Cinema: Perky Picaro

Lazarillo. It can hardly be called a novel: its title, La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus for tunas y adversidades, is almost as long as the shortest of its seven short chapters. And nobody knows who wrote it: the author modestly preferred anonymity to martyrdom. Nevertheless, Lazarillo made a decisive impact on European life and letters. Published in 1554, it was greeted with a loud ole! in

Spain and then rapidly reprinted all over the Continent. Readers rich and poor were troubled by the author's smiling horror of Renaissance society, but they were also tickled by the scarum scrapes...

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