The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

A Critical Edition Including the Original Spanish Text

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About the Book

The beginning of the golden age of Spanish literature and the particular socio-political circumstances of early 16th century Spain made fertile ground for the emergence of the picaresque novel, an early form of the first-person narrative novel relating the adventures of a rogue or lowborn traveler (Spanish pícaro) as he drifts through the Spanish countryside from one social milieu to another in an effort to survive. Influenced largely by the medieval tradition of the fabliaux and by the early Italian Renaissance, and structured upon a foundation of anecdotes, proverbs, popular beliefs, and folk tales, the pícaro’s discourse becomes a satirical survey of the hypocrisies and corruptions of society.

The picaresque novel is exemplified by the prototypical and anonymously written Lazarillo de Tormes, published in 1554, in which the poor boy Lázaro describes his services under seven successive lay and clerical masters, each of whom hides a dubious character beneath a mask of hypocrisy. So piercing are its deliberate social criticisms, irreverent wit, anticlerical attitude and string of mischievous misadventures that Lazarillo was an entry in the 1559 Index of Prohibited Books. For the modern reader, the choice of characters and the backdrop for Lazarillo de Tormes reveal the heart of Spain’s national dilemma after the crucial events of the 1520s.

This dual-language, annotated critical edition of Lazarillo de Tormes presents the complete text of the novel in both English and Spanish. The translation attempts to capture in modern English not only the meaning of the historical text, but also the qualities of its original style.

About the Author(s)

Alfonso J. García Osuna is the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages at Kingsborough, a College of the City University of New York. He is also the author of The Cuban Filmography: 1897 through 2001 (2003).

Bibliographic Details

Edited and Translated by Alfonso J. García Osuna

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 160
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2134-3
eISBN: n/a
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: The Picaresque Novel La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes      9

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

Prologue      19
1. Lázaro Relates His Life and Reports on His Parentage.      20
2. How Lázaro Came to Serve a Priest, and What Came to Pass While in His Service.      33
3. How Lázaro Took Up with a Squire, and What Happened to Him in His Company.      44
4. Which Tells How Lázaro Came to Serve a Friar of the Order of Mercy, and What Came to Pass While in His Service.      61
5. How Lázaro Came to Attend a Purveyor of Indulgences, and What Came to Pass While in His Service.      62
6. How Lázaro Served a Chaplain, and What Came to Pass with Him.      70
7. How Lázaro Established Himself with a Sheriff, and What Happened with Him.      71

La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes

Prólogo      75
1. Cuenta Lázaro su vida, y cúyo hijo fue.      76
2. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un clérigo, y de las cosas que con él pasó.      88
3. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un escudero y de lo que le acaeció con él.      98
4. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un fraile de la Merced, y de lo que le acaeció con él.      114
5. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un buldero, y de las cosas que con él pasó.      114
6. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un capellán, y lo que con él pasó.      122
7. Cómo Lázaro se asentó con un alguacil, y de lo que le acaeció con él.      123

Notes      127
Bibliography of Recent Lazarillo Studies      145
Index      155