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Allison, G.H. Ullman, J.C. (1974). The Intuitive Psychoanalytic Perspective of Galdós in Fortunata and Jacinta. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:333-343.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:333-343

The Intuitive Psychoanalytic Perspective of Galdós in Fortunata and Jacinta

George H. Allison and Joan Connelly Ullman


Beginning with the text of this great novel, Fortunata and Jacinta, and singling out for study the developing tragedy of Maximiliano, we began our focus with one aspect of Galdós' creativity: his knowledge of psychosis. In the course of our research, we found that Galdós displays a unique 'Freudian' clinical psychiatric acumen that is woven into the fabric of his novels, which has been noted before by Garma and by non-psychoanalytic authors. Galdós' descriptions of delusions, hallucinations, fantasies and dreams are clinically valid and deeply moving. He demonstrates in his novels an unconscious knowledge of 'the laws, rules and dimensions of the unconscious roots of human behaviour' (Barchilon, 1971). For Galdós, writes Gullón (1960), 'to dream is not to separate oneself from life but to enter it through another door, by means of a shadowy chamber, illuminated for one instant by the ray of light of the dreamer'.

Galdós' portrayal of Maximiliano stands by itself as a major literary creation. Within the structure of the great novel, Maximiliano's gradual retreat from reality adds a major dimension for it both logically develops out of, and contributes to, the plot. It is, in short, a beautifully drawn and at times profoundly poetic characterization of a human being locked in the classic struggle against inner and outer forces he is not able to control. The psychological veracity of this characterization and the clinical validity of the 'case history' are worthy of special note, as are other psychiatric and psychoanalytically astute characterizations in his novels.

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