Time in a nostalgic novel: La aldea perdida by Armando Palacio Valdés
Keywords:nostalgia, time, space, chronotope, idyll
La aldea perdida is a regionalist novel dealing with a theme recurrent in 19th century literature: transformations in social life and the environment of the valleys of the north of Spain in the wake of industrialization. The Asturian author sketches a portrait of happy rural life being menaced by the violent arrival of mines and miners. In this work we try to point out the strategies Valdes uses in order to tell a story in which, more than ever, time and space are intertwined to such an extent that nostalgia cripples the inhabitants. We see how time can be lived in different ways, according to the subject who is dealing with it or, conversely, suffering from it. We also point out how time spent – days, hours and minutes – can be interpreted in different ways depending on the emotional situation, daily commitments or social condition of characters. We try to investigate all aspects of the concept of time, its nuances and the philosophical and narration tools Valdés uses in order to suggest a path leading nowhere else than to the traumatic nostalgia of the “lost hamlet”.
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