category:Action adventure


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    His process, like his plot, is simple; whether attacking the Church or the evils of drink, or the bloodlust of the[Pg viii] bull ring, his methods are usually the same. He provides a protagonist who shall serve as the vehicle or symbol of his ideas, surrounding him with minor personages intended to serve as a foil or as a prop. He fills in the background with all the wealth of descriptive and coloring powers at his command—and these powers are as highly developed in Ibá?ez, I believe, as in any living writer. The beauty of Blasco Ibá?ez's descriptions—a beauty by no means confined to the pictures he summons to the mind—is that, at their best, they rise to interpretation. He not only brings before the eye a vivid image, but communicates to the spirit an intellectual reaction. Here he is the master who penetrates beyond the exterior into the inner significance; the reader is carried into the swirl of the action itself, for the magic of the author's pen imparts a sense of palpitant actuality; you are yourself a soldier at the Marne, you fairly drown with Ulises in his beloved Mediterranean, you defend the besieged city of Saguntum, you pant with the swordsman in the bloody arena. This gift of imparting actuality to his scenes is but another evidence of the Spaniard's dynamic personality; he lives his actions so thoroughly that we live them with him; his gift of second sight gives us to see beyond amphitheatres of blood and sand into national character, beyond a village struggle into the vexed problem of land, labor and property. Against this type of background develops the characteristic Ibá?ez plot, by no means lacking intimate interest, yet beginning somewhat slowly and gathering the irresistible momentum of a powerful body.
    "He does not behave so badly," ... said Potaje in a conciliatory voice.... "The beast is better than I thought. He has a tender mouth and good legs.... You are quite right. Put him on one side."


    2.And in order to strengthen his faith, perhaps a little shaken by these attacks of ridicule, he would go next day to see his idol, who seemed to take a bitter pleasure, as a descendant of the great persecuted nation, in showing him what he called his museum of horrors. This Jew, returned to the natal country of his ancestors, had collected in a room attached to the school souvenirs of the Inquisition, and with the meticulous vindictiveness of[Pg 108] a fugitive prisoner endeavoured to reconstruct hour by hour the skeleton of his jailor. There on the shelves of a cupboard were rows of books and parchments, accounts of autos da fe and lists of questions wherewith to interrogate the criminals during their torture. On one wall was hung a white banner with the dreaded green cross, and in the corner were piles of torturing irons, fearful scourges, every instrument that Don Joselito could pick up on the hucksters' stalls that had been used to split, to tear with pincers, or to shred, which was catalogued immediately as an ancient possession of the Holy Office.
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