Guzmán de Alfarache, Volume 1

Front Cover
Cátedra, 1987 - Fiction - 512 pages
La novela picaresca nace como genero en el siglo XVI. En principio es un contrapunto "realista" de los libros de caballerias. Los rasgos propios de la novela picaresca son fijados por el Lazarillo: relato autobiografico, origenes deshonrosos del personaje principal, peregrinaje y sucesion de amos, etc. Mateo Aleman acentuo los caracteres de desfachatez del protagonista y establecio con su personaje Guzman el prototipo de picaro.

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About the author (1987)

Mateo Aleman spent much of his life in a kind of picaresque existence, going from the universities of Salamanca and Alcala, in Spain, to small government jobs to debtor's prison. It was perhaps in a Seville jail that he wrote the First Part of the Life of the Picaro Guzman de Alfarache, published in Madrid in 1599; the second part, written by an imitator, was published in Lisbon in 1604. Using a lower-class hero, his service to several masters, and portraits of diverse classes and characters, Aleman developed the picaresque genre by taking his character, Guzman, through adulthood, when he becomes a gambler, thief, and beggar. Thus Guzman contributes to the corruption of society rather than merely being its victim, as is Lazarillo. Guzman draws a bitter moral lesson from his experiences: Life is cruel, hunger is the rule, and honor cannot be preserved.

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