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The Pleasant History of Lazarillo De Tormes (original 1554; edition 1991)

by D. Rowland

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1,187306,765 (3.6)64
Member:Stephan68
Title:The Pleasant History of Lazarillo De Tormes
Authors:D. Rowland
Info:Gwasg Gregynog Ltd (1991), Hardcover, 116 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Limited Edition, Gwasg Gregynog, Fiction, 2012

Work details

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous [Spanish literature] (1554)

Recently added byprivate library, ALESSANDROCALISTI, AlcuinodeYork, Alberto_MdH, dongiorgis, hnn
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    Sergio88: La segunda gran novela picaresca de la literatura española (1599 Primera Parte, 1604 Segunda Parte). A diferencia del Lazarillo, el Guzmán se desprende de gran parte de la crítica erasmista para convertirse en casi un manual doctrinario de la Contrarreforma.… (more)
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» See also 64 mentions

English (14)  Spanish (12)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  All (30)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
What better way to follow a weighty picaresque novel that was incredibly influential with a very light one that is credited with inventing the genre itself. Someone, and we have no idea who, managed with less than 100 pages, to define a genre that even a genius like Henry Fielding could do no more than emulate with 1,000 exactly 200 years later. Brilliant.

This is a great read as long as you stop at the end of the first of any edition that might have later added portions appended to it. I started reading one of these and gave up after a while. They’re not part of the original and you can tell immediately. Don’t bother.

Stick to the original seven chapters and you’ll follow the life of Lazarillo as he heads out to make his way in the world when forced to leave his home as a child. He finds himself the servant of seven masters who are in turn cruel, corrupt, rife with hypocrisy, miserly and unjust. Through each of these encounters, the author brutally satirises the society of his day with a deft style that I don’t think has a rival in the genre of the picaresque novel. The characters are memorable, as are the events. It makes the lauded English equivalent novel, The Unfortunate Traveller, written nearly 50 years later, look about as coherent as if it was written by William Burroughs with illustrations by Jackson Pollock. It’s a gem.

It’s such a shame that we don’t know who wrote it. But then, in days when writing satire was likely to lead to being burned at the stake, the choice of fame or death must have been a pretty simple one to make. Although death has, to borrow the author’s phrase from opening line, seen him “buried away in the tomb of oblivion”, the legacy lives on. This tiny novel influenced writing for hundreds of years and created a genre that lives even now, half a millenium later. ( )
  arukiyomi | Dec 17, 2016 |
20th century literary criticism drives home to me the uncertainty of language and the unlikelihood of an author and a reader actually being able to communicate with one another across "the wrackful siege of batt'ring days"...but can I say how much this book delighted me? How deeply I connected I felt with the words and thoughts and even the prejudices of Lazarillo de Tormes, even if that may be a completely fictional character? From the Author's prologue--itself an argument for how writing this book was his way to connect with and to delight others--I was hooked. ( )
  poingu | Jan 23, 2016 |
I found this classic work of Spanish literature mildly entertaining, definitely satiric, and undoubtedly much more shocking when it was written (hence, the anonymous authorship) than it is today. Narrated by Lazaro himself, it tells the tale of his work as a servant for various, mostly harsh and, indeed, abusive, masters, starting with a blind man when he was but a boy, and progressing through working for a penniless squire who nonetheless acts as if he has money but doesn't deign to work, various, largely corrupt, representatives of the church, and a constable, eventually achieving a position of his own in government. This allows the anonymous author much opportunity for satire, as well as the opportunity to show the hardships prevalent in 16th century Spain. I found the chapter in which Lazaro works for a seller of indulgences especially funny, but overall I didn't enjoy this book as much as the introduction by Juan Goytisolo led me to believe I would. As an added note, this is said to be the first picaresque novel.
1 vote rebeccanyc | Apr 5, 2015 |
Een van de eerste echte romans, bij momenten best boeiend, maar de thematiek is eerder voorbijgestreefd. ( )
  WorldInColour | Oct 12, 2013 |
It was a really short reading. The author, anonymus, was really able to let me visualize Lázaro's life and sufferings. Also the footnotes of this edition really helped me to grasp the deeper meaning many of the passages have. ( )
  Kirmuriel | Sep 19, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (313 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymous [Spanish literature]primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berdal, OlaugEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castelli, HoraceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cejador y Frauca, JulioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dam, C.F.A. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foulché-Delbosc, R.Restitutionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Greco, GilbertoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merwin, W.S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oosten, Jan vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rico, FranciscoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robert, AdrienEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rossi, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vazquez Montalban, ManuelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is only right, to my mind, that things so remarkable, which happen to have remained unheard and unseen until now, should be brought to the attention of many and not lie buried in the sepulcher of oblivion.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486414310, Paperback)

The first picaresque novel, and one of the gems of Spanish literature. A brief, simply told tale of a rogue's adventures and misadventures — full of laconic cynicism and spiced with puns and wordplay. Introduction, Notes, and new English translation by Stanley Appelbaum.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:48 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Durante los ltimos aos del emperador Carlos I, el Lazarillo es un pcaro. Lejos de amargarse por la triste circunstancia que le toca vivir, observa la realidad con agudo espritu crtico y sentido de humor. Este libro de texto y su disco compacto son diseados para el desarrollo de las cuatro destrezas: leer, escribir, escuchar y hablar.Provides instruction in Spanish by using texts from literature as a textbook, with the story recorded in a Castilian Spanish accent on the accompanying disc. Each chapter has activities especially designed to develop the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Also included is information about the history, geography, art, science, etc. of the time and place in which the work is set.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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