Gâenero, naciâon y literatura : Emilia Pardo Bazâan en la literatura gallega y espaänola
Part of the Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures series
Emilia Pardo Bazan's place in Spanish and Galician literatures has been hard won, and she has yet to receive the recognition she deserves.
In Genero, nacion y literatura: Emilia Pardo Bazan en la literatura gallega y espanola, Carmen Pereira-Muro studies the work and persona of this fascinating author in the context of Spanish and Galician competing nationalisms.
She re-reads the literary histories and national canons of Spain and Galicia as patriarchal master narratives that struggle to assimilate or silence Pardo Bazan's alternative national project. Pereira-Muro argues that Pardo Bazan posited the inclusion of women in the national culture as a key step in circumventing the representational logic behind Realism and Liberalism in the modern nation-state.
By insisting that women should be equal partners, Pardo Bazan problematically adopted the patriarchal binarism that assigns women to Nature and men to Culture, but she also subverted it by denying its supplemental relationship.
Her astute choice and manipulation of masculine cultural models (Realism, not Romanticism; prose, not poetry; Castilian language, not Galician) ultimately won her-despite fierce opposition-inclusion in the Spanish national canon. Furthermore, the study of her thorny relations with emerging Galician nationalism shows that her exclusion from "Galician literature" was due largely to her transgressive gender performance.
Finally Pereira-Muro contends that in the author's last novel, Pardo Bazan experimented with creating a feminine writing and a feminine canon for Spain.
Nevertheless, the prevailing gender politics ensured that only her realist (masculine) production made it into the Spanish canon, and not this last, modernist (feminine) writing. In conclusion, this book questions the naturalisation of national canons by uncovering the gender politics behind what is cast as naturally determined by language and geography. Doing this also exposes the parallel gender strictures at work behind seemingly opposed central (Spanish) and peripheral (Galician) national projects.