Galdós rekindles his value

The year 2020 will mark one hundred years since the death of the greatest Spanish novelist after Cervantes. An exhibition and a biography precede the commemorations of the narrator and playwright.

It will soon be 100 years ago. At dawn on January 4, 1920, Benito Pérez Galdós died at his home on Hilarión Eslava Street in Madrid. He was 76 years old and nearly blind, forced to dictate his last works. His only daughter Maria was at his side, for whom he was always a single father.

Despite the absence of an official Spain - "cold, dry, formal," Ortega and Gasset wrote - 30,000 people attended his funeral. In July of the same year, Valle-Inclán began publishing “Luces de bohemia” (Bohemian Lights) in installments, which opened up a new theatrical genre: the grotesque. In one of the scenes, the character Dorio de Gádex, “an epigone of the modern Parnassus”, says that the seat of “Don Benito el garbancero” (Benito the Rude) remains vacant in the RAE. Few labels have been so fortunate in the history of Spanish literature. Deep down, Galdós had reluctantly arrived at that seat (the H).

His candidacy was torpedoed by the conservative wing of the Academy, headed by Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, until the judgment of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo and José María Pereda, friends of the novelist, was imposed.

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