Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

María Asunción Gómez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Third Advisor's Name

Maida Watson

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain


Spanish, Literature

Date of Defense



This research seeks to establish a connection between the Hermetic tradition and the paranormal phenomena found in the works of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera --- “Un alma en pena” (1862), Póstumo el transmigrado (1872) and Póstumo el envirginado (1882) --- and Benito Pérez Galdós´s La sombra (1870) and “Celín” (1871). By establishing a Hegelian influence in their works, we uncover the possible origin of these paranormal events.

German Idealism, so widespread during the first half of the 19th century, seems to have given both authors access to new currents of thought, allowing them to explore the union of art with the metaphysical. Thought is given precedence over sensation and Idealism prevails over Empiricism. Nature is now seen to be spiritual, as well as spatial, and among the major exponents of this movement is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), whose philosophy states that human knowledge is based on the “Idea,” a concept in which nature and spirit fuse.

Hegel holds the traditional hermetic conception of philosophia perennis that supposes a universal truth common to every culture, religious tradition, and belief upheld by humankind. By examining the Hegelian influence in the works of Alejandro Tapia y Rivera and Benito Pérez Galdós, and relating major passages of their works to the precepts contained in the Corpus Hermeticum, the Emerald Tablet, and the Kybalion (1908), we uncover a subtle, sometimes explicit, presence of this esoteric doctrine, which allows the authors to explore the metaphysical side of life.





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