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Over a period of several years I have shown these passages of Misericordia to Israeli exchange students and professors. Several have said that these passages sound as if they were inspired by the Arabian Nights. Galdós, as is well known, had his own four-volume set of The Arabian Nights Entertainment (London: 1838) (H. Chonon Berkowitz, La biblioteca de Pérez Galdós [Las Palmas: El Museo Canario, 1951] p. 174); and he speaks of Samdai as «el subterráneo genio» (p. 1950) and Almudena's account of his appearance as «leyenda oriental» (p. 1910).

(I am especially indebted to Mrs. Sellina Maschiach Sapoznik for writing on my behalf to scholars in Israel, and for checking Hebrew-language encyclopedias and literary selections.)

In modern and contemporary fiction, Asmadai seems always to be a most fearsome demon who is to be avoided at all costs. For example, in the very long Yiddish-language poem Der Asmadai, he has his castle «far from Lithuania, far from Poland/Behind all the mountains of darkness/Hard by the road that leads to Hell.» There he tortures his victims mercilessly. (Solomon Rappoport [pseud. S. A. Anski], Gesamelte Schriften [Warsaw-New York, 1924], Vol. 8, p. 7, et passim.)

Isaac Bashevis Singer reflects a similar idea of Asmadai and his castle in such works as «The Black Wedding», The Spinoza of Market Street and Other Stories (New York: Avon, 1974), p. 35; «The Mirror», Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories (New York: Noonday, 1957), pp. 83, 86; and «On the Road to the Poor House», Playboy, 16, No. 10 (October 1969), 271. (I am indebted to Mr. Singer for sharing with me his knowledge, conception, and fictional utilization of Asmadai [Lawrence, Kansas, April 8, 1975].



White camels, dogs, horsemen firing refles, Asmadai in green robes (as is every important dignitary in Soriano's book) accompanied by followers in long white robes and a veiled woman seem completely Arabic, and are all very prominent in Moros y cristianos (passim).



Other conceivable stimuli (passim) to the creative process and their possible reflection in Misericordia: «cantos hebreos» > Almudena's song when he thinks he is on Mount Sinai (p. 1954), veiled woman with Sultan > veiled woman shown Almudena by Samdai (p. 1913), «un rey mágico» > Rey Samdai with power to deliver hidden treasure (pp. 1908-09, et passim), Christian missionaries active in Morocco > Almudena's baptism and change of name by two Christian women (p. 1954), father-son conflict (between the Sultan and his son) Almudena's rebellion against his father, taking the latter's money, and going into business for himself (p. 1912), caravans > Almudena's business caravan (p. 1912), «llegar a Jerusalén» > Almudena's idea to go there with Benina (p. 1984), and «terribles males» including leprosy > Almudena's skin affliction which some fear is leprosy (pp. 1984-85).



Cf. Sara E. Cohen, «Almudena», pp. 56-57; and José Fradejas Lebrero, «Para las fuentes de Galdós», Revista de Literatura, 4 (1953), 319-344.



See William H. Shoemaker, Los prólogos de Galdós (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press and Mexico: D. F.: Andrea, 1965), p. 109.



Cf. Vernon A. Chamberlin, «More Light on Galdós' Sephardic Source Materials: A Reply to A. F. Lambert», Anales galdosianos, 9 (1974), 167-68.



Ricardo Gullón, Técnicas de Galdós (Madrid: Taurus, 1970), p. 211, n. 2.



Entre los estudios que más se ocupan del lenguaje en Galdós se encuentran los siguientes: Graciela Andrade, Las expresiones del lenguaje familiar de Pérez Galdós en Fortunata y Jacinta (Tesis doctoral, State University of Iowa, 1957) (Publ. no. 22069, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan), y, basados en esta tesis, Graciela Andrade Alfieri y J. J. Alfieri, «El lenguaje familiar de Pérez Galdós», Hispanófila, no. 22 (Sept., 1964), pp. 27-73 y, de los mismos autores, «El lenguaje familiar de Galdós y de sus contemporáneos», Hispanófila, no. 28 (Sept., 1966), pp. 17-25; Vernon A. Chamberlin, «The Muletilla: An Important Facet of Galdós' Characterization Technique», Hispanic Review, 29 (1961), 296-309; Stephen Gilman, «La palabra hablada y Fortunata y Jacinta», Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, 15 (1961), 542-60; Ricardo Gullón, Galdós, novelista moderno (Madrid: Taurus, 1960), pp. 228-33, y del mismo autor, Técnicas de Galdós (Madrid: Taurus, 1970), pp. 211-13 y passim; Manuel C. Lassaletta, Aportaciones al estudio del lenguaje coloquial galdosiano (Madrid: Ínsula, 1974); Tomás Navarro Tomás, «La lengua de Galdós», Revista Hispánica Moderna, 9 (1943), 292-93; J. de Onís, «La lengua madrileña en la obra de P. Galdós», Revista Hispánica Moderna, 15 (1949), 353-63; Douglass Rogers, «Lenguaje y personaje en Galdós (un estudio de 'Torquemada')», Cuadernos hispanoamericanos, núm. 206 (Feb. de 1967), pp. 243-73; A. Sánchez Barbudo, «Vulgaridad y genio de Galdós: El estilo y la técnica de Miau», Archivum, 7 (1957), 48-76; James Whiston, «Language and Situation in Part I of Fortunata y Jacinta», Anales galdosianos, 7 (1972), 79-91. Hay, sin duda alguna, muchas más, ya que la bibliografía de Galdós es muy extensa.



Lassaletta, op. cit., p. 11.



Obras completas, t. V (Madrid: Aguilar, 1950), 42b.