Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tercera entrada sobre Mirall Trencat

Per causes tècniques fora del nostre control, poso aquesta entrada per en Bill:

You will all excuse both my lagging behind for so long in posting on the novel and also the lack of coherence to the entry. My thoughts haven't quite come together to form a logical narrative, so I hope you can look past the scattered nature of the post. The epigraphs that precede the start of each chapter leads me to believe that in addition to portraying a story, Rodoreda is also meditating on novelistic form. My thought is that this isn't a novel as a strictly objective mirror of reality, or, more precisely, of the decline of a bourgeoisie family at a particular date in Barcelona. The narration of this work always passes through subjectivity, and this logically "trenca el mirall". In that sense, it is not a strictly traditional realism at stake here. One scene I point to is at the beginning of the work, the scene with Armanda and the mirror. This dynamic seems to, pardon my expression, mirror the style of the novel. This accumulation of objects reflects how the very novel is a slow aggregation of objects (a fact that acquires a symbolism all it's own, as I see the different objects found in the well as something signifying the mechanics of memory as a sort of reaching into an abyss). The different objects in the novel also slowly acquire other representations, such as the representation of death and other edifices--like the house itself--portrays the limited urban geography of the high class status of the family, the Valldaura. I might add that the metaphor of a ruined, detritus-filled house is repeated as an image of Spain in novels written by authors such as Juan Benet (though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to make a Heideggerian assessment here on language and Being, though it might be fruitful).

A quick concluding thought is the relationship of a novel of objects with the remarks that Rodoreda makes in the prologue. Novels too are an accumulation of things--or, words--and some types of novels are constructed by one having to "anar traient d'un pou sense fons" (10). As a Catalan writer in exile, Rodoreda herself is digging deep into a linguistic labyrinth of secluded and buried cultural artifacts and arranging them in such a manner so as to obliquely relate the tragedy of post-Franco Catalunya through the story of this obsolete and dying family. As a final image, think of the overgrown and uncared for garden. This is the image of a country that has experienced poor and neglectful stewardship.

1 comment:

Zach said...

Estic d'acord que el mirall és el més important de la novel·la. Aquesta observació que no és realisme normal també em sembla correcte. Potser que l'espaï que ocupa els trossos diferents és part de l'experiència de llegir el llibre també. Aquest ritme ràpid i desorientant també suggereix el mon de Barcelona després de la guerra