Book Reviews273 pervasive skepticism takes an idealistic turn in the end. Even an appended idealism is missing from Juan Vulgar (1885), whose satire is directed largely at the Spanish educational system. El enemigo (1887), set during the second Carlist War, intensifies the spirit of disillusionment ofthe earlier novels. The target here is religious fanaticism masquerading as spirituality; the politics (and the rhetoric) of devotion bring tragedy to a bourgeois family torn apart by the agents of faith. La hijastra del amor (1884) initiates a series of narratives devoted to the heroine as victim. Picón depicts a deterministic universe in which the protagonist's fate is inseparable from her social status and from economic reality, yet the female characters are freely, often destructively, passionate. After suffering abuse in a loveless marriage, the protagonist of La honrada (1890) is united with another man in a somewhat nebulous state ofcontentment. Dulce y sabrosa (1891), Picon's most successful novel, traces a process of dishonor and reconquest on the part of Cristeta Moreruela, whose amorous prize is (Don) Juan de Todellas, the man who had seduced and abandoned her. The pseudoautobiographical Juanita Tenorio (1910) follows the heroine through a number of ill-fated liaisons leading
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature – Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
Published: Jan 6, 1987
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