It won the international prize at the Cannes Film Festival  and was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards , but was not selected as a nominee. Andrei Tarkovsky named it one of his 10 favorite films. Padre Nazario, a Catholic priest living in a poor hotel, is quiet, temperate and distributes his money, even indifferent to being burgled. He demonstrates understanding and compassion to those such as Beatriz, who has psychotic episodes and suicidal thoughts after being cast aside by her lover, Pinto.
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Posted March 13, by argumentativeoldgit in literature. Tagged: Books , literature , Perez Galdos. His novels are not easy to find in English: even his most famous, Fortunata and Jacinta , appears to go in and out of print. I have, so far, read Fortunata and Jacinta , Misericordia , the tetralogy of novels Torquemada , and, most recently, Nazarin ; and they seem clearly to be the works of a master novelist.
In Misericordia , the character who eventually emerges as a saint may seem a most unlikely candidate for the part: she is an uneducated, superstitious, and very un -other-worldly serving woman, who had not been above nicking from her mistress in better times, but who, now that her mistress is impoverished, is prepared to go begging on the streets herself to protect her beloved mistress from the sort of life to which she has not been accustomed. He abjures not merely wealth, but even possessions; he abjures pride, anger, hatred.
He seeks out poverty, and keeps to the truth at all costs, regardless of consequence. He looks forward to a sort of paradise on this earth, in the here-and-now, that can be attained once humans have banished all material possessions and desires — once humans disdain to wield power over their fellow humans. And the best way to this spiritual, communist paradise is to lead through example. And so he leads through example: he lives the life preached by the gospels, the life of meekness, poverty and non-resistance to evil that Tolstoy was advocating at much the same time as this novel was written.
Such a man as Nazarin is, of course, an admirable man; but he is also a fool. As he sets out from Madrid to live out his unyielding principles, two parallels become obvious — one with Christ himself, and the other, somewhat disconcertingly, with Don Quixote.
Don Quixote had set out to seek the ideals of chivalry, and, leading by example, to practise these ideals himself, regardless of consequence; Nazarin, on the other hand, sets out to seek the ideals of Christianity, and, also regardless of consequence, leads by example.
The results are doomed to failure from the very beginning, but, for Nazarin, even failure in pursuit of these ideals is preferable to any other course. The intense suffering that is entailed is accepted willingly.
Here, Nazarin, feverish with typhoid, undergoes what can only be described as a religious vision. He is clearly one of the major European novelists of the 19 th century, and every work of his I read but increases my admiration. Posted by Bookaroundthecorner on March 18, at pm. Posted by argumentativeoldgit on March 20, at pm.
Posted by Bookaroundthecorner on March 23, at pm. Sorry for the slow answer, I was off-line. I was surprised not to find them, actually. Reading in translation or not is not an issue in France. Posted by Dwight on September 18, at am. Just discovered this post. And picking up the English translations as I find them. Definitely worth the effort. A great writer and fun movie adaptations to watch. Posted by argumentativeoldgit on September 18, at pm.
Posted by Dwight on September 18, at pm. I just ordered a copy of Nazarin so I hope to watch it soon. Now I just need to find a copy of the novel. Hopefully not too hard. I guess I should have secured everything I wanted by Galdos before possibly interesting others in him! Wish Perez Galdos was more well known. Posted by argumentativeoldgit on October 2, at pm. Hello, and thank you for that.
Hello, thank you for your opinion. It is very very good. You will like it. Time: Sorry by my English. Posted by argumentativeoldgit on February 21, at am. Hello Blanca, and welcome. Whenever i see second hand bookshops, I always look out for some out-of-print translation. Posted by Dwight on February 21, at pm. Fortunately I am Spanish speaking and posses is full works, I have read, and re-read him since I was 12 years of age, specially his Episodios Nacionales, all his works are almost impossible to get in English, and what you find it is so expensive, I have tried for some English speaking to get acquainted with him but always run in to the same problem books not easy to find, any input as how to get his books in English will be appreciated..
Posted by argumentativeoldgit on October 28, at pm. A great many writers who wrote or write in Indian languages are similarly unknown in the Western world, and that to me is equally mysterious — especially when so many Indian writers who write in ENglish are so highly regarded.
Fortunata and Jacinta is usually availablein the Penguin Classics catalogue. And there are a surprising number available in translation. The editorial business is another reason, if you travel through Latin America, and Spain, you can find people reading old authors, in new editions who never go out of fashion, or print in a way that would be unthinkable now days in the English speaking world, who beside a few great writers like Poe, Melville, Whitman,Twain, etc Or even those who have a small cult of followers does.
Exceptions are many and do exist, but limited by the size of the printing, and lack of money to mount a publicity campaign. The editorial houses are more worried of publishing the next new star novelist that will bring them profit than in digging old skeletons of limited market possibilities. I have no need of buying translations except as gifts for English speaking friends who never heard of these Spanish writers, or many others like Indian, Brazilians, Argentinians, Chilean, etc.
Posted by argumentativeoldgit on October 29, at pm. Hello Brigido, Yes, inevitably we are separated from foreign cultures, especially of teh past, by a number of things. However, this has not prevented us from loving their literature. What have we in common with serf-owning Russian aristocrats of years ago? Or with Japanese culture of, say, about years ago? Yet we regard War and Peace as amongst the greatest of novels, andwriters such as oseki or Akutagawa are easily and widely available, and much admired.
On Indian literature, I have had enough rants on this blog. If I may quote from one of my previous rants on the matter:. Or imagine it being widely accepted that French literature, say, began with Michel Houellebecq. Or imagine a literary prize set up for, say, Spanish literature, that does not even consider books written in Spanish. What is absurd in the context of Spanish literature seems perfectly OK for Indian literature, it seems.
One can go into a reasonable sized bookshop, and find translations from Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, Yiddish, Serbo-Croat, etc. But translations from Indian languages are invisible. Posted by Dwight on October 30, at pm.
La Regenta was is one of my top reads, ever. But then my recommendations tend to fall flat for some reason. Posted by argumentativeoldgit on October 30, at pm. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sign me up! Blog at WordPress. Like this: Like Loading Hello I had never heard of him, so thanks.
Posted by booklovercapetown on October 2, at am. Cheers, Himadri Reply. Posted by Blanca on February 20, at pm. All the best, Himadri Reply. Posted by theburningheart on October 27, at pm.
All teh best, Himadri Reply. Posted by theburningheart on October 29, at am. If I may quote from one of my previous rants on the matter: … imagine a publisher commissioning an anthology of Japanese literature, say, and commissioning as editors two people neither of whom knows Japanese.
Thanks, Dwight, for that tip. Ihade notthought of looking there before! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Email Subscription Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join other followers.
Screen: Bunuel's Relentless 'Nazarin':Film Set in the Mexico of Porfirio Diaz
Posted March 13, by argumentativeoldgit in literature. Tagged: Books , literature , Perez Galdos. His novels are not easy to find in English: even his most famous, Fortunata and Jacinta , appears to go in and out of print. I have, so far, read Fortunata and Jacinta , Misericordia , the tetralogy of novels Torquemada , and, most recently, Nazarin ; and they seem clearly to be the works of a master novelist. In Misericordia , the character who eventually emerges as a saint may seem a most unlikely candidate for the part: she is an uneducated, superstitious, and very un -other-worldly serving woman, who had not been above nicking from her mistress in better times, but who, now that her mistress is impoverished, is prepared to go begging on the streets herself to protect her beloved mistress from the sort of life to which she has not been accustomed.
Nazarin by Benito Perez Galdos
Perez Galdos was Spain's outstanding nineteenth-century novelist. At a time when most Spanish novelists were limited by their regional backgrounds, Galdos possessed the intellect and vision to embrace the Spanish people as a nation. In he began the Episodios nacionales National Episodes , a volume series of historical novels in which he was concerned less with details and facts of history than with their impact on the lives of ordinary people. His works are sometimes divided into two periods: novels of the first period and contemporary Spanish novels. His early novels, Dona Perfecta , Gloria , Marianela , and The Family of Leon Roch , may be characterized as realistic with touches of romanticism. The novels are united by common characters and themes in the manner of Balzac's Human Comedy.