eBook - 2014
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Don Lope is a Don Juan, an aging but still effective predator on the opposite sex. He is also charming and generous, unhesitatingly contributing the better part of his fortune to pay off a friend’s debts, kindly assuming responsibility for the friend’s orphaned daughter, lovely Tristana. Don Lope takes her into his house and before long he takes her to bed. It’s an arrangement that Tristana accepts more or less unquestioningly— that is, until she meets the handsome young painter Horacio. Then she actively rebels, sets out to educate herself, reveals tremendous talents, and soon surpasses her lover in her open defiance of convention. One thing is for sure: Tristana will be her own woman. And when it counts Don Lope will be there for her.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 2014
ISBN: 9781590177921
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Mar 11, 2016

Tristana follows the trials and tribulations of the youthful, orphaned Tristana and the two lovers in her life. The first lover is her guardian, Don Lepe, an aging Don Juan who couldn’t resist one last conquest of the young girl. The second lover is Horacio, a painter with a similar background as Tristana. The more time Tristana spends with Horacio, the more she tends to rebel against Don Lepe. She seeks to educate herself and develop her nascent talents, dreaming of a life of independence on her own terms. An illness and infection causes her to lose a leg, dashing many of her hopes for the future.

It's a wonderful book full of Galdosian ambiguity and irony. If you haven’t read anything by Galdós, Tristana provides an interesting (and maybe problematic) introduction to the writer. It’s a book that the author seemed to dismiss before its release while many of his supporters and critics were left disappointed by the author’s unsatisfying (to them) ending.

It’s a wonderful little novel because Galdós avoids an easy answer, not catering to ideological resolutions that would have felt false while still providing plenty of social commentary along the way. Very highly recommended.


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