Lazarillo de Tormes. Buenos Aires: Stockcero, 2007
Since its publication in 1554, Lazarillo de Tormes has continued to fascinate and confuse its readers: is it an autobiography or the product of a creative mind, thus, a work of fiction? Is the author really anonymous? Was a new genre created with Lazarillo, or is it a mere precursor? This novella is read, studied, and taught as a canonic work of the picaresque although some scholars ascertain that the genre was born five years later with Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache. By using a postmodern looking glass it may become possible to calibrate much of what has been said about Lazarillo de Tormes. The awareness of the historical moment can make the reader come to the realization that Lazarillo speaks openly about an unfortunate if not despicable reality fraught with famine and abandonment in a society ruled by prejudice and persecution in the name of God, the Monarch, and the Church. Four editions were published in 1554 (Alcalá, Amberes, Burgos y Medina del Campo), yet the Spanish Inquisition prohibited the book in 1559; it was not until the 1800s that it was brought back to light, even though it was translated and reprinted continuously throughout Europe. For over four and a half centuries, Lazarillo has provoked polemics having to do with realities that are not removed from our present-day world. This new edition seeks to present the so-called picardías of the young lad that sets forth the title of this timeless text while discovering the connection that it continues to have with the outcasts, in particular the abandoned and abused children of all times. This edition by prof. Asima F. X. Saad Maura includes a clear foreword, an exhaustive set of notes and a detailed chronology that allows the modern reader understand in depth the text and fully enjoy reading this cornerstone of the hispanic literature.
Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez (1690), Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora. Buenos Aires: Stockcero, 2011
In 1690, when Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez, penned by Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645-1700), was published in Mexico, Spain already seemed to be slipping irrevocably into decadence. At the same time, history marked the epochal hearkening of the leading Puerto Rican character-narrator whose name appears on the title, and of the well-known Mexican writer, mathematician, philosopher, and historian. Both were exemplary subjects of a new hybrid race and creole culture straddling the effects that the conquest and colonization of the New World left across the American continent. To date, scholars have not agreed on its genre and continue to debate whether it is a work of fiction, a historical document, or a first-hand narrative account. In the introduction, Prof. Saad Maura sets forth ideas that touch on the politics, religion, historicity, and aesthetic considerations stemming from the story. The events in the high-seas between the Catholic Ramírez and the protestant pirates (mostly English) invite a reevaluation of the subtle line distinguishing not only truth and falsehood, but also half-truths or pure, creative invention. Besides a full transcription of the original text, our edition includes a bibliographical appendix and extensive footnotes on the nautical terms that appear throughout the novel, making it a sourcebook of maritime history at the end of the 17th century. Having appeared over three hundred years ago, we hope that the current volume will continue to pique the curiosity of 21st-century readers as to the nautical, historical and religious controversies that make up this great work of Hispanic colonial literature.
Grandeza mexicana (1604), Bernardo de Balbuena. Madrid: Cátedra, 2011
Con Grandeza mexicana, Bernardo de Balbuena pretende alabar el nivel que ocupa México como metropoli del mundo gracias a la injerencia del poderio español. Balbuena no escribe para exaltar las glorias del pasado prehispanico, sino para ensalzar esta nueva ciudad que desplaza tanto el legado azteca como el de otras ciudades antiguamente respetadas. Todo lo que alaba de México le pertenece en realidad a España; la grandeza mexicana es en realidad española, en afán por revivir el poder imperial ya decadente.