animal imagery. It is also worthy of note that the description reveals a knowledge of painting which Galdós had already proved in some art criticisms written for his column in La Nación: see B. Pérez Galdós, «La pintura española en la exposición universal de París», La Nación (Madrid), 10-II-1868, 3.



See the introduction to La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, edited by R. O. Jones (Manchester, 1963), ix-xliv.



Ibid., 5: «Mi viuda madre, como sin marido y sin abrigo se viese, determinó arrimarse a los buenos por ser uno dellos.»



Teodoro's surname, Golfín, is full of significance in this context. He himself, suggests an humorous etymology: «Yo lo descompondría de este modo: Gold, oro...; to find, hallar... Es como si dijéramos, buscador de oro» (730). It also means a dolphin, appropriately a sea animal, and one root of the word is obviously «golfo» which adds another nautical meaning, «gulf», «ocean», his favourite image for life. But its more popular meaning is «thief belonging to a group of thieves.» These materialistic connotations are further strengthened by the possible interpretation of his Christian name, as a compound form of «Teo de oro», «God of Gold», «Teo» deriving from the Greek «****» or «God.» The name in its true etymology means, of course «gift of God.» Galdós's interest in and humorous, ironic use of proper names is well known. (See for example, Stephen Gilman, «Las referencias clásicas de Doña Perfecta», Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, III, 1949, 353-62.) Marianela seems thus to be no exception in this respect.