"The Violence of Competing Masculinities in Pardo Bazán's _Los Pazos de Ulloa_"
Tue, February 22, 2011 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM • BEN 2.104
Lecture by Zachary Erwin
Because late-nineteenth-century Spanish author Emilia Pardo Bazán was an avowed feminist, critics have often focused on her depictions of women and female identity. But her novels of the 1880s and 90s also show how the Western, bourgeois ideal of masculinity, which was based on rational intellect and individual hard work, coexisted and conflicted with Ancien-Regime models of manliness, which privileged aristocratic leisure, military prowess, or brute force. Moreover, as her novels illustrate, this clash of masculinities reflected Spain’s slow and uneven struggle for economic modernization in the nineteenth century. This talk will focus specifically on Pardo Bazán’s most famous novel, _Los Pazos de Ulloa_ (1886), whose narrator and other characters lament the decline of aristocratic masculinity, even as they advocate for certain aspects of modern, bourgeois manliness. The rural nobility’s refusal to embrace the hallmarks of modern masculinity destabilizes feudal hierarchies in _Los Pazos de Ulloa_, which, in turn, leads to the pervasiveness of brutishness and violence in the novel.