«Date:_ Approved: _ Stephanie Sieburth, Supervisor _ Margaret Greer _ Richard Rosa _ Joyce Tolliver Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of ...»
Uneven Modernities, Uneven Masculinities: Manliness and the
Galician Hinterland in the Novels of Emilia Pardo Bazán (1882-1896)
Zachary Thomas Erwin
Department of Romance Studies
Stephanie Sieburth, Supervisor
Joyce Tolliver Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Romance Studies in the Graduate School of Duke University 2010 i v
ABSTRACTUneven Modernities, Uneven Masculinities: Manliness and the Galician Hinterland in the Novels of Emilia Pardo Bazán (1882-1896) by Zachary Thomas Erwin Department of Romance Studies Duke University Date:_______________________
Stephanie Sieburth, Supervisor ___________________________
Margaret Greer ___________________________
Richard Rosa ___________________________
Joyce Tolliver An
of a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Romance Studies in the Graduate School of Duke University 2010 Copyright by Zachary Thomas Erwin 2010 Abstract The late-nineteenth-century realist canon in Spain is filled with male characters who are physically weak, effeminate, ineffectual, infantilized, or impotent, and, thus, decidedly “unmanly,” which indicates a collective societal anxiety about masculinity in Spain at the end of the nineteenth century. I argue that this anxiety about masculinity stems from another societal worry about Spain’s backwardness with respect to its more modern European neighbors and the uneven rate of modernization with its own borders.
I explore these issues in four novels by Galician-born realist author Emilia Pardo Bazán:
La Tribuna (1882), Los Pazos de Ulloa (1886), La Madre Naturaleza (1887), and Memorias de un solterón (1896). I analyze these texts in light of historical and theoretical work on post-Enlightenment masculinity by scholars, such as George Mosse, John Tosh, Christopher Forth, and R. W. Connell.
In the first chapter, I trace the development of the post-Enlightenment, Western, model of manliness, a primarily urban, bourgeois phenomenon, which privileged rational intellect and individual hard work. I then compare the pace and extent of modernization in Spain and England to show how Spain lacked the material conditions that would allow most Spanish men to embody modern masculinity in the late nineteenth century. For the remaining chapters, I turn my attention to Los Pazos de Ulloa, La Madre Naturaleza, and Memorias de un solterón. Each of these novels shows, in different ways, how the modern masculine ideal coexists and conflicts with other pre-Enlightenment models of manliness—based on aristocratic leisure, military prowess, or brute force. I argue that
of masculinities, which in turn reflects Spain’s economic stagnation in the nineteenth century. In Chapter II, I show how the refusal of the rural, Galician aristocracy to embrace certain hallmarks of the modern masculine ideal, such as hard work and Enlightenment thought, leads to a destabilization of feudal hierarchies in Los Pazos de Ulloa. I then argue that this destabilization results in the pervasiveness of violence in the novel. Chapter III focuses on La Madre Naturaleza. I contend that its narrator recognizes that change must come to rural Galicia and, thus, makes a gesture toward reconciling traditional and modern values, as well as pre-Enlightenment and postEnlightenment models of masculinity. I then show how this reconciliation ultimately fails because the narrator condemns the social mobility upon which modernization and modern masculinity depend. In Chapter IV, I discuss the importance of marriage and fatherhood to the enactment of modern masculinity in Memorias de un solterón. I then illustrate how, in the Galician provincial capital in which the novel is set, social and economic conditions make life as a bourgeois husband and father undesirable at best, and ruinous at worst.
“Manly” Literature and “Unmanly” Characters
Masculinity Studies and the Spanish Realist Novel
Masculinity in Theory
Uneven Modernity, Colliding Masculinities, and Pardo Bazán’s Novels
I. The Struggle for Modern Masculinity in Nineteenth-Century Spain
Two “Typical” Men
Post-Enlightenment Gender Difference and the Modern Masculine Stereotype
Unmanly Men, Unmanly Nation
Modern Bourgeois Masculinity in England: A Script Enacted Elsewhere
The Persistence of the Old Regime in Spain
The Modern Masculine Ideal and the Anxieties of the Spanish Realist Novel
II: The Violence of Competing Masculinities in Los Pazos de Ulloa
Feminine Weakness and Masculine Violence
Violence, Civilization, and the Breakdown of the Social Order
Los Pazos in Context: Revolution and Inertia
The Galician Rural Economy: Decadence and Resistance to Innovation
“Medieval” Galicia and Gentry Masculinity
Gentry Masculinity and Narratorial Critique
The Limioso Estate: A Cautionary Tale
Violence, Cacique Masculinity, and the Absence of Power
Julián Álvarez and the Achievement of “Real” Manhood
III. The Old, the New, and the Irreconcilable in La Madre Naturaleza.................. 106 One Setting, Two Worlds
Nature and Culture, Naturalism and Romanticism
Caught Between the Old Spain and the New
Mental Disorders and Collective Anxieties
The Soldier, the Scholar, the Dreamer: Competing Masculinities and Feminization........... 127 The Past that will “Save” the Future
Class, Manliness, and Narratorial Conservatism
“Perfect” Masculinity: The Reconciliation of the Old and the New?
IV: Competing Masculinities and Escapism in Memorias de un solterón............... 151 Memorias that are not Memoirs and the “Confirmed” Bachelor that Marries
Feíta and Mauro: La mujer nueva and the “New, Bourgeois Man”?
Egotism and Economics; Fashion, Feminization, and Freedom
Money and Marriage
Reading the Romance: Courtship and Literature as Escape
Benicio Neira: Financial Troubles and the Crossing of Class Lines
Ramón Sobrado and Modern Masculinity
The Mauro-Feíta-Ramón Love Triangle: Manliness as Competition
Writing the Romance: The Narrative Shift and Neira’s Manly Act
A Spurious Victory for the Modern Masculine Ideal
Masculinity, Uneven Modernization, and Hard Work
I must express my deepest thanks to all the members of my dissertation committee for their generosity and dedication to this project. During my career as a graduate student, I have heard many Ph.D. candidates from different universities and departments lament their committees’ lack of attention, unhelpful advice, or bristling personalities. Such comments have only highlighted for me how lucky I have been to have, as my committee, Stephanie Sieburth, Margaret Greer, Joyce Tolliver, and Richard Rosa. For me, Stephanie, the indefatigable chair of the committee, has worn many hats— teacher, boss, mentor, editor, and friend—and worn them all with equal grace. I could not imagine a better thesis adviser. Words could never adequately express my appreciation for all that she has done for me and for my professional development. Meg Greer, my other principal mentor at Duke, shows that it is possible to be a great scholar, a skillful and devoted teacher, and a genuinely kind and humble person. How fortunate I have been to have her as a role model. I asked Joyce Tolliver and Richard Rosa to participate on my committee based on their excellent scholarly work. I knew they would bring their considerable knowledge and careful readings to bear on this project. I did not know then, however, what a real pleasure it would be to know and work with both of them.
In the early stages of this dissertation, I participated in the “Navigating Modernity from Its Margins” working group (NaMoMa), along with Virginie Pouzet-Duzer, Annie Blazer, Rebecca Ingram, and Heather Mallory. The examples set by each of their
significant impact on the final result.
As both a Duke graduate student and a Pardo Bazán scholar, I have followed in Rebecca Ingram’s footsteps. A fellow member of the Emory class of 2000, she got to Duke a couple of years before I did. And as I began my dissertation, her own thesis, which includes fascinating chapters on Pardo Bazán’s cookbooks, was well underway.
Over the years, Rebecca has often given me practical advice on surviving graduate studies and the job market. She has also been a valuable source of bibliography and ideas for this dissertation. I very much look forward to a continuing dialog on Pardo Bazán’s oeuvre with her in the future.
Many people in Durham and Chapel Hill have contributed to this dissertation, either by providing administrative support, by listening to my thoughts and offering their own points of view, by suggesting readings with which I was not familiar, or simply by offering friendship and diversion throughout the planning and writing process. They include Roberto Dainotto, Denise Wilborn, Sandra Valnes-Quamen, Stephen Shepherd, Nathan Hensley, Scott Kushner, George Lam, Bart Scott, Harry Thomas, Lesley Curtis, Joanna Barros, Dan Ellison, and Jim Dean. Special thanks go to Anne O’Neil-Henry and Heather Mallory. Both Anne and Heather gave insightful feedback on portions of the dissertation, served as valued friends and interlocutors throughout its elaboration, and even put a roof over my head during my return visits to Durham once I had moved away.
past several years.
I wrote most of this dissertation in my adopted hometown, Atlanta. I am very grateful to all my friends there for making my life outside of work so enjoyable. Among them was my former colleague and dear friend, Jane Webster. I am also especially indebted to one of my oldest and closest friends, Matthew Hicks, whose humor and wisdom have been priceless to me over the past thirteen years. As I toiled away on this dissertation, Matt was always there when I needed a distraction from writing. But he never hesitated to tell me when it was time to get back to work. I must also mention Amy Watve. Since our undergraduate days, she has always made my interests her own. While Amy was far away while I worked on this dissertation, she was always with me in spirit—willing to pass on an article that might be relevant to my work or talk about nineteenth-century masculinities during a late-night, transatlantic phone call.
I presented versions of Chapters I and IV at the “Masking and Umasking” Romance Studies graduate student conference at Duke in 2008 and the annual Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies conference at the University of Texas in
2010. I am grateful to the organizers of these conferences for the chance to share my work, and to my fellow conference participants for their insightful remarks. I also had the great fortune to attend the Congreso Internacional Emilia Pardo Bazán in A Coruña in
2008. I thank the participants, especially Joyce Tolliver, Carmen Pereira-Muro, Maryellen Bieder, and Hazel Gold, for including me in many lively and enjoyable
with respect to my own project, as well. The same is true for Harriet Turner, with whom I had the pleasure of talking at the 2009 Modern Language Association convention in Philadelphia.
In 2008, I did research at the Biblioteca da Real Academia Galega and Emilia Pardo Bazán’s personal archive in A Coruña, thanks to a generous travel grant from Duke’s European Studies Program. I am grateful to all the personnel at the Real Academia Galega for going above and beyond the call of duty to help me in my research.
As I worked on this dissertation, my family was a constant source of love and support, just as they have always been. My mother, Patsy Erwin, listened patiently to my frustrations and offered encouragement when I needed it. But she also took the time to read several Pardo Bazán novels in translation and often served as a thoughtful sounding board for my ideas. My brother, Jonathan Erwin, read various iterations of Chapter I. I am most grateful for his keen copy editor’s eye, which ultimately strengthened the prose in the whole dissertation.
At its core, this project is largely about the relationship between manliness and hard work. For that reason, I dedicate it to my father, Walter Erwin, the hardest-working man I know.
“Manly” Literature and “Unmanly” Characters According to Andrés Zamora Juárez, the novel has long been considered a “manly” genre. He writes that “la virilidad se ha erigido a través de diferentes generaciones de escritores, a lo largo de escuelas y movimientos literarios, como uno de los valores supremos de la novela” (21). Moreover, he notes that the concept of virility was particularly significant with regard to the late-nineteenth-century Spanish realist novel: “el adjetivo ‘viril’ o cualquiera de sus sinónimos aparecen con una frecuencia más que contumaz en la reseñas, las críticas y los escritos teóricos del periodo realista” (21).