Imagining the nord

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”Cartas Finlandesas”: Women Pictures.


In the following Essay, I am going to deal with the women images showed by Angel Ganivet in his famous book ”Cartas Finlandesas”, from the point of view of the historical context in which emerged and lived the author. At the same time, it would be worth make a comparative approach with the nowadays thoughts on this issue, concerning howhave been changing over the years, and over the differences between the North and the South.
For this purpose, for starting, it seems to me interesting provide at this introduction a generals framework of the biography of Angel Ganivet and his “Cartas Finlandesas”.
Then, the following sections are dealing with the proper Finnish women images. On its First point in relation with the civilstatements. Secondly, aesthetic assessments, and finally the how Finnish women, concretely, had seen the Spanish society.
Everything treated as a comparison from north to south (spatial comparison), and either past to present (temporal comparison).
Taking into account the Angel Ganivet biography, we can assets that he was a Spanish essayist and novelist, one of the most important social philosophers inthe 1890s in Spain, member of the literature circle 'La Cuerda granadina'. Ganivet's committed suicide at the age of 32. In his doctoral dissertation Ganivet described Spain as a divided country where ideas are used as destructive political weapons - a view which already predicted the bitterness of the Spanish Civil War. Ganivet himself was a divided character: he was deeply religious but at thesame time a sceptic, a diplomat but known for his blunt openness. Central theme in his work was the spiritual regeneration of Spain.
Ángel Ganivet was born in Granada into a modest industrial family. His father committed suicide in 1875, leaving his wife, Angeles García de Lara y Siles to take care of their five children and to look after a mill and a bakery. However, the business prospered andshe managed to give the children the best possible education. Ganivet studied at the Institute of Granada (1880-85) and University of Granada, receiving degrees in the arts and law. In 1890 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Madrid. Ganivet worked in a library and taught Greece.
Fluent in five languages, Ganivet served with the Spanish consular service from 1892 in Antwerp (1892-96),Helsinki (1896-98), and Riga. Compared to his education and remarkable intelligence he had shown through his university studies, Ganivet's career started in relatively modest way. In Antwerpen Ganivet experienced an intellectual and spiritual crisis. Later the Finnish publisher and bookseller Wentzel Hagelstand wrote that Ganivet was least of all people a diplomat - he was open, unpretending, and didnot try to please.
From 1892 Ganivet had a liaison with Amelia Roldán Llanos, a Cuban; they had one son and a daughter, who died in infancy. During this relationship Ganivet fell is love with his neighbour, Marie 'Mascha' Djakoffsky, who gave lessons in languages. Amelia became so jealous that Mascha had to escape abroad - she died in 1934. In Finland Ganivet learned Swedish, the language of theelite although the majority of the population was Finnish-speaking - also the size of the Finnish-speaking educated class had expanded. However, Ganivet read Swedish newspapers and literature and gave French lessons. His major work, “IDEARUM ESPAÑOL”, appeared in 1896 and in 1896-97 he wrote “LA CONQUISTA DEL REINO DE MAYA”, depicting the conquest and colonial rule of an imaginary country, Maya,which was set in the East Africa.
Ganivet’s sisters moved to Finland in 1898 but he became more and more unsociable. After leaving Spain he did not have any close friends. In 1897-98 he wrote the partly autobiographical novel “LOS TRABAJOS DEL INFATIGABLE CREADOR PÍO CID”. "Cid" (Conqueror) refers to a man of action; "Pío" (Pious Man) to contemplation and discussion. Uniting these two sides, a...
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