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Dendle (61-63) analyzes the excesses of all four principal characters in the novel as a form of madness. Regarding the image of Spain in the first series, Bly states that Galdós wished to remind readers «that beside collective greatness there stands the spectre of individual weaknesses» (122). For more on the relationship between the early Episodios and contemporary Spanish society, see Hinterhäuser, Chapter 3, «Los Episodios nacionales como medio de educación política» (132-222); Dendle, Chapter 5, «The Episodios, 1873-1879: Ideology and Novelistic Practice» (128-57); and Ribbans, Chapter 1, «Galdós's Contemporary Novels and Episodios nacionales» (37-75).



«es uno de estos hombres que han llegado a perder la normalidad de la fisonomía, y con ella, la inscripción aproximada de la edad. ¿Hállase en el punto central de la vida o en miserable decrepitud?» (4: 966).



En el episodio nacional Benigno Cordero no tiene una hija con el nombre de Isabel. Al integrar a una hija suya en la novela contemporánea, Galdós cambió el nombre de modo significativo al de la reina, Isabel II.



See Wallace (362), Starkie (117), Pérez Minik (101), Carney (332-33), González López (459), Guerrero Zamora (232), Ruiz Ramón (477), Sobejano, («Razón» 39, 52), Goenaga and Maguna (440), Casalduero, («El teatro» 519), Sackett, («Galdós dramaturgo»), Lida (279), Berenguer (328), and Menéndez Onrubia, («El olvidado» 246). The secondary literature on Galdós is vast, but it would be irresponsible to follow Hinterhäuser's advice (284) and simply «push it aside» («beiseite schieben»). The above references and the ones that follow, by no means exhaustive, are those that have had the greatest bearing on the present study. For further references on Galdosian theatre, see Sackett's indispensable Galdós y las máscaras, an exhaustive (except for unpublished PhD theses) annotated bibliography that is complete through 1979.



The letter was written in response to a tribute to Echegaray organized by the Spanish press in 1905, the year after he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. According to Brown (111), the signers included Unamuno, Darío, Azorín, Baroja, Valle-Inclán, Antonio and Manuel Machado, Maeztu, and Grau. Speaking for the group, Azorín offers a penetrating and virulent critique of Echegaray's drama in viewing its ideology as complicitous with the nefarious values of the restored Bourbon monarchy: «Y este lirismo, esta exaltación, esta inconsciencia (que envía millares y millares de hombres a la muerte en las colonias, o que sobre las tablas escénicas produce bárbaros y absurdos asesinatos), todo esto es lo que encontramos en la obra del señor Echegaray. Y precisamente esta exaltación y este lirismo es lo que se pretende conmemorar ahora, cuando ha pasado el desastre, cuando vamos abriendo los ojos a la experiencia dolorosa, cuando vamos conviniendo todos en que no es la exaltación loca, audaz y grandilocuente de nuestra persona lo que nos ha de salvar, sino la reflexión fría, sencilla, la renuncia a todo lirismo, la observación minuciosa, exacta, prosaica de la realidad cotidiana [...]» (quoted in Sobejano [«Razón» 46-47]).



Drama was actually Galdós's earliest literary venture, although none of the pieces that he wrote in his youth ever made it to the stage. Of the eight plays from the 1890s, Sackett qualifies three (Realidad, [1892], La de San Quintín, [1894], and Doña Perfecta, [1896]) as outright successes based on contemporary critical response. Two others (Voluntad [1895], and La fiera, [18961] he calls «éxitos dudosos». The remaining three (La loca de la casa, [1893], Gerona, [1893], and Los condenados, [1894]) receive the label of failures (Galdós y las máscaras xiv).



On the contemporary circumstances and repercussions of Electra, see, in addition to Fox (who reprints an important article of Maeztu's, first published by Beser), Berkowitz, («Apotheosis»), Blanquat, Regalado García (340-44), Elizalde (who relies heavily on Fox), Litvak, and Catena. Contemporary reviews in the Spanish press are summarized by Sackett (Galdós y las máscaras 136-202). Two interesting foreign perspectives from the period are those offered by Mérimée (195-96) and Ellis. Finally, Díez-Canedo (87-89) provides a fascinating view of one of the many revivals of Electra.



There are five tragedies of classical antiquity in which the heroine, Electra, plays a prominent role: Aeschylus's Libation-Bearers (the second play in the Oresteia trilogy), Sophocles's Electra, Euripides's Electra and Orestes, and Seneca's Agamemnon. For a concise summary of the bloody myth of the house of Pelops and its dramatic manifestations, see Rose (247); Graves provides a much more extensive account (25-84). Berkowitz's inventory of Galdós's library lists French translations of Aeschylus and of Sophocles's Electra (La biblioteca 186-87) as well as a Spanish edition of Seneca's tragedies in Latin (195). Nothing by Euripides is catalogued, but, as Berkowitz notes, «Es muy fácil que estas colecciones sean incompletas y que falten muchas obras de verdadero valor» (11-12). Even if Galdós never owned copies of Euripides's works, he could have borrowed copies or read them elsewhere. He himself reveals an intimate knowledge of Euripides's Alcestis (see note 8 below), and based on the analysis that follows, it seems highly probable that he also read Electra and Orestes.



See Carney (310), Goenaga and Maguna (423), Catena (95-96), Gountiñas (470), Menéndez Onrubia (Introducción 187), Hinterhäuser (280).



See Morley (xxxv), Guerrero Zamora (237), Casalduero (Vida 148), Rubio (63). A notable exception is Finkenthal, who devotes several pages (136-38) to the issue. Even so, he limits his observations to surface similarities between Galdós's play and Euripides's Electra, such as the critique of contemporary events and the relation between justice and religion. He either does not notice or prefers not to discuss the fundamental similarities of plot and character that the following analysis proposes between Galdós's work and the quintet of classical tragedies on the subject. Similarly, Sackett's archetypal approach, while it might promise to reveal just such similarities, yields only one parallel between the ancient and Spanish heroines: «por primera y única vez en el drama, Electra presenta características de su arquetipo griego, la Electra indignada por las calumnias, al protestar de los ataques de Pantoja contra la reputación de su madre» («Electra» 480).