The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (New York Review Books Classics)
W. S. MerwinISBN: 1590171322;
Book DescriptionSpain has produced two books that changed the course of world literature: Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes. Lazarillo is the first picaresque novel ever written, and to this day, one of the greatest. After its first publication in the 1550s, the book was banned by the Inquisition, but copies surfaced throughout Europe and were widely imitated, even by Cervantes himself. This edition was rendered in English by accomplished translator W. S. Merwin. Sold to a blind beggar as a child, then passed off to a priest, a squire, a friar, an indulgence-seller, a chaplain, and a constable - each more sadistic and incompetent than the next - the young hero must pilfer and deceive to survive, and is usually punished for his pains. But, like his successors Pinocchio or Huck Finn, Lazarillo endears himself to the reader as he learns to fake miracles and mouse infestations, to expose hucksters and the absurdities of the feudal code of honor.
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