Lazarillo de Tormes

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lazarillo de Tormes


(full title, The Life of Lazarillo of Tormes, His Fortunes and Adversities; La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades), a Spanish novella published anonymously in Burgos, Alcalá de Henares, and Antwerp in 1554. It depicted the fate of a boy who involuntarily became a rogue in his harsh struggle with poverty and hunger.

One of the most vivid works of Renaissance literature, Lazarillo de Tormes laid the foundation for the picaresque novel, which was a source for the European realistic novel. The novella was banned by the Inquisition in 1559, and from 1573 until the early 19th century it was published in Spain in a “corrected” version. The anonymous Second Part of Lazarillo de Tormes, inferior to the first artistically, appeared in 1555. In 1620, Juan de Luna published a new second part that intensified the book’s anticlerical satire. Continuations and imitations of Lazarillo appeared until the mid-20th century. The novella was first published in Russian in 1775.


In Russian translation:
Zhizn ‘Lasaril’o s Tormesa, ego nevzgody i zlokliucheniia. [Translation and introduction by K. N. Derzhavin.] Moscow, 1955.


González Palencia, A. Del “lazarillo” a Quevedo. Madrid, 1946.
Siebenmann, G. Über Sprache und Stil im “Lazarillo de Tormes.” Bern, 1953.
Macaya Lahmann, E. Bibliografía del “Lazarillo de Tormes.” San José, Costa Rica, 1935.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lazarillo de Tormes

16th-century picaresque novel about a runaway youth who lives by his wits serving, in succession, a blind beggar and several unworthy ecclesiastics. [Span. Lit.: Haydn & Fuller, 415]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
This was the famous picaresque novel, 'Lazarillo de Tormes,' by Hurtado de Mendoza, whose name then so familiarized itself to my fondness that now as I write it I feel as if it were that of an old personal friend whom I had known in the flesh.
"So good is it," replied Gines, "that a fig for 'Lazarillo de Tormes,' and all of that kind that have been written, or shall be written compared with it: all I will say about it is that it deals with facts, and facts so neat and diverting that no lies could match them."
They belonged mostly to that class of realistic fiction which is called picaresque, from the Spanish word 'picaro,' a rogue, because it began in Spain with the 'Lazarillo de Tormes' of Diego de Mendoza, in 1553, and because its heroes are knavish serving-boys or similar characters whose unprincipled tricks and exploits formed the substance of the stories.
La vida de Lazarillo de tormes, y de sus fortunas y adversidades.
Subsequently, Nunez Rivera gives particular attention to the picaresque tradition, specifically Lazarillo de Tormes, as an informing literary genre to Cervantes's Gines de Pasamonte, El Rufian dichoso, Pedro de Urdemalas, and of course "Rinconete y Cortadillo" and "El Coloquio de los perros." (2) Part one of the book then concludes with a wink toward a Cervantine metafictionality that incorporates and expands upon the structural underpinnings of those earlier prose genres.
The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, His Fortunes and Adversities.
Madrid, Spain, February 24, 2016 --( Those who like classic literature and good films from around the globe could be considered lucky today: "El lazarillo de Tormes," the classic Spanish book has been adapted to an animation film and it has been recently released on Amazon.