chapter  1
Ramón del Valle-Inclán, “Satanás/Beatriz” [Satan/Beatriz] (1900–01) 1
WithAbigail Lee Six
Pages 12

Ramon del Valle-Inclan is universally recognized as an original and important author. He is most famous for two types of literature, even though he wrote much more besides: his four “Sonata” novels, about the life and loves of the decadent Marquess of Bradomín; and his esperpentos, mocking vision of their characters and subject matter. Beatriz is the Countess’s daughter, a child of unspecified age, who is confined to bed with an affliction which her devout mother believes, is attributable to demonic possession. Although Fray Angel is not destroyed by a stake through the heart, he is pulled dead from a river, reminding one of Van Helsing’s remarks about vampires’ aversion to running water. “Satanas/Beatriz” confirms that the conventions of non-Spanish vampire fiction had crossed the Pyrenees by 1900, for a judicious selection of them combines in this story with elements from the local and national cultures.