LIFE OF MOST IMPORTANT WRITTERS OF SPANISH LITERATURE
 

 
Lazarillo de Tormes
(1554)
LAZARILLO DE TORMES

 
   Four editions of Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and His Misfortunes and Adversities were published in 1554 without the name of its author.
 
   It was composed by a letter in wich Lazaro de Tormes tells the case of his own life. Its Preface praises the work of writting and is followed by seven treatises.
 
   The first treatise deals with his birth and family. In wich way Lazaro served a blind man who taught him his first lessons.
   Second treatise introduces his new master: a clergy man at Maqueda.
   A ruined hidalgo will be his master at the third treatise.
   At the forth Lazaro serves a Mercedary Friar.
   Fifth treatise deals with his experiences with a false papal bull-seller.
   After serving a master in painting tambourines, Lazaro works in sixth treatise as water-seller for a chaplain.
   Seventh and last treatise tells about Lazaro's experience serving a bailiff and proclaimer for an Archpriest.
 
   There must have been a printed edition at 1552 or 1553, but it did not come to us and we still do not know when could the work be composed.
 
   Lazarillo de Tormes was anonymous because of the fears against Inquisition, that forbad it in 1559. It would be reprinted "corrected" or "penalized".
 
   Posible authors for Lazarillo are:
 
   Juan de Ortega (†1557) who kept in his cell a first dratf of the book and could have written it. Also Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, jocular poet, or Sebastian de Orozco, dramatic author, have been proposed.
 
   Alfonso de Valdés, Secretary of the Emperor and erasmian has recently been proposed as author.
 
   Lazaro existence is a struggle for life: hunger will be beaten after sacryfing honour.
 
   Churchmen, who should personify Christian Charity, show the opposite qualities: that is why an erasmian attitude can be seen in Lazaro's author mind.
 
   At the end of the book Lazaro renounces to his honour: he marries an Archpriest lover and denies cynically the rumours on the case, ostenting his ego.
 
   Final situation of Lazarillo de Tormes is not clear: is he an outsider or someone who did triumph from his own point of view?
 
   Sources for our work are messenger letters as those by López de Villalobos or classic works as Luciano de Samosata's ones or Apuleius' Golden Ass. Also Fourth Book of Mighty Cavalier Reinaldos de Montalván.
 
   In Amberes, 1555 was published a Second Part of the Life of Lazarillo de Tormes. Another Second Part... appeared in Paris, 1620, by Juan de Luna.
 
   Life of picaro Guzmán de Alfarache (1599) used the word picaro. Picaresque novel was born.

D.Miguel Pérez Rosado.
Ph. D. in Hispanic Philology.