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The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities

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Original title

Lazarillo de Tormes

Masterpiece of the Golden Age literature, which gave way to the picaresque novel genre.

An anonymous book, originally called "La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades". The oldest known edition was published in 1554. It is set in the 16th century and tells the adventures of Lázaro de Tormes, from his birth until he gets married. It is an ironic and harsh portrait of society at the time. The text is written as a very long letter and the events are told in first person - it is the protagonist who is speaking. Because of its moralising and pessimistic tone, and because of the realistic elements, as well as the structure and first person narrative, "Lazarillo de Tormes" is unanimously considered to be the precursor of picaresque novel, a genre that was widely developed throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.


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