The writers representing Spanish Realism are the majority of the authors who emerged in the mid-nineteenth century after the decline of Romanticism and the rise of the French current of Realism.
Realism was characterized by abandoning romantic ideas a bit and migrating objectively to contemporary society, actions and its people, with the idea of presenting a portrait of society through literature.
Realism, as a term, began to be used by painting and the contemporary trend at the time to make more realistic portraits. But the term permeated literature, at the same time that Honoré de Balzac changed the paradigms of the novel towards a more social and moral end.
French Balzac’s style fit very well to define the genre, but it was quite strict while Spanish Realism was a bit more flexible.
The golden age of Spanish Realism is considered to have been towards the end of the century, during the so-called generation of the eighties.
Main representatives of Spanish Realism
1- Benito Pérez Galdós (1843 – 1920)
He is considered the most representative of the writers of the movement. Canarian of origin, he settled in Madrid before turning 20 and visited Paris shortly after, following in the footsteps of Balzac, a character whom he always admired.
Of his work, the collection Los episodios nacional stands out , a series of writings in which the memory of the Spaniards during the 19th century was collected as a chronicle through their characters, and covers the period from 1873 to the beginning of the 20th century.
Misericordia , Doña Perfecta and Fortunata y Jacinta are among his most representative novels, and his literary history led him to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
2- Juan Valera (1824 – 1905)
A refined and cultured man, from a noble family. He is one of the most prominent writers of Realism even though he began to write at almost 50 years of age.
His best known novel is Pepita Jiménez , which is about a seminarian who falls in love with a young woman, and was written as a letter.
His literature deals with religion and the traditions of society, despite being ideologically distant from both personally.
3- Leopoldo Alas “Clarín” (1852-1901)
Asturian at heart, he was a professor at the University of Oviedo where he studied Economics. His nickname “Clarín” comes from the pseudonym with which he signed his articles as a young man when he practiced journalism.
He stood out in the genres of the short story and story, with stories such as Adiós, Cordera and Pipa , although his fame was obtained for the novels His only son and La Regenta , written in 1895 and 1885 respectively.
4- Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867-1928)
An author highly conditioned by his republican, anticlerical and leftist ideology. He was the youngest of the group of Spanish writers of the Realism movement.
Originally from Valencia, he lived in Argentina for a few years and fought in the First World War , an experience that served as the basis and inspiration for his work The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
5- José María de Pereda (1833 – 1906)
He was a friend of Galdós and dedicated himself to literature and the cultivation of his lands. Being the oldest in this group, he began his writing under the traditional tendency but turned towards Realism by observing the evolution of the genre in France and its surroundings.
Its success was the result of the formula of mixing manners with a characteristic language and its vision of mountain people.
Peñas Arriba is considered his masterpiece and he is considered a great storyteller due to his high descriptive capacity.
6- Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851- 1921)
Galician from A Coruña, she was distinguished as Countess of Pardo Bazán. This social condition allowed her to train and develop as a journalist, novelist, translator or playwright. She was a very cultured woman with feminist concerns.
At the age of 17 he settled in Madrid, where he could begin to write for important media of the time. In 1879 he published Pascual López, autobiography of a medical student , his first realist novel.
Later he embraced naturalism, another genre in which he excelled. Before, she had a sentimental bond with Benito Pérez Galdós, one of the leaders of Spanish realism.
- Master Lengua – Outstanding Authors of Spanish Realism masterlengua.com
- Lecturalia – Authors of Spanish Realism lecturalia.com
- Club Essays – Beginnings Of Spanish Realism clubensayos.com
- Wikipedia – Spanish Literature of Realism is. wikipedia.org
- Rincón Castellano – Spanish Literature: author index rinconcastellano.com