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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ink and celluloid: A study of the Lazarillo de Tormes and its filmic adaptations
by Tapia, Carlos Fernando, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2007, 298; 3339925
Abstract (Summary)

On a superficial level, the Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) appears to be a short book on the adventures of a young boy in sixteenth-century Spain. Despite its brevity, the Lazarillo has managed to produce an extensive corpus of scholarship. Most of the scholarly treatises deal with the various literary aspects of the work. Topics range from the question of whether the Lazarillo can be considered the first picaresque novel, to attempts at identifying the anonymous author, to the use of irony and other narrative devices that make the book a literary classic.

The richness of literature provided an impetus for people to find ways of recreating the memorable characters and events in other venues of artistic expression. Just as theatrical productions became platforms for representation of literary works, film allowed for mass audiences to experience visually the literary beauty.

The Lazarillo was brought to the screen three times in the twentieth century. The first film, entitled El Lazarillo de Tormes, was directed by Florián Rey in 1925. Interestingly, the film traces the adventures of a boy named Lazarillo in the Spain of the 1920s. Sadly, no copies of this film exist. In 1959, César Fernández Ardavín directed the second film also entitled El Lazarillo de Tormes. The film explores Lazarillo's childhood experiences with four masters. The last film adaptation was Lázaro de Tormes (2000), a project begun by Fernando Fernán Gómez and completed by José Luis García Sánchez. This film deals with the life of an adult Lázaro, who is called to answer allegations regarding his past and present behavior.

This thesis is the first study to examine the novel in conjunction with the two existent films. Recognizing the inherent relationship between literature and film, as well as the uniqueness of each medium, this thesis explores the works through the following themes: "authority," "realism or verisimilitude and the portrayal of the reality of poverty," and "religion." The aforementioned themes form the main chapters of the dissertation. Through its examination of these topics, this study seeks to contribute to the expansive discourse on the Lazarillo.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mujica, Barbara L.
School: Georgetown University
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Romance literature, Film studies
Keywords: Fernan Gomez, Fernando, Fernandez Ardavin, Cesar, Filmic adaptations, Garcia Sanchez, Jose Luis, Lazarillo de Tormes, Lazaro de Tormes, Spain, Spanish film
Publication Number: 3339925
ISBN: 978-0-549-93973-3
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