The University of Wisconsin Press

Spanish Literature / Literature & Criticism / Language and Linguistics


La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades
Edited by Everett W. Hesse and Harry F. Williams
Introduction by Americo Castro

A masterpiece of early Spanish literature first published in 1554

Banned by the Inquisition, this classic begat a whole new genre—the picaresque novel. La vida has had enduring popularity as a literary expression of Spanish identity and emotion.

This edition includes the annotated Spanish-language text and prologue, a full vocabulary, and concise footnotes explaining allusions and translating difficult phrases. great popularity may be attributed largely to its daring autobiographical form which allows the reader to observe the magnificent, conquering Spain of Charles the Fifth through the inner consciousness of a humble figure called Lazarus, perhaps after the poor leper mentioned in the Gospels.

The Lazarillo is the first literary expression of a feeling basic to the very existence of the Spanish people, especially since the fifteenth century: they were what they were, and at the same time many were not pleased with their way of existing. This feeling of anguish is the "tragic sense of life" in the words of Unamuno.

This edition of Lazarillo de Tormes, which includes the delightful prologue, admirably fills the need for an annotated text of this masterpiece of Spanish literature. It follows the Foulché-Delbosc text (without the Alcalá interpolations), the spelling being largely modernized and regularized. In addition to a full vocabulary, some 300 concise footnotes explain allusions and translate phrases of varying difficulty.

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cover of La vida is black and sepia with an illustration of an old Spanish city lane

July 2005

LC: 48-004941 PQ
104 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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Paper $16.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-00545-0
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Updated April 24, 2012

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