Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion
|Author||Miguel De Unamuno|
|Original title||Abel Sánchez: una historia de pasión|
|Followed by||Abel Sánchez: una historia de pasión (1947)|
Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion (Spanish: Abel Sánchez: Una historia de pasión) is a 1917 novel by Miguel de Unamuno. Abel Sanchez is a re-telling of the story of Cain and Abel set in modern times, which uses the parable to explore themes of envy.
Abel Sanchez is a version of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. The Cain of the novel is named Joaquin. Though they are not brothers, they have grown up together, competing as brothers would. Abel becomes a famous and recognized painter while Joaquin becomes a well-known doctor. Joaquin's goal is to outdo Abel by making medical discoveries, thus competing with Abel's art by excelling at science, which also is an art. Joaquin always has been jealous of Abel and competitive with him, but what bothers him most is that Abel does not feel the same sense of rivalry. Abel marries Helena, Joaquin's cousin, whom Joaquin hoped to wed. To allay his envy and hatred, Joaquin marries Antonia, not out of love but simply to maintain his competitive standing with Abel. Abel and Helena have a son named Abelin, Joaquin and Antonia have a daughter named Joaquina. Joaquin lives out his jealous ambitions through his daughter. As the story of Cain and Abel ends, so does this novel. Reaching the point of utter hatred, Joaquin takes Abel's life. When Joaquin dies, he apologizes to his family. Realizing that his life was consumed by hatred and envy, he says that if only he had loved his wife, Antonia, she could have been his savior.
Replete with biblical comparisons, this book shows what one's life becomes when one is consumed by envy or hatred. Joaquin had no life of his own; his existence was only as the hater of Abel. Even though the protagonist is Joaquin, the book is titled Abel Sanchez because Joaquin's character is formed wholly from his intense feelings toward Abel.
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- Longhurst, Carlos A. (1995): a critical introduction to Abel Sanchez, ed. Cátedra, Madrid.