December 5, 2020

Literary chills for a tense and intense year end – La Provincia

Alba Editorial proposes for this end of the literary season some literary chills of many carats with good and disturbing readings: three novelties that guarantee tense and intense moments with a suggestive prose and full of strong emotions.

A real gem to start: Tales of witches by Victorian writers (1839-1920). Peter Haining part of the universe of witchcraft to link historical chronicles and legends with fictions of writers that today few remember but whose talent and fertile imagination deserves to rescue. Special attention to Eliza Lynn Linton, who rigorously and thoroughly studied the tradition of witchcraft in England and Scotland, as well as Jane Wilde in Ireland and Mary Lewes in Wales. To complete this unusual and little known vision, authors who wrote tales of witches in which the conflict between religion and science deepened, the status of the woman separated and harassed, the sexuality linked to those considered evil spirits, without forgetting the effects of intimidation and exploitation, the relationships between love and death, and the vision of Nature as a force laden with devastating impulses.

Let's get in position: Victorian society is an essentially masculine world focused on trade and imperial expansion. Send the rationalist order and dominate the hermetic and strict moral codes, which is not an obstacle for many men to enjoy a double life. And in those circumstances, interest in witchcraft fell primarily on women. Authors who deserve a claim without corsets or bluntness turn this book into a pleasant and surprising experience: narratives of a very different sign and condition come together in an inexhaustible imaginative party that surrenders to the fascination of witchcraft and offers an accurate portrait and eloquent of the Victorian woman: the recesses of her mentality and, above all, of her way of understanding and facing the worlds of shadows and the darkest magic.

The Gothic tales The great writer Elizabeth Gaskell is a work of an amazing modernity in forms and backgrounds of Gothic thickness. Its pages illuminate the darkness of unexplained disappearances, ghosts eager for revenge, knights and aristocrats who lead a double life of robbery and murder, curses that strike the descendants of the one who threw them, confinements in castles, persecutions without rest and tormented escapes … Ingredients that magnetized the interest of the extraordinary author of Victorian realism and that suggest Gaskell's intention to resort to fantasy as a creative escape route to everyday deeds and the social projection of her thematic preferences. Secrets that corrode the calm, hidden faults that come to light, uneasiness embalmed in the apparent normality of everyday life … Current and suffering families, heroines who face their condition as dependent on women in a society that squeezes and drowns. .. The torments exposed by Gaskell do not make it border its realistic desires, on the contrary: it powers them with their approach to gender in search of their deepest and disturbing roots. Tales like The witch Lois, which tells of Salem's famous witch hunt in 1692, or Curious, if true, in which a walker lost in a forest contemplates a strange gathering of fairytale characters, they thread with a remarkable sense of rhythm and literary evocation threads of humor and terror wisely dosed.

A stormy night in Switzerland

And to complete Alba's proposal, a book for the smallest readers: the biography that the collection Small & big dedicated to the writer Mary Shelley, mother of Frankenstein, one of the top works of the science fiction genre with terrifying resonances. María Isabel Sánchez Vegara writes the texts and Yelena Bryksenkova illustrates them. Mary Shelley, remember, was born in London during the Industrial Revolution. Major changes in the environment: factories called for passage, imposing their new laws and customs, ties and mentalities. His mother, an important feminist writer, died when he was only eleven days old and was educated by his father, the eccentric philosopher William Godwin. He fell in love with the poet Percy Shelley, with whom he escaped. During a stormy night in Switzerland that would go down in the history of Literature, a group of friends met with an entertainment purpose that would end up being a date with fear … and art.

Mary Shelley created Frankenstein after dreaming of a monster. When he woke up, he wrote about a being who came back to life thanks to an electric shock. And so, Shelley began her own revolution and illuminated a new and surprising literary path.

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