The histeria of Paulina Porreno in the Golden Fountain of Galdos

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Abstract

This work focuses on the illness of the heroine of La Fontana de oro by Galdós, clearly seen as a euphemism for hysteria. In order to reach this conclusion, the relationship between Paulina and Santa Teresa de Jesús is first analyzed: her health problems were very similar, and they were understood as clear symptoms of hysteria by French doctors in the early XXth century. French medical texts (general or specialized in neurology) provide a link between hysteria and catalepsy, which were previously thought to be caused by religious fanaticism. Finally, some other characters of French literature are also analysed, especially Madame Gervaisais, by the Goncourt brothers, who also follow that same pattern of mysticism and catalepsy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-370
JournalBulletin Hispanique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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