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By Bonner, Deborah; Villalonga, Llorenç

A vintage of up to date Catalan literature, and a haunting and satirical portrait of a vanishing age, Lloren? Villalonga's "The Dolls' Room" matters the decline of Don Toni and Dona Maria Ant?nia Bearn: aristocrats, cousins, husband and spouse, and participants of the decadent, age-old ruling type of a city that bears their identify. Their tale is instructed by way of the na?ve family members priest, Don Joan, who was once taken below Don Toni's wing as a schoolboy. Describing the shabby grandeur of his benefactors' lives of their old, rundown kin mansion, their grand yet ruinous tours to Paris and Rome, and the mysterious occasions that bring about their deaths, the humbly dedicate Joan is constantly challenged, and maybe titillated, by way of Don Toni's impious character, his defiance of church authority, and his scandalous affairs. partially condemning and in part admiring his devilish mentor, the pure-minded Don Joan's lurid "biography" of the Bearns is a testomony to the everlasting reputation of the libertine, and the lengths to which we move in justifying our personal worst impulses

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He had been born at Bearn and studied in Madrid shortly after the invasion of the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis. ‘Those were the years of the worst absolutism, followed by tremendous liberal anarchy,’ he told me. ‘The French of the Restoration didn’t think they could instill any order here without a dictatorship, and they weren’t altogether wrong. However, they would have liked to impose a more moderate government, as is obvious when one considers that the Duke of Angoulême imprisoned the members of the Regency of Urgell, among them the Archbishop Elect of Tarragona.

To this day I could not say whether I made an effort to think otherwise; I have already said the reasons for my ill will were unclear. Yet although my contempt continued, with time I could not help but admire that child who had studied abroad, spoke French better than I, wrote alexandrines and knew the history of Rome. I was taken aback by his being so fair and so bright. He tried to compete with me in our games, and I, in turn, wished I had the intellectual qualities which, thanks to him, I was beginning to appreciate for the first time.

Llorenç Villalonga, The Dolls’ Room Llorenç Villalonga once said that The Dolls’ Room was “the portrait, or, if you wish, the poem of Mallorca. ” What many agree to be the author’s most compelling work was published in both Catalan and Spanish, but essentially belongs to the island, if to anyone, as both languages do. Villalonga was bilingual, and there is no doubt that when the novel was in the making, the political barrier between the two languages was a bitter one indeed, with Franco imposing Spanish over the other languages spoken in Spain.

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