"The pazos de Ulloa" by Emilia Pardo Bazán

Yesterday we reminded you of this wonderful writer, Emilia Pardo Bazán. We brought you a little of his life and work, both briefly summarized, and we left you ten of his most famous phrases. Today, we want to analyze, also in a brief and entertaining way, one of his most famous novels: "The pazos de Ulloa".

If you want to know what this book is about and read a short excerpt from it, have coffee or tea and enjoy this article with us.

"The pazos de Ulloa" (1886)

This book written in 1886 describes the story of Don Pedro Moscoso, Marquis of Ulloa, who lives isolated in the brutalized environment of his pazos, the domain of his own servants. With Sabel, daughter of his servant Primitivo, the marquis has a bastard descendant, whom they call Perucho. When Julián, the new chaplain, arrives at the pazo, he insists the marquis to find a suitable wife, so he marries his cousin Nucha, which will not prevent him from succumbing to the illicit love of his servant.

In this fragment that we put below, we can see the interest in the sordid, typical of Naturalism (derivation of Realism) of the time:

«The pupils of the angelfish were sparkling; his cheeks fired, and he dilated the classic little nose with the innocent lust of Bacchus as a child. The abbot, winking mischievously with his left eye, spilled another glass at him, which he took with two hands and drank without losing a drop; he immediately burst out laughing; and, before ending the roll of his bacchic laugh, he dropped his head, very discolored, on the marquis's chest.

-Do you see it? cried Julian in anguish. He's too small to drink like that, and he's going to get sick. These things are not for creatures.

-Bah! Primitivo intervened. Do you think that the raptor cannot with what he has inside? With that and with the same! And if you will not see.


-How's it going? Primitivo asked him. Are you in the mood for another toasting penny?

Perucho turned to the bottle and then, as if instinctively, he shook his head no, shaking the thick sheepskin from his curls. He was not a Primitive man to give up so easily: he buried his hand in his trouser pocket and pulled out a copper coin.

"That way…" grumbled the abbot.

"Don't be a barbarian, Primitivo," the marquis murmured between pleasant and grave.

- By God and by the Virgin! Julian implored. They are going to kill that creature! Man, do not insist on getting the child drunk: it is a sin, a sin as great as any other. You can't witness certain things!

Primitivo, standing up too, but without letting go of Perucho, looked at the chaplain coldly and slyly, with the disdain of the tenacious for whom they exalt themselves for a moment. And putting the copper coin into the child's hand and the uncovered and still poured bottle of wine between his lips, he tilted it, kept it that way until all the liquor passed into Perucho's stomach. With the bottle removed, the boy's eyes closed, his arms slackened, and no longer discolored, but with the pallor of death on his face, he would have fallen round on the table, if Primitivo had not supported him ».

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