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ArribaAbajo Pardo Bazán and her Contemporaries

Cyrus DeCoster

With the publication of El viaje de novios (1881), La tribuna (1882), and La cuestión palpitante (1883), Emilia Pardo Bazán came to occupy a prominent position in the Spanish world of letters. She moved in the select social and literary circles, and she was on intimate terms with the leading figures of the day. But many of these friendships did not last. She maintained good rapport with Galdós and Valera, but she broke openly with Pereda and Clarín, and her relations with Menéndez y Pelayo and Palacio Valdés became at best strained. The purpose of this article is to examine how and why these relationships changed.

Pérez Galdós

Pardo Bazán and Galdós began corresponding in the early eighties. As the years passed, their friendship blossomed into love, although it is uncertain just when their affair began. Some thirty-five letters written by Pardo Bazán to Galdós in 1889 and 1890, have been published132. They were seeing each other regularly in Madrid. The tone of the letters is almost cloyingly affectionate. She addresses him with a variety of endearing terms: «mi vida», «miquiño», «cariño», «ratonciño». She was separated from her husband, but, of course, was not free to remarry. In May, 1889, she had had a brief affair with Lázaro Galdiano in Barcelona where she had gone to visit the Exposition. After Galdós learned of her infidelity, she wrote him an apology, saying she had momentarily been carried away by passion. According to Bravo-Villasante, both novelists made use of this incident, Pardo Bazán in Insolación, Galdós in La incógnita and Realidad. They traveled together in Germany in September, 1889, but later that year Galdós began showing signs of wanting to break off the liaison, and soon afterwards they did part, and Galdós took up with Lorenza Cobián133. But they continued to be friends and to correspond. She visited him in Santander in 1894, and he was one of the few luminaries of his generation to support her candidacy for the Academy.

Although Pardo Bazán was at times critical of individual works by Galdós, she always maintained that he was the premier novelist of Spain. She published her first substantial piece about him in the Revista Europea in 1880134. She approved that Spain was not following abjectly in the steps of France but was developing its own indigenous novel with Galdós in the vanguard. She did have some reservations, however. In the first two series of Episodios nacionales he had failed to create a vivid portrait of nineteenth-century Spain, as Scott had of Scotland. Understandably, she took exception to his two   —122→   anticlerical novels, Doña Perfecta and Gloria. (Apparently, she had not yet read La familia de León Roch). «En Doña Perfecta es... más palpable el propósito de ennegrecer a toda costa la España tradicional». She particularly objected to its violent conclusion. Pepe Rey's assassination being too extreme a solution to the problem. Of these Novelas de la primera época she preferred Marianela, for here Galdós had left aside politics and history and created a lyrical work.

In La cuestión palpitante Pardo Bazán discussed Galdós along with Pereda in her chapter on the realistic novelists. She commented that her esthetic criteria had changed as her ideas had matured during the three years that had elapsed since the Revista Europea article. But wasn't it really a matter of being more receptive to the type of novels Galdós was currently putting out, the early Novelas contemporáneas? He was no longer writing thesis novels which attacked traditional Spanish values: «Por fortuna, o más bien por el tino que guía al genio, Galdós retrocedió para huir de ese callejón sin salida, y en El amigo Manso y en La desheredada comprendió que la novela hoy, más que enseñar a condenar estos o aquellos ideales políticos, ha de tomar nota de la verdad ambiente y realizar con libertad y desembarazo la hermosura».135

Pardo Bazán next turned her attention to Russian literature, and her La revolución y la novela en Rusia came out in 1887. That year Galdós reviewed briefly but enthusiastically her lectures in the Ateneo on this subject, apparently the only article he devoted to her. Otherwise, during this period, she wrote rather little criticism, and she did not review Galdós' novels of the mid and late eighties.

Then in 1891 she founded her Nuevo Teatro Crítico, and here she reviewed Ángel Guerra favorably, placing it in a class with Fortunata y Jacinta and La incógnita136. She analyzed in detail the development of the protagonist -his disillusionment with revolutionary politics, his breaking with Dulcenombre, his attachment to Leré, and his increasing preoccupation with religion. She saw the influence of Tolstoy in these new mystical aspirations. She must have been in need of copy, for in the same issue appeared a second article, «El estudio de Galdós en Madrid», a somewhat pedestrian description of his study, but the article does show that they were still on very friendly terms.

Her review of Tristana the following May was less than enthusiastic. The feminist in her liked the early part of the novel where Tristana rebels against her abject and cloistered life as Lope's ward and mistress. She felt that this struggle for freedom should have been the principal theme of the novel but that Galdós had not developed it. Instead, we have the banal love affair between Tristana and Horacio, their separation, the amputation of her leg, Horacio's loss of interest in her, all ending with her apathetic life as a beata and Lope's wife.

Pardo Bazán reviewed Galdós' first three plays, Realidad, La loca de la casa, and Gerona, in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico. Her discussion of Realidad, which was adapted from the novel of the same title, was in general positive. It showed the influence of Ibsen and marked a new orientation in the Spanish theater. She began her article on La loca de la casa by saying that she felt qualified to discuss it, having attended two rehearsals and the estreno as well as having read the first (novelistic) version of the work. She was obviously   —123→   very interested in his career. Although the play had not been a success, she felt that it showed promise and that Galdós should not renounce writing for the theater. The third play, Gerona, adapted from the Episodio nacional of the same name, was harshly treated by both the audience and the critics and closed after a single performance. According to Pardo Bazán, the play lacked focus, and, as a result, the audience felt disoriented and was not sure what Galdós was driving at. But she still refused to give up on him as a dramatist. This was the last substantial article she wrote about him. After that she mentioned him only briefly in passing.


From 1881 to 1887 Valera served as minister to Lisbon, Washington, and Brussels, so he was out of the country when La cuestión palpitante appeared in 1883. They corresponded during this time, but their letters have apparently been lost. Pardo Bazán discussed Valera in La cuestión palpitante in the chapter dealing with the so-called idealists along with Fernán Caballero and Alarcón, treating him kindly. She did complain, however, about his slightly archaic style and the unrealistic quality of his novels. He was more a classicist than a modern novelist. She was also the first to point out the resemblance between his manner of speech and that of his characters.137

Three years later, after reading Albert Savine's translation of La cuestión palpitante, Valera wrote his rebuttal of Naturalism, the Apuntes sobre el nuevo arte de escribir novelas. He mentioned Pardo Bazán only in passing. It is Zola and his followers, particularly the Goncourts, who are the recipients of his ironic barbs, and she did not take offense. He wrote to Menéndez y Pelayo: «Doña Emilia Pardo Bazán me ha escrito una carta muy amable diciendo que tal vez me conteste. Aunque lo haga, y esto me lisonjee, no replicaré, pues mi intención no fue nunca armar polémica o controversia, sino ir contra la extravagante estética de Zola».138

He continued to cross swords with her, always in an urbane and witty manner, never attacking her directly, and they remained on amicable terms. In 1887 he published an article in the Revista de España playing down her enthusiastic acclaim of Russian literature in La revolución y la novela en Rusia. The conservative and obviously not very well informed Valera claimed that this recent interest in Russian literature was only a fad and that American and Polish literatures were equally vigorous. His 1889 review of Insolación was no more than lukewarm. The characters were pedestrian and uninteresting. He also objected to the deterministic protagonist. Why could not Esclavitud have enough free will, enough strength of character not to commit suicide? Pardo Bazán might well have replied that at least two of Valera's protagonists (in Las ilusiones del doctor Faustino and Pasarse de listo) had also taken their lives. On the other hand, he praised her minor novel, El tesoro de Gastón, going so far as to say it was one of her best works.139

In 1889 Pardo Bazán's name was suggested for election to the Academy. Her article, «La cuestión académica: cartas a la Avellaneda», came out in La España Moderna in February of that year, and a virulent polemic ensued,   —124→   which dragged on140. Two years later Valera published a pamphlet, Las mujeres y las academias. Cuestión social inocente, a very sexist retort. Women would be a distracting element in the Academy, he said, and male academicians would perforce gallantly elect all eligible females before considering male candidates. He referred to Pardo Bazán only indirectly, and again she did not respond.

Olivar Bertrand collected a series of anecdotes recounted to him by Rodríguez Marín, who disliked Pardo Bazán, in which various people ridiculed her aggressive and abrasive manner. She had been pressuring Tamayo y Baus, the secretary of the Academy, to support her candidacy, and he was at his wit's end how to get her off his back. It was Valera who proffered a solution. Tamayo should point out to her the armchairs in the salón de sesiones in which the academicians sit and explain that she would not fit in one: «Usted no puede sentarse en ellos cómodamente. Su circunferencia es mayor que la nuestra... La Academia, créalo, señora Condesa, gustosamente le ofrecería un asiento, pero, desgraciadamente, usted no podría sentarse en él».141

Valera's genuine appreciation of Pardo Bazán, the woman of letters, comes through in a letter he wrote Menéndez y Pelayo in 1894; «Y en cambio me he leído de un tirón, y admirándola, la última novela [Doña Milagros] del morcón de doña Emilia, cuyo naturalismo despiadado y grotesco me repugna a par que me fuerza a conocer su fidelidad y verdad, el perspicaz talento de observación de la autora gallega y su rara habilidad para expresar y representar lo observado»142. His use of the epithet «morcón» (sausage) to characterize her physical appearance is amusing, if unkind. With a touch of irony he ascribes in his letters of those years the adjectives «eximia», «infatigable» and «imprescindible» to her143. He saw both sides of this talented but difficult woman.

Between 1879 and 1895 Valera published no novels, so Pardo Bazán seldom felt called upon to write about him. She did discuss the polemic between him and Campoamor in their book, La metafísica y la poesía, over the relative merits of prose and poetry in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico, mostly siding with Valera144. In an 1898 article, «Le mouvement littéraire en Espagne», in La Revue des Revues she spoke well of his two most recent novels, Juanita la larga and Genio y figura145. Then the year after his death she published a long necrological article in La Lectura, the most comprehensive and perceptive study of him to appear up until then146. Some years later in a letter to the Conde de las Navas, Pardo Bazán was more candid in her evaluation of Valera147. Although she liked and admired him as a person, there were aspects of his intellectual personality which bothered her -especially his antifeminism, which she characterized as Semitic. She had suppressed this irritation in her writings, especially her article in La Lectura.

Pardo Bazán got along better with Valera than with the rest of her contemporaries with the exception of Galdós, and they frequently attended each other's tertulias. She apparently did not allow herself to be upset by his adverse, and not always fair, comments about her works on Naturalism and the Russian novel nor by his opposition to her election to the Academy. At the same time, he was not rebuffed by her aggressive manner as so many people were, and they remained friends.


Pardo Bazán first wrote about Pereda in La cuestión palpitante before his major novels had come out. Although she did not mention any titles, she obviously was primarily thinking of his regionalistic sketches when she placed him in the costumbrista tradition. She commended him for not having fallen into the sentimental bathos of Fernán Caballero or Trueba but rather for depicting the lives of simple peasants and fishermen with unidealized veracity. Her only objection was the restricted scope of the society he portrayed: «Puédese comparar el talento de Pereda a un huerto hermoso, bien regado, bien cultivado, oreado por aromáticas y salubres auras campestres, pero de limitados horizontes»148. This comment struck a sensitive point in Pereda for he quoted it several years later in his article, «Las comezones de la señora Pardo Bazán».

The following year she praised Pedro Sánchez in El Imparcial. Again she placed him in the realistic tradition and concluded: «Si Pereda no es el escritor más realista de España, es seguramente el menos idealista». In Pedro Sánchez he had opened up his horizons and touched new ground. It was the «novela más novela» he had written to date. He certainly should have been pleased with her comments.

Soon thereafter their relations began to deteriorate. As early as 1885 Clarín wrote to Galdós: «Hábleme Vd. de la P. Bazán, que Pereda y Armando me han dicho horrores». In an 1887 letter to Galdós, Pereda praised Los pazos de Ulloa as her best novel to date. She had avoided the naturalistic excesses of some of her other works (he was, no doubt, thinking of La tribuna), but he castigated her «Apuntes autobiográficos», which she had published as an introduction to the novel, as being «de una cursilería semi estúpida que tumba de espaldas».149

Pereda's 1891 novel Nubes de estío contains a chapter «Palique», really a digression unconnected to the rest of the work, in which one of the characters, obviously speaking for the author, gives vent to his spleen as to how provincial writers have been neglected and even mistreated by the Madrid critics. This provoked Pardo Bazán to rebut his accusation in El Imparcial with «Los resquemores de Pereda», and a nasty exchange between them ensued in the pages of that paper. Although her tone had been temperate, an offended Pereda replied ill-humoredly, in turn titling his article «Las comezones de la señora Pardo Bazán». He accused her of sticking her nose into everything and characterized her article as impertinent, presumptuous, and petulant. He also chided her for aspiring to enter the Academy. Hurt by the caustic tone of his article, she replied the next day with «Una y no más. Al público y a Pereda». Her tone was sharper and more defensive. Among other things, she accused him of being thin-skinned, of having a «vidriosa y enfermiza susceptibilidad».

Then in the March number of the Nuevo Teatro Crítico she published a long article, «Pereda y su último libro», her most complete evaluation of his work, and one that has been essentially borne out by posterity. Again she praised his collections of cuadros, but was critical of the early thesis novels, El buey suelto, Don Gonzalo González de la Gonzalera, and De tal palo, tal   —126→   astilla. Pedro Sánchez was still her favorite. Surprisingly enough, her comments on Sotileza and La puchera were confined to one favorable sentence apiece. She found his portrayal of the aristocracy in La Montálvez false. Pereda did not move in those circles and did not know how the upper classes lived. We hear the condescending voice of the aristocrat speaking. As for his most recent novel, Nubes de estío, admittedly a weak and papped work, she treated it harshly. In June of that year, she also reviewed hostilely the mediocre Al primer vuelo150. In the opening paragraph she said that since, regretfully, she could not praise the novel, she would pass over it briefly.

Pereda was infuriated, and they ceased to correspond. When Peñas arriba came out in 1895, she did not mention it. Upon the occasion of his death in 1906, she did devote a few paragraphs to him in her column, «La vida contemporánea», in La Ilustración Artística151. Although she paid homage to him as novelist, she mostly spoke about their broken friendship, implying that he was to blame for the rupture.

Menéndez y Pelayo

Pardo Bazán began corresponding with Menéndez y Pelayo in September of 1879 shortly before they met. His correspondence to her has been lost, but fourteen of her letters to him have been published152. Her early letters have an almost reverential tone to them. She refers to him as «mi sabio». She asks for advice in bibliographic matters and praises unqualifiedly all his works, the Estudios poéticos, the Historia de los heterodoxos, the Historia de las ideas estéticas. A not atypical comment (she is referring to La ciencia española): «¡Cómo se ve que el sabio que le escribe es mozo, y el mozo sabio! No es dable pegar una paliza con mejor arte, ni mostrar más conocimientos con menos pedantería». His prologue to the second edition of her San Francisco de Asís praised this work but was critical of her espousal of Naturalism, with which he was not in sympathy philosophically or religiously. This was really the only time she took exception to something he wrote, but, nevertheless, she thanked him in a letter for his prologue, apparently not irked by his adverse remarks.

In the mid-eighties Menéndez y Pelayo began to complain about Pardo Bazán in letters to his friends and to Valera in particular153. He granted that she was intelligent, well-informed, and articulate, but he found fault with much of what she had to say. «No puedo transigir con su literatura». He doubtlessly had in mind her early naturalistic novels such as La tribuna. Like Pereda he commented disparagingly on the «Apuntes autobiográficos». She came through as a pedant. He was probably referring to the ingenuously boastful tone in which she detailed her extensive readings in the classics while a mere child. Echoing Valera's criticism, he accused her of slavishly following in both La cuestión palpitante and La revolución y la novela en Rusia the latest fad from Paris: «Como toda mujer, tiene una naturaleza receptiva y se enamora de todo lo que hace ruido, sin ton ni son». In line with the antifeministic tone of the previous quotation, he, too, opposed her entrance into the Academy and went so far as to characterize her pretension as being   —127→   «estrafalaria». In an 1891 letter to Clarín he complained that the critics ignored his books. Even Pardo Bazán had relegated him to the section of «Books Received» in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico. Here he does seem to have a cause for complaint. She did not review his Ensayos de crítica filosófica in her journal, although she discussed many works of lesser import.

Menéndez y Pelayo was not only critical of her works, but he also found her difficult company. He wrote to Valera in 1887: «Hemos tenido aquí a la Pardo Bazán cerca de dos meses y ha acabado de empalagarme... Esto se lo digo a usted en confianza, porque la mujer ha estado conmigo cariñosísima». In an 1904 letter to the Majorcan poet Juan Luis Estelrich Valera mentioned that Menéndez y Pelayo had ceased attending his tertulia, because he could not put up with Pardo Bazán. Instead, he would come to see Valera when she would not be there, Rodríguez Marín recounts that some years later, when Menéndez y Pelayo was director of the Biblioteca Nacional, Pardo Bazán kept importuning him to install a women's room in the library. His reply, that there were no funds available, did not silence her. After Menéndez' death, Rodríguez Marín succeeded him as director. He hit upon the scheme of delivering the books she wanted to her at home, so she would not have to use the library, but even this did not satisfy her. Whereupon one day, when she was repeating her complaint, he tapped her on the knee and said: «Condesa, a la Biblioteca se viene a leer».154

Pardo Bazán obviously rubbed a good many people, including Menéndez y Pelayo, the wrong way. But they did continue to see each other, and upon his death in 1912, she published a very laudatory article about him in La Ilustración Artística.155

Palacio Valdés

Pardo Bazán and Palacio Valdés did not hit it off well either. Most of his criticism dates from the late seventies before her novels had come out, and he never discussed any of her works. Their correspondence has been lost, but his letters to Clarín contain occasional disparaging remarks about her: «Emilia Pardo Bazán está imprimiendo otra [novela] (El cisne de Vilamorta). Acá para nosotros, no espero nada de ella, porque no es muy lista. Esta es también la opinión del público». «Yo creo que si en el mundo se perdiese la noción de la cursilería, la presencia de esta mujer bastaría para resucitarla».156

She reviewed quite adversely two of his more naturalistic novels, La espuma and El Maestrante, and also La fe in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico157. La espuma she characterized as «a todas luces inferior y deficiente». The author was unfamiliar with the Madrid aristocracy portrayed in the novel, a criticism she had already made of Galdós' La Fontana de Oro and Pereda's La Montálvez.

Pardo Bazán placed La fe, like Ángel Guerra, in the new spiritualistic vein emanating from the Russian novel, but she thought the discussions between Father Gil and the atheist, Álvaro Montesinos, superficial. Palacio Valdés lacked the philosophical background to flesh them out. With reason she said that the conclusion of the novel was melodramatic and rang false. Father Gil   —128→   behaved like an innocent fool when he compromised himself by allowing the hysterical, pseudo-beata Obdulia to persuade him to accompany her to a convent which did not even exist. And his final recovery of faith is insufficiently motivated. In conclusion, she somewhat condescendingly granted that it was «una novela muy amena, muy dentro de las corrientes».

Her review of El Maestrante was somewhat more laudatory, but she relegated Palacio Valdés to second rank status, not in a class with Galdós and Pereda: «Bajemos algunos escalones, y todavía hay puestos muy honrosos para otros novelistas, entre los cuales descuella Armando Palacio». In El Maestrante Palacio Valdés was on familiar ground. The milieu, the upper class society of the Asturian city of Lancia (Oviedo) was well known to him. But she found things to criticize, especially Amalia's barbarous treatment of her illegitimate daughter. Pardo Bazán granted that such things do occur, but Palacio Valdés had not prepared the reader for such heinous conduct, and it is difficult to accept.

This was unusually sharp criticism coming from Pardo Bazán. In retrospect, we today find Palacio Valdés' reputation in the nineteenth century to have been inflated, and Pardo Bazán's unenthusiastic evaluation of him to be more in accord with modern tastes; but we can also appreciate that he was not amused by her comments. Their relations cooled, and she did not review any of his subsequent novels.


Pardo Bazán and Clarín started out on the best of terms, but then, for what seem to be insufficient reasons, their friendship soured, and they ended up bitter enemies158. Clarín reviewed quite favorably her early novels, Un viaje de novios, La tribuna, El cisne de Vilamorta, and Los pazos de Ulloa. He found things to criticize in, for example, Un viaje de novios, but then concluded: «en cambio, las bellezas revelan a un verdadero artista...159» A comment in a letter to Galdós from these years reinforces this positive evaluation of Pardo Bazán, although his antifeministic bias does come through: «Me alegro que Vd. me hable del mucho talento... de la Pardo Bazán. Yo también creo que tiene talento, vista penetrante y clara y una construcción excepcional en España -tratándose de mujeres»160. He wrote the prologue for the first edition of La cuestión palpitante in book form in 1883. Pardo Bazán never discussed La regenta, but she did comment affirmatively about his collection of articles, Mezclilla, in La España Moderna in 1889. Surprisingly enough, they never met, although the few letters that have been published, all from the early years, are very friendly.161

After 1888, Clarín began to be more critical of Pardo Bazán. During the next two years in his «Paliques» in Madrid Cómico he chided her, after reading Mi romería, for her aristocratic pretensions and Carlist sympathies, called Insolación «esa boutade pseudo erótica», her weakest novel to date, and characterized Morriña as «baladí162».The tone of these articles, although not markedly antagonistic, was quite different from the laudatory one of his earlier reviews. One should probably take into account that Madrid Cómico   —129→   tended to have a mordant, sarcastic quality to it, and this probably had something to do with the change in Clarín.

When Lázaro Galdiano was starting up his new journal, La España Moderna, Pardo Bazán asked her literary acquaintances, including Clarín, to contribute to it. He sent in an article on Campoamor's Poética. Lázaro replied in June, 1890, that no mention had been made in the journal of Insolación and Morriña, which had come out before the Poética, and he asked Clarín to write something on those two novels. He also made it clear that he did not want a hostile review. He no doubt had seen what Clarín had said about Insolación and Morriña in Madrid Cómico163. The touchy Clarín, sensing the hand of Pardo Bazán behind the maneuver, felt that his freedom was being impinged upon. Enraged, he demanded the return of his article and resigned from the staff of the journal. The following month he published his seventh Folleto literario, Museum. It contained both the Campoamor article and «Emilia Pardo Bazán y sus últimas obras», an overall evaluation of her novels with emphasis on Insolación. His tone had turned spiteful. He referred to her as «la petite Mme. Staël». His strongly negative assessment of Insolación seems puritanical, coming from the author of La regenta: «Insolación... es un episodio de amor vulgar, prosaico, [...] de amor carnal no disfrazado de poesía».164

During the next two years Clarín attacked her constantly in the pages of Madrid Cómico. After that, his sallies became more sporadic. He devoted a series of five «Paliques» to Una cristiana and its sequel La prueba, finding much to criticize. He ill-temperedly berated her for not even mentioning, much less reviewing, his novel Su único hijo in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico. He ridiculed her efforts to be elected to the Academy: «¡Ser académica! ¿Para qué? Es como si se empeñara en ser guardia civila». And he constantly took her to task for misusing words and expressions. An amusing example: «Verdad es que D.ª Emilia llama Hamleto a Hamlet, que es como ponerlo en música». In these articles he repeatedly overstepped the bounds of good taste.165

Pardo Bazán never replied to his attacks, but she ceased to comment on his works in her critical articles, which irritated him all the more. She pointedly did not mention his name in a piece she wrote for La Revue des Revues on recent literary developments in Spain, but she certainly had him in mind when she complained about the virulently offensive criticism which was so prevalent: «les attaques féroces, basées beaucoup moins sur la valeur littéraire de l'oeuvre que sur la personnalité de son auteur»166. Nor did she say anything about him in La Ilustración Artística when he died in 1901. That she was deeply hurt by his ill-natured «Paliques» can be seen in a letter she wrote the poet Ferrari, also a frequent target of Clarín's sarcasm, shortly after the latter's death: «¿Quién nos desgarrará como aquel perro? Mire usted que yo pasé cuatro o seis años de mi vida sin que un solo instante dejasen de resonar en mis oídos los ladridos furiosos del can».167

*  *  *

Of the six contemporaries of Pardo Bazán we have considered, only Galdós and Valera remained on good terms with her. Palacio Valdés was certainly   —130→   hurt by her adverse reviews of his three novels in the Nuevo Teatro Crítico, while Pereda was irritated by her article, «Los resquemores de Pereda», and the insult was compounded by her negative assessment of Nubes de estío and Al primer vuelo. When the irascible Clarín thought he was being pressured into writing favorably about Insolación and Morriña, he overreacted, carping at her caustically in his «Paliques». They all found her abrasive and presumptuous, and other writers could be added to the list. Rodríguez Marín recounted an anecdote about Zorrilla:

When Zorrilla arrived at a banquet honoring the German hispanist Fastenrath and found that Pardo Bazán had also been invited, he tried to leave but was restrained by friends. «'¡Ahí está la Condesa!', susurró alguien. '¡La... inevitable!', se lamentó Zorrilla entristecido. Desde aquel día, se llamó la Inevitable. Este apodo dio la vuelta y volvió al mismo que lo había inventado, lo que le enfureció. 'No -exclamó nuestro poeta-, no. Yo no quería decir la Inevitable, sino ¡la Insoportable!'».168

Pardo Bazán was a woman striving for recognition in a man's world. She was successful in achieving her goal, but in the process she trod on toes and caused resentment among her male peers. Admittedly, tact and humility were not among her virtues. She was a different type of individual from the other nineteenth-century Spanish women writers, La Avellaneda, Fernán Caballero, and Rosalía de Castro.

Northwestern University

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