La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes

Spanish novella

The life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of his fortunes and adversities (more known like Lazarillo de Tormes) is an Spanish novel. It was written by an unknown author. It is written in first person and in epistolary style (like an single long letter). Its oldest known editions date from 1554. The book is an autobiographical form of the life of a boy, Lázaro of Tormes, in the 16th century, from his birth and miserable childhood until his wedding, already in the adulthood. It is considered a precursor of the picaresque novel due to elements such as realism, the narration in first person, the itinerant structure, the service to several masters and the moralistic and pessimistic ideology.

Francisco de Goya: The blind person is looking for the sausage in the mouth of the child.

Lazarillo de Tormes is an ironic and merciless outline of the society of the moment, of which its vices and hypocritical attitudes are shown, especially the ones of the clergymen and religious. There are different hypothesis about its authorship. Probably the author was sympathetic to Erasmian ideas. This motivated the Inquisition to forbid it and, later, to allow its publication, once it was expunged. The work was not published again in its entirety until the 19th century.