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ArribaWoodbridge, Hensley C. Benito Pérez Galdós: A Selective Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1975. 321 pp. $ 12.50

David Torres

Professor Woodbridge's latest bibliography on Galdós, an extended version of his earlier one in Hispania (which he does not mention), is modestly addressed to graduate students and non-Galdosian Spanish teachers. For a more comprehensive listing, he directs the user to Manuel Hernández Suárez's forthcoming bibliography, parts of which have been appearing in Anales galdosianos.

To avoid unnecessary duplication, the compiler limits himself mostly to books and articles published during the last twenty-five to forty years. With the exception of Clarín, Altamira, Yxart, Gómez de Baquero, and a few others, he makes no attempt to cover reviews and criticism which appeared during Galdós' lifetime, these being available in Theodore Sackett's bibliography and Leo Hoar's dissertation. The most noteworthy exception is Pedro Muñoz Peña's rare little volume, Juicio crítico de Fortunata y Jacinta (Valladolid, 1888), which until 1970 was all but unknown to many galdosianos. On the other hand, Woodbridge provides material on Galdós' episodios nacionales, theatre, journalism and other facets of his literary production which had been neglected by earlier bibliographers.

This bibliography includes doctoral dissertations accepted by U. S. universities but not master's theses or foreign dissertations, except for a handful from Great Britain and Chile. Also excluded are the prologues to editions of Galdós' works. The compiler modestly states that his linguistic competence is such that he is capable of annotating material only if it is in English, Spanish, or French. However, the volume does include a few entries in Italian and German.

Professor Woodbridge is careful to point out that the length of his annotations has little to do with the over-all quality of the entry. That statement might explain why he devotes only three lines each to Azorín (p. 18) and Francisco Ayala (p. 14) but three pages to Eamonn J. Rodger's doctoral thesis (pp. 214-17). The latter is justifiable for an unpublished dissertation accepted by a Belfast institution, copies of which may be difficult to secure, yet one would expect more than one page on José F. Montesinos' three volumes on Galdós, which outrank all other general studies (and many specialized ones, too) on this novelist.

In general, Professor Woodbridge's annotations are descriptive rather than critical. He seems to prefer quotations from other critics' reviews rather than personal evaluations. At times he tends to employ «penetrating», «scholarly», «profound», and other superlatives too generously, although he does admit that the illustrations in Francisco Rodríguez Batllori's Galdós en su tiempo «would appear to be the most useful portion of the volume». His defense of Sackett's bibliography against Shirley A. Orsag's review, is also very fair.


Consisting of approximately 500 entries, the Woodbridge: bibliography is divided into 19 sections plus an introduction, supplement, notes, a list of collections analyzed, and author-title-subject indices. The bulk of the volume is devoted, of course, to the Novelas españolas contemporáneas (the title of which he transposes); for practical purposes, the compiler has combined them with those of Galdós' Primera época.

The first seven sections are entitled: Bibliographies, Biography, Galdós and His Contemporaries, General Book-Length Critical Studies, General Short Studies, Obras completas, and General Sources. Whenever feasible, each section is further subdivided for quick reference. After reviewing all the recent biographical material, Woodbridge concludes that Berkowitz continues to be the fullest study in any language; the only new knowledge added since 1948 has been in the area of personal letters and relations with the novelist's contemporaries. A cursory glance at the list of «Contemporaries» on pages 16-29 will immediately reveal the absence of many writers (Valera, Echegaray, Ventura Ruiz Aguilera, to name only a few) whose relations with Galdós deserve further treatment.

Under «Obras completas» the compiler limits himself to the 1942 Aguilar edition prepared by Sainz de Robles, which scholars continue to use reluctantly for lack of anything better. The «General Sources» section, which discusses general studies on the influence of foreign and Spanish authors on Galdós, should be valuable for comparative literature buffs; it does not, however, pretend to cover Galdós' influence on other Spanish or Spanish-American authors (except for Doña Perfecta), a subject which apparently also needs to be explored.

The eighth and longest section of Professor Woodbridge's bibliography consists of studies on individual novels (except the Episodios nacionales) arranged alphabetically by title from El abuelo to Tristana, including articles about movies based on Galdós' Nazarín, Tristana, and Fortunata y Jacinta. In general, under each title there is a long list of articles, given neither alphabetically nor chronologically, followed by brief paragraphs on each. The commentaries do not necessarily correspond to the order of the articles; for example, the list on La de Bringas begins with Shoemaker's 1959 article on the «classical scene», but Woodbridge's comments begin with Ricardo Gullón's 1967 school edition, Amorós' 1965 article on «el ambiente», and five other studies before reaching Shoemaker's article. As one might expect, by far most of the studies are on Fortunata y Jacinta, Doña Perfecta, and Misericordia, with relatively few on El abuelo, El audaz, or Casandra.

Sections 9 through 11 (Special Topics, Linguistic Studies, Stylistic Studies), arranged mostly alphabetically by theme, should prove of immeasurable value to graduate students in search of a dissertation topic. Indeed, many of the items listed here are theses.

Sections 12, devoted entirely to the episodios nacionales, begins with the standard general works (Hinterhaüser, Regalado, Alfred Rodríguez) and their respective reviews, followed by recent studies on each series of the episodios. Since Sackett and Hoar deliberately excluded them in their bibliographies, this chapter by Woodbridge becomes all the more valuable. There   —133→   are altogether 34 pages on the five series, including a short list of specific aspects, an indication of the path which many galdosianos have been taking in recent years. Even so, studies on the individual Episodios are far from numerous.

The final sections deal, respectively, with studies on Galdós' theatre, journalism, short stories, prologues, literary criticism, and poetry. Perhaps the most useful items in these chapters are those concerned with Galdós' short fiction and journalistic efforts, for the insight they provide into his literary apprenticeship and creative process. A perusal of the «Journalism» section will reveal that apparently little or nothing has been published on Galdós' contributions to El Debate, La Guirnalda, and El Océano.

Students who have been frightened by courses in bibliographical methods will be pleased to discover that Professor Woodbridge's volume reads like a novel. The omission of numbers before each entry, and the smooth flow from item to item, makes it possible to read this book from cover to cover as if it were not a list of books and articles.

There appear to be very few omissions in Professor Woodbridge's bibliography. The most conspicuous perhaps is Diane Beth Hyman's unpublished dissertation (at Harvard) on the Fortunata y Jacinta manuscript; the compiler could have seen a reference to it in Cardona's 1974 edition of Doña Perfecta, which Woodbridge describes on page 297. In his supplement, Woodbridge mentions Roberto Sánchez's forthcoming El teatro en la novela: Galdós y Clarín, but not Walter T. Pattison's Benito Pérez Galdós, which appeared almost at the same time.

Typographical errors are numerous but usually insignificant, except for the top of page 255. The only serious inconvenience is the lack of cross references. For example, a user who wishes to know what has been published on the novel Doña Perfecta will naturally go first to pages 73-84, then to the other entries given on page 314. However, there is nothing to refer him to page 187, where he will find a description of john Devlin's Spanish Clericalism, which discusses this novel.

Unlike Sackett, Professor Woodbridge does not suggest a list of specific topics that need further research or attention. After reading this bibliography, however, one notices how little has been written on certain aspects of Galdós, such as his novels El abuelo and Casandra, not to mention linguistic and stylistic studies, and individual studies on many of the Episodios. The compiler himself points to «the crying need for critical and collected editions of [Galdós'] works, a true obras completas that would include everything written by Galdós and which would discuss textual changes».

Curiously enough, Woodbridge does not expect the tremendous surge in studies on Galdós to continue, «for each generation seeks to re-evaluate the great masters of the past». Be that as it may, this admirable volume will continue to be very useful for scholars, graduate students, and librarians. The quality and thoroughness of his product, and the impressive list of acknowledgements, prove once again the vast amount of work, knowledge, and perseverance that a good bibliography represents.

West Virginia University

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