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Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Pérez…
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Fortunata y Jacinta (original 1887; edition 2018)

by Benito Pérez Galdós (Author)

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3611547,927 (4.27)35
Galdos's four-part Fortunata and Jacinta (1886-7), the masterpiece among his almost 80 novels, tells the turbulent story of two women, their husbands and their lovers, set against the intricate web of dynastic alliances and class contrasts of Madrid in the 1870s.
Member:hnn
Title:Fortunata y Jacinta
Authors:Benito Pérez Galdós (Author)
Info:PENGUIN CLÁSICOS (2018)
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Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women by Benito Pérez-Galdós (1887)

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Spanish (7)  English (7)  Dutch (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Fortunata and Jacinta is like a Spanish Les Mis. It is a huge, realistic, epic portrayal of lat 19th Century Madrid as experienced by a large number of bit players in the stories of title women. In many ways it was more enjoyable than Les Mis -- there were far fewer digressions into history lessons. The world seemed more coherent, as they was a slightly smaller cast of characters of which to keep track and the overall story is tighter. My main compliant is that, despite the title, this story is all Fortunata's. Even though the first section is (mostly) told through Jacinta's eyes, the rest is all Fortunata. I was disappointed that Galdós never saw fit to circle back to show Jacinta's perspective on cataclysmic events. I suppose it was necessary to the story arc for her to be the perfect "angel-face", but after a certain point the relentless wretchedness of Fortunata's world was overwhelming and a little bit of angelic goodness would have been refreshing. ( )
  ELiz_M | Oct 21, 2013 |
Benito Perez Galdos' "Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women" was a really difficult book for me to get into. I really struggled through the first 200 pages or so, but then the story really started clicking with me and I began to enjoy it more.

The novel follows the stories of two women are involved with a cad -- Jacinta is his wife, who struggles with childlessness, and the unfortunate Fortunata, a lower class woman who is his on-again, off-again mistress. I particularly liked Fortunata's story.

This was a hard book for me to rate because while I liked the story, I found something about the writing a bit off-putting. I disliked the way the author started each section -- with a story about a new character that later linked back in to the main story. Once I got used to the new person, I started to like the book again. I did enjoy the setting-- Galdos really evokes a mood of this particular period in Spain-- and the overall story.... though it's not a book I'd ever pick up again. ( )
  amerynth | May 2, 2013 |
Here's the review I posted on the English version of the book...Benito Pérez Galdós was Spain's greatest practitioner of the realist novel. Think of him this way: take a dollop of the charm of Dickens and combine with another of the sensuality and danger of Dostoevsky, sprinkled with the minutiae of what daily life was like in nineteenth-century Spain, and you have Benito Pérez Galdós. He is the greatest and most enjoyable nineteenth-century European novelist that readers of English have missed out on. Most of his novels are out of print in English translation. Fortunata y Jacinta is his longest work... and it proves why he is such a delight. I have some quibbles with the second half but I think every reader of nineteenth-century literature should experience what this magnificent writer has to offer.
1 vote ChrisConway | Feb 6, 2012 |
Benito Pérez Galdós was Spain's greatest practitioner of the realist novel. Think of him this way: take a dollop of the charm of Dickens and combine with another of the sensuality and danger of Dostoevsky, sprinkled with the minutiae of what daily life was like in nineteenth-century Spain, and you have Benito Pérez Galdós. He is the greatest and most enjoyable nineteenth-century European novelist that readers of English have missed out on. Most of his novels are out of print in English translation. Fortunata y Jacinta is his longest work... and it proves why he is such a delight. I have some quibbles with the second half but I think every reader of nineteenth-century literature should experience what this magnificent writer has to offer. ( )
1 vote ChrisConway | Feb 6, 2012 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1162077...

It took me a long time to get around to reading it, and also a long time to read it - it is over 800 pages. But it is rather good.

Fortunata and Jacinta are two women in 1870s Madrid who both love Juanito Santa Cruz, the scion of a dynasty of clothing magnates; Fortunata is working class and bears him a child; Jacinta, his cousin, marries him by a family arrangement which becomes largely a love match. Most of the book is about Fortunata's ups and downs as she bounces from man to man, Santa Cruz always in the background, and Jacinta vaguely and uneasily aware of her rival.

Pérez Galdós is often compared with Dickens, but I think he's more in the line of the great Russian novelists - he is not trying to be even a little bit funny (none of the characters are simple caricatures - even his belching priest displays a deep insight in one important chapter). He is also very much engaged with both high and low politics - Spain in the early 1870s had a lot of regime changes (I had no idea!) and also Santa Cruz's exploitation of Fortunata is surely intended in part as metaphor for the class struggle. She is certainly the most interesting character in the book, but there are plenty of them.

Anyway, it is rather long, but I felt it worth making the effort in the end. ( )
3 vote nwhyte | Apr 1, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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The oldest information I have on the person who bears this name comes from my friend Jacinto María Villalonga, and it dates back to the time when he and other friends (among them Zalamero, Joaquinito Pez, and Alejandro Miquis) were at the University.
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