One had no alternative but to call him Don Lope. Some of the measures he takes to hang onto the shadow of his vigour are laughable. The age of this excellent gentleman, in terms of the figure he gave whenever the subject came up, was a number as impossible to verify as the time on a broken clock, whose hands refuse to move. He had stuck fast at forty-nine, as if an instinctive terror of the number fifty had halted him on the much feared boundary of the half century. A section of the novel takes the form of an epistolary as mushy love letters pass back and forth between Tristana and Horacio.
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One had no alternative but to call him Don Lope. Some of the measures he takes to hang onto the shadow of his vigour are laughable. The age of this excellent gentleman, in terms of the figure he gave whenever the subject came up, was a number as impossible to verify as the time on a broken clock, whose hands refuse to move.
He had stuck fast at forty-nine, as if an instinctive terror of the number fifty had halted him on the much feared boundary of the half century. A section of the novel takes the form of an epistolary as mushy love letters pass back and forth between Tristana and Horacio. Tristana and Don Lope eventually become almost caricatures of themselves while Horacio, always a lesser player in the game, does not.
In this parable of power, self-deceit and ego, who will emerge the victor? And what will victory look like? I must read this novel, someday. Fortunata and Jacinta was excellent in many ways, but exhausting. This is easier to handle. I think this is the first translation, so cheers to NYRB. A fascinating novel certain to spark many different reactions.
Tremendous stuff, Guy. Another reason to add Tristana to the wishlist. Her Javier Marias translations are wonderful. I hope i can find it. A nice review. It has definitely become a favorite of mine. There was, but it was published by Edward Mellen Press, so usually only available in college libraries.
Sometimes I even wonder if those writing have read the book. I usually enjoy books with slippery characters and this one seems particularly well crafted. For some reasons I have the feeling there is a movie. Could that be? Another NYRB winner. Yes Caroline, you are right. Anyway, nicely done! Thanks Richard. The book is slyly funny and very generous to its characters, but the film is … well.. This sounds absolutely great, slippery yet well written.
I love that first quote about the rooms too. Great book- he is a very funny writer! Rey was perfect as Don Lope, you must admit!
A terrific book and a terrific review of it. I also appreciated it as a novel that delved into the conditions necessary for creativity, and the various obstacles to fulfillment of promise. There is a one-volume translation of it done in , and I recommend it highly. He is a scaldingly funny guy. It is, it is fun!! The fact that the character is named Torquemada is just an additional little joke….
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Sign me up! His Futile Preoccupations ….. Skip to content. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Share this: Share Twitter. December 6, at pm. Guy Savage. December 7, at am. Brian Joseph. I always like it when an author takes characters away from the cliched and the expected.
Don Lope Garrido sounds like a lot of real life people who control and manipulate others. December 8, at am. December 7, at pm. Of course. December 8, at pm. Max Cairnduff. December 10, at am. Definite TBR material. Nice find Guy. Have you seen the film? December 10, at pm. December 20, at am. Scott W. January 3, at pm. January 4, at am. January 19, at pm.
Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós (tr. Margaret Jull Costa)
At fifty-seven although he thinks of himself as perpetually aged forty-nine , Don Lope still cuts a dashing figure with his noble face, slim figure and his distinguished goatee beard. He dressed as smartly and impeccably as his slender means permitted: a well-buffed top hat, a good-quality winter cape, dark gloves at every season of the year, an elegant cane in summer, and suits more appropriate to youth than to maturity. Don Lope Garrido — just to whet your appetite — was a skilled strategist in the war of love and prided himself on having stormed more bastions of virtue and captured more strongholds of chastity than he had hairs on his head. Living with Don Lope are two women: his maid, Saturna, and a twenty-one-year-old girl named Tristana. Various theories are bandied about ranging from daughter to niece to wife. In accordance with the fusty old dogma of a knight sedentary, Don Lope accepted neither guilt nor responsibility when it came to anything involving the ladies. While he would never have courted the wife, spouse, or mistress of a close friend, he considered that, otherwise, everything was permitted in matters of love.
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Our Assessment: A- : unusual period-piece. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. The complete review 's Review :. Tristana begins with Don Lope, a Lothario now past his prime, vainly still admitting only to being forty-nine even as he has by now reached his late fifties.