The Garden with Seven Gates

The Garden with Seven Gates

The Garden with Seven Gates

The Garden with Seven Gates

Synopsis

This collection of fourteen stories and one minidrama features children protagonists, talking birds, and extraordinary occurrences. Like the tales of Charles Perrault and the brothers Grimm, they speak to fantasies and fears that are our constant companions in life, which means that although they are peopled with children protagonists, they are not for children alone. The introduction provides background on Concha Castroviejo and considers her production of juvenile literature in mid-twentieth-century Spain and in relation to authors like Elizabeth Mulder and María Luisa Gefaell; it then takes up themes in the book and discusses them.

About the author:

The Spanish author Concha Castroviejo (1910-1995) was born in the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela. After studies at the university there and in France, she fled to Mexico with her husband following the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and did not return to Spain until 1950. She published two novels (Those Who Went Away and Eve of Hate) two children's books, and short fiction, literary criticism, and journalism. Her writings received a number of literary prizes and her works have been translated into French, Slovak, and English.

About the translator:

Robert M. Fedorchek is a Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Fairfield University. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut and studied at Yale and the Universities of Madrid and Lisbon. He is the translator of ten other Bucknell University Press publications.

Excerpt

Every reader of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm knows that fairy tales are not for children alone, inasmuch as they speak to fantasies and fears that are our constant companions in life. the stories that make up The Garden with Seven Gates (El jardín de las siete puertas, 1961) by the Spanish author and journalist Concha Castroviejo (1910–95) will, I believe, be viewed in the same light— although peopled with children protagonists, they are not for children alone.

There are, to be sure, narratives that qualify as latter-day fairy tales. “The Weaver of Dreams” will strike a chord with every adolescent girl who has suffered ridicule, and recalls the torment of ridicule. There are morality tales, like “The Conceited Buzzard” and “A Mermaid and a Magistrate, 500 Neighbors, and a Singing Blackbird.” There are Iyrical pieces like “Martolán, Apprentice Magus,” cautionary tales like “The Little Girl and the Sea,” and enchanting pieces like “Karlantán and Prince Atal’s Pearls.” and there is one of the most evocative tales to be found in modern Spanish literature of the mutual love of a grandson and grandfather in “We Have the Stars.” in a word, the stories of The Garden with Seven Gates are a sensitive representation of the minds, joys, fears, and sorrows of children as depicted by a wise, insightful writer. the book is capped by the minidrama “The Garden with Seven Gates,” the title piece in dialogue, which shows that the richest of imaginations are truly unplanned journeys of the mind.

In addition to The Garden with Seven Gates, which received the Spanish publisher’s first Doncel Prize for Stories in 1961, Castroviejo wrote several other books for children: The Pirates (Los piratas, 1962), The Buzzard (El zopilote, 1962), and Lina’s Days (Los días de Lina, 1971). in long fiction she published two novels: Those Who Went Away (Los que se fueron, 1957), about Spanish Civil War expatriates—a widow and her son—who go first to Paris and afterwards to Mexico, where . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.