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El Lazarillo de Tormes

Lazarillo de Tormes

The Life of Lazarillo of Tormes and his Fortunes and Misfortunes, simply known as Lazarillo de Tormes is the first known modern Spanish novel and founder of the “picaresque” literary gender.

This anonymous novel, whose oldest known 3 editions are traced to 1554 - although it’s probable there existed previous 1552 or 1553 editions which attained so much success, it led to the simultaneous publication of all 3 in 1554. 

The novel narrates in first person the personal story of Lázaro de Tormes, from the time he was born a poor boy in Salamanca, (near the river Tormes from which he gets his last name from) until he reaches success in attaining high status through his marriage. The main character is an “anti-hero” and a pícaro (rascal or rogue) that survives by means of his smart tricks, deceiving the many masters he has throughout the story.

Without a doubt, this is a fundamental book of Spanish Renaissance. Its author remained anonymous.

Lazarillo de Tormes