The South: And, Bene
The South and Bene are poignant and haunting first-person narratives, each delving into the consciousness of a young girl in the context of post?civil war Spain. In The South, the adult narrator?s visit to her childhood home and to the grave of her father, who committed suicide, evokes memories that constitute both a confession and a struggle to come to terms with the tragic death. The circular structure of the narrative leaves the reader with a painful sense of loss, yet Adriana?s promise to abandon forever her childhood home may allow her finally to come to terms with the past and begin a new life.
Bene exudes an aura of the supernatural. The memories of this narrative revolve around the family maid, Bene, a gypsy with a terrible secret. Intense emotions and Gothic elements characterize this novella, but the limitations of the child?s consciousness result in a haunting ambiguity. Is Bene the embodiment of evil or a victim of prejudice? Suggestions of diabolic possession and incest create an eerie atmosphere in which the line between fantasy and reality is blurred.
An important voice in contemporary Spanish literature, Adelaida Garc a Morales was born in Badajoz and raised in Seville. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a teacher, translator, model, and actress. She has published six other novels.
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