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2 Beaverton Classics- Medieval and Nordic

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

by

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes Cover

 

Staff Pick

Despite being nearly half a millennium old, The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes remains eminently readable, charming, and more than a little funny. Published anonymously in 1554 (the authorship debate rages ever on), the novella was banned and later censored as part of the Spanish Inquisition for its allegedly heretical content. The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, credited as being the first picaresque work of fiction, follows the (mis)fortunes of young Lazaro, a poor Spaniard born (literally) in the river Tormes, whose adolescent life is shaped by the series of cruel, neglectful masters with whom he is able to find employment. The scant recompense offered Lazaro forces him to develop a scheming ingenuity needed not for mischievous antics but rather simply to stay fed. Instead of turning bitter or resentful, the young narrator welcomes each new master and opportunity as a means to garnering a more secure lifestyle. This slender yet substantial book takes aim at both 16th century Spanish society and the ample hypocrisies of the church, and it does so with well-aimed humor. The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, even without its enormous effect on literature, continues to be a worthy, entertaining read some four and a half centuries after it was written.

It is a joy to me to recount these childish matters to your excellency, to show how much virtue there can be in those who are born to low estate and drag themselves up, and how much vice in the great who let themselves be dragged down.

Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

'The NYRB Classics series is designedly and determinedly exploratory and eclectic, a mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts. The series includes nineteenth century novels and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, tell-all memoirs and learned studies, established classics and cult favorites, literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. NYRB Classics are, to a large degree, discoveries, the kind of books that people typically run into outside of the classroom and then remember for life.

Inevitably literature in translation constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, simply because so much great literature has been left untranslated into English, or translated poorly, or deserves to be translated again, much as any outstanding book asks to be read again.

The series started in 1999 with the publication of Richard Hughes\'s A High Wind in Jamaica. NYRB Classics includes new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Dante, Balzac, and Chekhov; fiction by modern and contemporary masters such as Vasily Grossman, Mavis Gallant, Daphne du Maurier, Stefan Zweig, and Upamanyu Chatterjee; tales of crime and punishment by George Simenon and Kenneth Fearing; masterpieces of narrative history and literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, biography, cookbooks, and memoirs from such writers as Norman Mailer, Lionel Trilling, and Patrick Leigh Fermor; and unclassifiable classics on the order of J. R. Ackerley\'s My Dog Tulip and Robert Burton\'s The Anatomy of Melancholy. Fall 2009 sees the publication of the series\' first graphic novel, Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati, translated into English for the first time.

Published in handsome uniform trade paperback editions, almost all the 250 NYRB Classics included in this collection feature an introduction by an outstanding writer, scholar, or critic of our day. Taken as a whole, NYRB Classics may be considered a series of books of unrivaled variety and quality for discerning and adventurous readers.

This collection includes one each of the following titles:

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser

The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley

My Father and Myself by J.R. Ackerley

The Other House by Henry James

Peasants and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman

A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff

Hindoo Holiday by J.R. Ackerley

Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber

The Wooden Shepherdess by Richard Hughes

The Stories of J.F. Powers by J.F. Powers

Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Morte D\'Urban by J.F. Powers

Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author by Edward John Trelawny

Wheat that Springeth Green by J.F. Powers

Classic Crimes by William Roughead

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by Iona Opie

The Unknown Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac

Virgin Soil by Ivan Turgenev

The Glass Bees by Ernst Junger

The Pure and the Impure by Colette

The Waste Books by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

Seven Men by Max Beerbohm

To Each His Own by Leonardo Sciascia

The Wine-Dark Sea by Leonardo Sciascia

Alfred and Guinevere by James Schuyler

The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott

The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes

The Haunted Looking Glass by Edward Gorey

A House and Its Head by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Hadrian the Seventh by Fr. Rolfe

Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford

The Quest for Corvo by A.J.A. Symons

The Root and the Flower by L.H. Myers

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton

Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Letty Fox by Christina Stead

The Golovlyov Family by Shchedrin

The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye

Eustace and Hilda by L.P. Hartley

Seduction and Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick

Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O\'Brien

As a Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo

Autobiography of an Unknown Indian by Nirad C. Chaudhuri

Renoir, My Father by Jean Renoir

An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie

Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak

Mr. Fortune\' s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Selected Works of Cesare Pavese by Cesare Pavese

The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal

On the Yard by Malcolm Braly

Selected Stories of Robert Walser by Robert Walser

The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis

Mawrdew Czgowchwz by James McCourt

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley

The Outcry by Henry James

A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David

Letters from Russia by Astolphe De Custine

Miserable Miracle by Henri Michaux

Riders in the Chariot by Patrick White

Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David

Corrigan by Caroline Blackwood

Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood

Mary Olivier by May Sinclair

Randall Jarrell\'s Book of Stories by Randall Jarrell

The New Life by Dante Alighieri

The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout

The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger

The Middle of the Journey by Lionel Trilling

The World of Odysseus by M.I. Finley

The Book of My Life by Girolamo Cardano

The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant

Troubles by J.G. Farrell

In the Freud Archives by Janet Malcolm

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams by Peter Handke

The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

Prisoner of Love by Jean Genet

We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau

Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau

The Stuffed Owl by D.B. Wyndham Lewis

To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson

The Vet\'s Daughter by Barbara Comyns

Walter Benjamin by Gershom Scholem

Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier

Shelley: The Pursuit by Richard Holmes

In Parenthesis by David Jones

Peking Story by David Kidd

Rene Leys by Victor Segalen

Black Sun by Geoffrey Wolff

Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia

Equal Danger by Leonardo Sciascia

Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret

Three Bedrooms in Manhattan by Georges Simenon

The Tenants of Moonbloom by Edward Lewis Wallant

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose MacAulay

Varieties of Exile by Mavis Gallant

My Century by Aleksander Wat

The World I Live In by Helen Keller

American Humor by Constance Rourke

The Ivory Tower by Henry James

The Gallery by John Horne Burns

Paris and Elsewhere by Richard Cobb

Apartment in Athens by Glenway Wescott

Envy by Yuri Olesha

The Moro Affair by Leonardo Sciascia

Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn by Harvey Swados

Part of Our Time by Murray Kempton

The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge

Boredom by Alberto Moravia

Contempt by Alberto Moravia

The Diary of a Rapist by Evan S. Connell

Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon

The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell

W. H. Auden\'s Book of Light Verse by W. H. Auden

Asleep in the Sun by Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Bog People by P.V. Glob

Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars

The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam by Osip Mandelstam

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

The Furies by Janet Hobhouse

Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

Indian Summer by William Dean Howells

Memoirs of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson

The Inferno of Dante Alighieri by Dante Alighieri

The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

Flaubert and Madame Bovary by Francis Steegmuller

The Late Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by W.S. Merwin

The Peregrine by J.A. Baker

Blood on the Forge by William Attaway

The Child by Jules Valles

The Lord Chandos Letter by Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

The Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell

Count D\'Orgel\'s Ball by Raymond Radiguet

War and the Iliad by Simone Weil

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson

The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual by Harold Cruse

Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte

Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal

The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert by Joseph Joubert

The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood

Shakespeare by Mark Van Doren

The Stalin Front by Gert Ledig

Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon

Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon

Mouchette by Georges Bernanos

Warlock by Oakley Hall

The New York Stories of Henry James by Henry James

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

What\'s for Dinner? by James Schuyler

English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

Conundrum by Jan Morris

Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

Mani by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Roumeli by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

Stoner by John Williams

The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing

Red Lights by Georges Simenon

The Jeffersonian Transformation by Henry Adams

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne

Clark Gifford\'s Body by Kenneth Fearing

The Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon

Pages from the Goncourt Journals by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

They Burn the Thistles by Yashar Kemal

Born Under Saturn by Rudolf and Margot Wittkower

The Stray Dog Cabaret by Edited by Honor Moore and Catherine Ciepiela

Butcher\'s Crossing by John Williams

Dante by Erich Auerbach

The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda

The Engagement by Georges Simenon

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya

White Walls by Tatyana Tolstaya

Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Education Of A Gardener by Russell Page

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards

Sunflower by Gyula Krudy

Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon

The Goshawk by T. H. White

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton

A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor

All About H. Hatterr by G. V. Desani

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Memoirs of an Anti-Semite by Gregor von Rezzori

Soul by Andrey Platonov

Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird

Poems of the Late T\'ang by A. C. Graham

Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton

Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge

Belchamber by Howard Sturgis

A Journey Round My Skull by Frigyes Karinthy

The Widow by Georges Simenon

The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

Afloat by Guy de Maupassant

The Family Mashber by Der Nister

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Names on the Land by George R. Stewart

Miami and the Siege of Chicago by Norman Mailer

Inverted World by Christopher Priest

My Fantoms by Theophile Gautier

Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage by Tim Robinson

In Hazard by Richard Hughes

Victorine by Maude Hutchins

Grief Lessons by Euripides

Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter

The Liberal Imagination by Lionel Trilling

The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin

Ringolevio by Emmett Grogan

Defeat: Napoleons Russian Campaign by Philippe-Paul de Segur

Don\'t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

The Snows of Yesteryear by Gregor von Rezzori

The Rider on the White Horse by Theodor Storm

School for Love by Olivia Manning

Chaos and Night by Henry de Montherlant

A Meaningful Life by L. J. Davis

Short Letter, Long Farewell by Peter Handke

Slow Homecoming by Peter Handke

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

The Complete Fiction by Francis Wyndham

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy

Summer Will Show by Syliva Townsend Warner

Niki by Tibor Dery

Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter

Stones of Aran: Labyrinth by Tim Robinson

The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant

Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati

No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon

The Way of the World by Nicolas Bouvier'

Synopsis:

Spain has produced two books that changed world literature: Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes, the first picaresque novel ever written and the inspired precursor to works as various as Vanity Fair and Huckleberry Finn. Banned by the Spanish Inquisition after publication in 1554, Lazarillo was soon translated throughout Europe, where it was widely copied. The book is a favorite to this day for its vigorous colloquial style and the earthy realism with which it exposes human hypocrisy.

The bastard son of a prostitute, Lazarillo goes to work for a blind beggar, who beats and starves him, while teaching him some very useful dirty tricks. The boy then drifts in and out of the service of a succession of masters, each vividly sketched and together revealing the corrupt world of imperial Spain. Its miseries are made all the more apparent by the candor and surprising good cheer with which young Lazarillo recounts his ever more curious fate.

This version of Lazarillo, by the prizewinning poet and translator W.S. Merwin, brings out the wonderful vitality and humor of this universal masterwork.

The author of Lazarillo de Tormes is unknown.

Synopsis:

Spain 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.

About the Author

Juan Goytisolo was born in Barcelona in 1931 and now lives in Marrakesh. He is the author of many novels, including Marks of Identity, Count Julian, Juan the Landless, and The Garden of Secrets, as well as two volumes of autobiography.

W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. He is the author of many books of poems, prose, and translations and has received both the Pulitzer and the Bollingen Prizes for poetry, among numerous other awards.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590171325
Translator:
Merwin, W. S.
Publisher:
New York Review of Books
Translator:
Merwin, W. S.
Translator:
Merwin
Introduction by:
Goytisolo, Juan
Introduction:
Goytisolo, Juan
Author:
Merwin, W. S.
Author:
Goytisolo, Juan
Author:
Various
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
FICTION / Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20041231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
7.86x6.74x.38 in. .40 lbs.

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The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes Used Trade Paper
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 144 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590171325 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Despite being nearly half a millennium old, The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes remains eminently readable, charming, and more than a little funny. Published anonymously in 1554 (the authorship debate rages ever on), the novella was banned and later censored as part of the Spanish Inquisition for its allegedly heretical content. The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, credited as being the first picaresque work of fiction, follows the (mis)fortunes of young Lazaro, a poor Spaniard born (literally) in the river Tormes, whose adolescent life is shaped by the series of cruel, neglectful masters with whom he is able to find employment. The scant recompense offered Lazaro forces him to develop a scheming ingenuity needed not for mischievous antics but rather simply to stay fed. Instead of turning bitter or resentful, the young narrator welcomes each new master and opportunity as a means to garnering a more secure lifestyle. This slender yet substantial book takes aim at both 16th century Spanish society and the ample hypocrisies of the church, and it does so with well-aimed humor. The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, even without its enormous effect on literature, continues to be a worthy, entertaining read some four and a half centuries after it was written.

It is a joy to me to recount these childish matters to your excellency, to show how much virtue there can be in those who are born to low estate and drag themselves up, and how much vice in the great who let themselves be dragged down.

"Synopsis" by , Spain has produced two books that changed world literature: Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes, the first picaresque novel ever written and the inspired precursor to works as various as Vanity Fair and Huckleberry Finn. Banned by the Spanish Inquisition after publication in 1554, Lazarillo was soon translated throughout Europe, where it was widely copied. The book is a favorite to this day for its vigorous colloquial style and the earthy realism with which it exposes human hypocrisy.

The bastard son of a prostitute, Lazarillo goes to work for a blind beggar, who beats and starves him, while teaching him some very useful dirty tricks. The boy then drifts in and out of the service of a succession of masters, each vividly sketched and together revealing the corrupt world of imperial Spain. Its miseries are made all the more apparent by the candor and surprising good cheer with which young Lazarillo recounts his ever more curious fate.

This version of Lazarillo, by the prizewinning poet and translator W.S. Merwin, brings out the wonderful vitality and humor of this universal masterwork.

The author of Lazarillo de Tormes is unknown.

"Synopsis" by , Spain 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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