Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Departures from Nuptial Bliss: Conflicting Mobilities of Modern Marriage in Pardo Bazán's Un viaje de novios

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2013), 90, (4), 443–458.

Abstract

This article examines Emilia Pardo Bazán's novel Un viaje de novios (1881) as a critical reflection on the adoption of ‘modern’ marriage practices and their disruption of the prevailing gendered organization of space in late nineteenth-century Spain. As a foreign custom, the wedding trip emerged in association with ‘affective marriage’, which conflicted with the frequent intervention of the family and strict control on women's mobility within Spanish society. Furthermore, with its displacement and its erosion of boundaries between private and public, the wedding trip represents a liminal period within the rite of marriage that transgresses the spatial divisions and the conventions of female mobility of Western bourgeois respectability. Un viaje de novios underscores the incongruity between modern rituals like the bridal tours and an obsolete gender normativity, a contradiction paradigmatic of the coexistence of discourses of traditionalism with practices - and desires - of modernization in Pardo Bazán's Spain.

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Arbaiza, Diana