Spanish Film & Literature Workshops: La casa de los espíritus
The Spanish language has great literary works that have gained universal recognition. If you are thinking of delving into the study of Spanish, knowing these titles will prove very useful to you.🤓
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In today’s article we are going to tell you a little bit about La casa de los espíritus. This magical and well-known novel is an excellent start in the study of Spanish.😁
Let’s read this book by Isabel Allende together and deepen your Spanish language skills. 🙌
La casa de los espíritus
La casa de los espíritus, published in 1982, is the first novel by the renowned Chilean writer Isabel Allende. She is considered one of the great exponents of magical realism in Latin America.
Its pages narrate a family saga, but they focus mainly on the story of two women: Alba de Satigny and Clara del Valle.
The story begins with Clara and the day she receives her pet, a dog named Barrabás. Clara’s hobby for recording the things that happen to her in a diary will be fundamental to reconstruct her story later on.
The del Valle family is introduced to us during a mass in the church. The gentlemen, Severo and Nívea, have their eleven children listening to the pastor’s sermon. At that moment, Clara says a curse word in front of everyone present and from then on they assume that she is possessed by the devil himself.
Clara’s supernatural abilities, such as moving objects with the power of her mind and foretelling the future, will help to establish the belief of her demonic possession.
Shortly thereafter, Clara’s beloved uncle Marcos dies. His death greatly affects our young protagonist, who finds solace in the affection of her new pet and in the magic books that Uncle Marcos leaves the family as an inheritance.
Esteban Trueba is a businessman who plans to marry the most beautiful daughter of the del Valle family: Rosa, the beautiful. However, the young Rosa dies a mysterious death, and this fact traumatizes her sister Clara to the point of taking away her speech for the next nine years.
Time passes and Clara becomes a beautiful but strange young woman. However, Esteban manages to marry her, and their marriage will face numerous difficulties that will affect Clara’s life forever.
Clara’s first daughter, Blanca, is also an important character, as she will serve as a link between the two most important women in the novel. In fact, Blanca will later give birth to Alba, who will have a happy childhood surrounded by the colorful characters of the family.
However, little Alba will experience a traumatic event when Esteban Garcia, an unknown grandson of Esteban Trueba, tries to rape and strangle her in the family library.
Clara dies and it seems that the family home enters a period of decadence. Despite multiple marital problems, Esteban Trueba seems to feel real grief over the death of his wife.
Alba reaches adolescence and falls in love with a young man named Miguel. He is a revolutionary who is the antipode of the conservative party to which Alba’s family belongs. Of course, she hides this information from him so as not to see the love story they are building together truncated.
The novel delves into political intrigue when, after an important election, the socialist party takes power, which upsets Senator Esteban Trueba’s plans. Trueba himself will try to destabilize this new government and will seek a coup d’état.
Violence and chaos seem to take over public and family life, which will drag Alba to an unhappy moment when she is imprisoned, tortured and raped by Esteban Garcia, the same man who had abused her as a child.
When Alba manages to escape and time heals her wounds, she decides to write her story as a way to end the cycle of violence in which she has been involved. The story she writes will save the family memory and give her the peace she so desperately seeks, along with her beloved Miguel and the daughter they are expecting.
La casa de los espíritus is a beautiful novel where history, realism and magic blend in a complex family story told in chronological disorder and with great poetic sensitivity.
Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American author born in Lima, Peru, in 1942.
Her parents soon divorced and she went to live in Chile, where she grew up and lived important experiences from her youth.
Like many Chileans, during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet she went into exile. In this particular case, she lived in Venezuela.
With La casa de los espíritus, published in 1982, she debuted as a novelist. This work received a resounding success in sales and also in the specialized critics. In fact, her style has been compared to the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez.
She has written numerous novels: Eva Luna, De amor y de sombra, Paula and La isla bajo el mar, among many others.
On the other hand, she has received important awards for her literary work. Allende has received, among others, the National Literature Prize of Chile and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Several of her books have been made into films. We highlight the 1993 film version of La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits). It stars Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons and Winona Ryder.
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Alejandro Coita Sánchez
Spanish Express Blogger