La casa de los espiritus (The House of the Spirits)

( 83 )

Overview

Created by teachers and writers, each title in this series provides a complete and thoughtful analysis of several of the most valuable works of world literature. Intended as a starting point for a better understanding and appreciation of literature, each analysis also imparts information about the author, the social and historical background, structure and traditions of literary genres, facts about characters, and a bibliography to encourage ...

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Overview

Created by teachers and writers, each title in this series provides a complete and thoughtful analysis of several of the most valuable works of world literature. Intended as a starting point for a better understanding and appreciation of literature, each analysis also imparts information about the author, the social and historical background, structure and traditions of literary genres, facts about characters, and a bibliography to encourage further intellectual exploration.
 

Esta colección es una herramienta indispensable para el estudio y análisis de obras clásicas de la literatura universal. Los libros de formato agradable y presentación moderna ofrecen un análisis crítico, información sobre los personajes y los géneros literarios, una bibliografía, y un compendio de la obra en particular junto a un estudio del autor y su época.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060951306
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Language: Spanish
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 146,390
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of twelve works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young-adult novels, which have been translated into more than thirty-five languages with sales in excess of fifty-seven million copies. She is the author most recently of the bestsellers Maya's Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literary Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Biography

In Isabel Allende's books, human beings do not exist merely in the three-dimensional sense. They can exert themselves as memory, as destiny, as spirits without form, as fairy tales. Just as the more mystical elements of Allende's past have shaped her work, so has the hard-bitten reality. Working as a journalist in Chile, Allende was forced to flee the country with her family after her uncle, President Salvador Allende, was killed in a coup in 1973.

Out of letters to family back in Chile came the manuscript that was to become Allende's first novel. Her arrival on the publishing scene in 1985 with The House of the Spirits was instantly recognized as a literary event. The New York Times called it "a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present and future of Latin America."

To read a book by Allende is to believe in (or be persuaded of) the power of transcendence, spiritual and otherwise. Her characters are often what she calls "marginal," those who strive to live on the fringes of society. It may be someone like Of Love and Shadows 's Hipolito Ranquileo, who makes his living as a circus clown; or Eva Luna, a poor orphan who is the center of two Allende books (Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna).

Allende's characters have in common an inner fortitude that proves stronger than their adversity, and a sense of lineage that propels them both forward and backward. When you meet a central character in an Allende novel, be prepared to meet a few generations of his or her family. This multigenerational thread drives The House of the Spirits, the tale of the South American Trueba family. Not only did the novel draw Allende critical accolades (with such breathless raves as "spectacular," "astonishing" and "mesmerizing" from major reviewers), it landed her firmly in the magic realist tradition of predecessor (and acknowledged influence) Gabriel García Márquez. Some of its characters also reappeared in the historical novels Portrait in Sepia and Daughter of Fortune.

"It's strange that my work has been classified as magic realism," Allende has said, "because I see my novels as just being realistic literature." Indeed, much of what might be considered "magic" to others is real to Allende, who based the character Clara del Valle in The House of the Spirits on her own reputedly clairvoyant grandmother. And she has drawn as well upon the political violence that visited her life: Of Love and Shadows (1987) centers on a political crime in Chile, and other Allende books allude to the ideological divisions that affected the author so critically.

But all of her other work was "rehearsal," says Allende, for what she considers her most difficult and personal book. Paula is written for Allende's daughter, who died in 1992 after several months in a coma. Like Allende's fiction, it tells Paula's story through that of Allende's own and of her relatives. Allende again departed from fiction in Aphrodite, a book that pays homage to the romantic powers of food (complete with recipes for two such as "Reconciliation Soup"). The book's lighthearted subject matter had to have been a necessity for Allende, who could not write for nearly three years after the draining experience of writing Paula.

Whichever side of reality she is on, Allende's voice is unfailingly romantic and life-affirming, creating mystery even as she uncloaks it. Like a character in Of Love and Shadows, Allende tells "stories of her own invention whose aim [is] to ease suffering and make time pass more quickly," and she succeeds.

Good To Know

Allende has said that the character of Gregory Reeves in The Infinite Plan is based on her husband, Willie Gordon.

Allende begins all of her books on January 8, which she considers lucky because it was the day she began writing a letter to her dying grandfather that later became The House of the Spirits.

She began her career as a journalist, editing the magazine Paula and later contributing to the Venezuelan paper El Nacional.

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Read an Excerpt

CAPíTULO PRIMERO

ROSA, LA BELLA

Barrabállegó a la familia por vía marítima, anotó la niña Clara con su delicada caligrafía. Ya entonces tenía el hábito de escribir las cosas importantes y más tarde, cuando se quedó muda, escribía también las trivialidades, sin sospechar que cincuenta años después, sus cuadernos me servirían para rescatar la memoria del pasado y para sobrevivir a mi propio espanto. El día que llegó Barrabás era Jueves Santo. Venía en una jaula indigna, cubierto de sus propios excrementos y orines, con una mirada extraviada de preso miserable e indefenso, pero ya se adivinaba--por el porte real de su cabeza y el tamaño de su esqueleto-- el gigante legendario que llegó a ser. Aquél era un día aburrido y otoñal, que en nada presagiaba los acontecimientos que la niña escribió para que fueran recordados y que ocurneron durante la misa de doce, en la parroquia de San Sebastián, a la cual asistió con toda su familia. En señal de duelo, los santos estaban tapados con trapos morados, que las beatas desempolvaban anualmente del ropero de la sacristía, y bajo las sábanas de luto, la corte celestial parecía un amasijo de muebles esperando la mudanza, sin que las velas, el incienso o los gemidos del órgano, pudieran contrarrestar ese lamentable efecto. Se erguían amenazantes bultos oscuros en el lugar de los santos de cuerpo entero, con sus rostros idénticos de expresión constipada, sus elaboradas pelucas de cabello de muerto, sus rubíes, sus perlas, sus esmeraldas de vidrio pintado y sus vestuarios de nobles florentinos. El único favorecido con el luto era el patrono de la iglesia, san Sebastián, porque en Semana Santa leahorraba a los fieles el espectáculo de su cuerpo torcido en Una postura indecente, atravesado por media docena de flechas, chorreando sangre y lágrimas, como un homosexual sufriente, cuyas Ilagas, milagrosamente frescas gracias al pincel del padre Restrepo, hacían estremecer de asco a Clara.

Era ésa una larga semana de penitencia y de ayuno, no se jugaba baraja, no se tocaba música que incitara a la lujuria o al olvido y se observaba, dentro de lo posible, la mayor tristeza y castidad, a pesar de que justamente en esos días, el aguijonazo del demonio tentaba con mayor insistencia la débil carne católica. El ayuno consistía en suaves pasteles de hojaldre, sabrosos guisos de verdura, esponjosas tortillas y grandes quesos traídos del campo, con los que las familias recordaban la Pasión del Señor, cuidandóse de no probar ni el más pequeño trozo de carne o de pescado, bajo pena de excomunión, como insistía el padre Restrepo. Nadie se habría atrevido a desobedecerle. El sacerdote estaba provisto de un largo dedo incriminador para apuntar a los pecadores en público y Una lengua entrenada para alborotar los sentimientos.

--¡Tú, ladrón que has robado el dinero del culto¡ --gritaba desde el púlpito señalando a un caballero que fingí afanarse en Una pelusa de su solapa para no darle la cara--. ¡Tú, desvergonzada que te prostituyes en los muelles! --y acusaba a doña Ester Trueba, inválida debido a la artritis y beata de la Virgen del Carmen, que abría los ojos sorprendida, sin saber el significado de aquella palabra ni dónde quedaban los muelles--. ¡Arrepentíos, pecadores, inmunda carroña, indignos del sacrificio de Nuestro Señor! ¡Ayunad! ¡Haced penitencia!.

Llevado por el entusiasmo de su celo vocacional, el sacerdote debía contenerse para no entrar en abierta desobediencia con las instrucciones de sus superiores eclesiásticos, sacudidos por vientos de modernismo, que se oponían al cilicio y a la flagelación. Él era partidario de vencer las debilidades del alma con una buena azotaina de la carne. Era famoso por su oratoria desenfrenada. Lo seguían sus fieles de parroquia en parroquia, sudaban oyéndolo describir los tormentos de los pecadores en el infierno, las carnes desgarradas por ingeniosas máquinas de tortura, los fuegos etemos, los garfios que traspasaban los nuembros viriles, los asquerosos reptiles que se introducían por los orificios femeninos y otros múltiples suplicios que incorporaba en cada sermón para sembrar el terror de Dios. El mismo Satanás era descrito hasta en sus más íntimas anomalías con el acento de Galicia del sacerdote, cuya misión en este mundo era sacudir las conciencias de los indolentes criollos.

Severo del Valle era ateo y masón, pero tenía ambiciones politicas y no podía darse el lujo de faltar a la misa más concurrida cada domingo y fiesta de guardar, para que todos pudieran verlo. Su esposa Nívea prefería entenderse con Dios sin intermediarios, tenía profunda desconfianza de las sotanas y se aburría con las descripciones del cielo, el purgatorio y el infierno, pero acompaña a su marido en sus ambiciones parlamentarias, en la esperanza de que si él ocupaba un puesto en el Congreso, ella podría obtener el voto femenino, por el cual luchaba desde hacía diez años, sin que sus numerosos embarazos lograran desanimarla. Ese Jueves Santo el padre Restrepo había llevado a los oyentes al límite de su resistencia con sus visiones apocalípticas y Nívea empezó a sentir mareos. Se preguntó si no estaría nuevamente... La Casa De Los Espiritus. Copyright © by Isabel Allende. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    Interesante

    Una historia muy interesante. La casa de los espiritus cuenta la historia de tres generaciones de una familia muy rara pero fascinante. Una increible versión de realismo máagico. Aunque utiliza un lenguage un tanto violento para describir unos impacatantes escenarios, La casa de los espiritus de verdad vale la pena.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    FABULOUS

    Excellent book once i started couldn't put it dowm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007

    Isabel Allende..magnifica!!!

    He leido varios libros de Isabel Allende todos son magnificos aunque debo admitir que 'La Casa de los Espiritus' me impacto. El estilo de narrativa que posee Isabel es magico, sorprendente, es una viaje virtual hacia el pasado, los personajes emanados de su imaginacion cobran vida en la mente del lector. Isabel nacio para escribir. Sus obras, especialmente esta asi lo afirman. Isabel ha conquistado su lugar junto a las mejores plumas de Latinoamerica, especialmente las de Gabriela Mistral y Pablo Neruda tambien oriundos de su querido Chile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    One of the greatest books ever writen!

    Isabel Allende's greatest book. A total must read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2004

    maravillosa

    Me gustaria tanto conocerte, tu padre una vez dijo 'algun dia se abriran las alamedas por donde pase el hombre nuevo' Tu eres la imagen de ese Chile que trato de realizar vuestro padre, tu eres esa imagen del hombre nuevo por la cual tu padre dio su vida... Soy Cubano,escribo algo de poesia y te amo... Tengo amigos en Chile los cuales conoci en Cuba pero nunca mas me he podido comunicar con ellos desde que llege a Estados Unidos pero amo a Chile... Creo que al perder a tu padre perdimos un bastion de libertad,pero doy gracias a Dios por habernos dado el maravilloso regalo de tu prosa y tu escritura Gracias Isabel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2003

    Yasmin Hernandez ( yaspi59@hotmail.com) sophomore in college, Robert Morris 2002

    Me gusta mucho como escribe Isabel Allende y me da muchisimo gusto que haya hispanos con mucho talento como ella y espero que sea el ejemplo para muchos de nosotros. Isabel Allende escribe las novelas con mucho sentimiento, dolor y sobre todo inmaginacion eso hace seguir leyendo el libro sin poder detenerse y querer terminar de leerlo en ese mismo dia. Le deseo que siga escribiendo muchos libros y que siga teniendo el mismo exito de siempre. A todos los lectores les recomiendo que compren todos los libros de Isabel allende porque valen la pena yo lo digo porque anteriormente a mi no me gustaba leer libros pero ahora estoy facinada y seguire leyendo mas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2002

    ES FANTASTICO!!!

    Esta historia esta hecha con el amor e imaginacion de una mujer que sabe combinar lo magico con lo real para ganar el carino de sus lectores. Esta historia es tan seductora que es imposible parar de leerla, y una vez terminada, uno espera la continuacion. No se la pueden perder!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    A great novel for anyone

    Isabel shows her ability and crismatic behavior in this novel. She manages to yet again captivate the mind and soul of many people. Isabel turns the impossible to the possible as she opens a new form of fiction into the word or literature. Reality is harsh however she emphaises on what she believes to have an effect on people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    EL MUNDO FANTASTICO O REAL?

    En esta nobela Isabel Allende une lo magico con el realismo y envuelve al lector en un mundo dificir de escapar. La persona que lea esta historia sin analisarla, no sabra apreciar que tan cerca esta el mundo magico de la realidad. Como siempre Isabel logra unir la literatura con las emociones ya que al terminar la novela una no esta seguro si una invadio el mundo de Isabel, o si Isabel invadio el mundo de una.

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    Posted July 31, 2010

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    Posted December 8, 2009

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    Posted December 11, 2008

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    Posted March 24, 2009

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted May 3, 2011

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted October 9, 2009

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