Galdós e la borghesia. La «pícara idea» di Torquemada

Antonio Gargano


Focusing on Francisco de Torquemada, one of the most interesting characters created by Benito Pérez Galdós, this essay aims to illustrate the transformations of the Spanish society in the late nineteenth century, with particular reference to the failure of bourgeois ideology. Within the tetralogy dedicated to the famous character, this study points out the progressively social and economic rise of the usurer and, at the same time, it em­phasizes his continuous mixing up the dimensions at the opposite extremes of human reality: spirituality and materialism. In the last scene, the process reaches its climax in a sort of reduction of the incompatible duo in a single term, “conversion”, denouncing the new nature of the middle class. Torquemada’s “confusion” epitomizes a national deformity that reveals Spanish marginalization within the nineteenth-century world system.

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