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El Periquillo Sarniento es la primera novela de toda Hispanoamérica Fue escrita en México por José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi en 1816 El libro muestra una marcada influencia neoclásica y pretensiones moralizantes Cuenta la vida de un anciano que ante la cercanía de la muerte escribe un texto biográfico con consejos para sus hijos Allí entre otras cosas relata su experiencia con la iglesia mexicana y su salida de un convento franciscano donde estuvo recluido algunos meses

10 thoughts on “El periquillo sarniento

  1. says:

    This is a review of the abridged version translation by Katherine Anne Porter published by Doubleday in 1942 The first Latin American novel Lizardi was a radical journalist who was always on the edge of being jailed He protested Spanish rule and this book was censored while Spain still ruled Mexico for its portrayal of the colonial powerThe protagonist's nickname is the itching parrot or PollThis is a picaresque adventure of rather simple minded lazy young man of the middle class who can't be bothered to learn a profession or a trade Eventually he loses his family's money and falls into the clutches of rascals who teach him all manner of ways to cheat at cards and generally live badly It's a manual of card sharping and survival in jail where the gullible protagonist is prey to experienced inmates Along the way he gives up on training as or masquerades as a priest a doctor a pharmacist and any number of other thingsHe does tremendous harm to all kinds of people while as narrator regretting what he did The frame is that he is narrating the story to his children as an old man reformed For a while the stories are amusing but they get very very repetitious Eventually the last 75 to 100 pages pick up as the adventures get various and he turns beggar and highwayman Finally he is condemned to military service and goes to the Philippines in service to an officer reforms on the surface gets shipwrecked on an Asian island returns to Mexico with a Chinese noble gets into trouble again and finally meets a mentor who guides him into a pious life As you can see Lizardi has plenty to say The book is an odd combination of Spanish hidalgo pride and sympathy for the poor and particularly for the mistreated indigenous peoples The source of Poll's trouble is part laziness but part excessive pride When his father points out that the only course left to him is to learn a trade Poll refuses to stoop so low and ends up eventually in jail when his other money making schemes go bad Hypocritical clergy and corrupt officials come in for plenty of criticismPorter has a very good introduction in which she discusses the political and literary importance of Lizardi's writing She and Wikipedia also note the innovation of using the speech of so many different social classes It shows a bit in the translation but must be very noticeable in the SpanishI think it might be worth hunting down the recent translation called The Mangy Parrot published by Hackett

  2. says:

    Clearly a product of its times but not suffering for that fact Lizardi's novel gets away with some things that many novels couldn't Despite some very direct moral philosophizing on the part of the narrator and author the novel is biting and humorous satire in true form Similar to Don Quixote and writing by Mark Twain no aspect of society is safe from Lizardi's depiction Written in a clear voice and depicting a tale that is both engaging and larger than life Latin America's First Novel is well worth the read

  3. says:

    Purportedly the earliest Mexican Latin American novel written in 1816 as a serial This is a rather lengthy novel of the rogue Periquillo written as first person narrative It as mixture of Pickwick Papers Dickens The Life of Gargantua Pantagruel Rabelais Bouvard Pecuchet Flaubert and anything by GaldosWe see him develop from a unashamed teenager to a friar doctor barber soldier sexton apothecary aid Along the way he gets married gambles fortunes away wins the lottery imprisoned lies cheats at cards shipwrecked travels to China reaches rock bottom and so on Starting off sympathetically and humorously this anti hero really does do some obnoxious criminal things; what ultimately works however is the honest frankness and colourful people he meets along the way The overall tale always has you hookedThe reason I loved this story was it really was entertaining and engaging whilst being educational on all those professions and how to use them to personal selfish gain The setting in Mexico City and the 1800's landscape was also wonderful There are some rather useful footnotes by the translator and LizardiThe unabridged version a shorter version is available I think took me nearly a month to complete in one go but as it is quite episodic I guess you could read it in installments much in the mode it was originally releasedWell worth a try an historic gem

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  5. says:

    I think the book is valuable historically and fairly entertaining although many of the stories and viewpoints are dated However I wish I hadn't been assigned to read the abridged version because I do feel like I missed out on a lot of the book and many of the cut scenes seem to have been chosen at random Also my teacher spoiled the ending but that's not the book's fault

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  7. says:

    This book got to my bookshelves randomly Apparently they gave it to Will for free at school If this is one of the books they are giving out to kids to get them to read it's not going to work AwfulI suppose it's because there is a great deal of history around it It was the first novel written in episodes published around the times of the independence in Mexico or New Spain as they liked to call it on the newspaper I understand the relevance of it being the first one When the Spaniards got here they made sure no one read fiction because it corrupts the minds When they finally let people publish that was the first thing that came alongThe problem with novels written originally in episodic form is that often for the writer it becomes also the one source of income and I can see how you would try to extend a story past it's expiration date if it was keeping food on your table Presumably it held the attention of the readers for as long as it did and that's wonderful but I don't even know what kept me reading it except for good old fashion stubbornness

  8. says:

    Written during the Mexican War of Independence 1810 1821 and published in instalments beginning 1816 The Mangy Parrot tells the story of an Mexican boyman Periquillo Sarnientowho was a Spaniard and therefore deemed to have certain privileges In one instance he comments I was the only white But Periquillo fails to uphold the principles of his birth and gets into a number of problems ranging from getting beat up to being imprisoned At times humorous and always insightful into human natures the story of Periquillo was entertaining and enlightening

  9. says:

    This is one funny book

  10. says:

    Very funny but WAY too long and repetitive