Moroccan Letters

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Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788490075418
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411263542
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788496428799

SKU: 9788498970265 Category: Tags: , ,

The Moroccan Letters are an epistolary work by José Cadalso, published in 1789, after his death. They contain ninety cards that intersect between only three protagonists.

  • Gazel, a young Moroccan visiting Spain for the first time, observes and comments on its customs and culture.
  • Ben-Beley, Gazel’s friend and wise teacher, who lives in Morocco;
  • and Nuño Núñez, a Christian Spaniard whom Gazel befriends.

With these letters Cadalso proposed to make a “critique of the nation”. Here he delved into the essence of the problems that have made Spain, his homeland, is, in his own words, “the skeleton of a giant”. The reflection on the theme of Spain that he initiated was followed by Mariano José de Larra, the regenerationists and the Generation of 98, until the present.
The common thread of the whole work revolves around satire towards certain customs and vices of the time without following any order. So much so, that it is believed that Cadalso wrote them in different years of his life.
In this work he wanted for mere pleasure to put in writing the hypocrisy, inequality, brutality or superstitions that made a society based on a scientific and rational spirit unviable.
Cadalso himself presents these letters, introducing a new element in Hispanic literature, the “critical spirit”:

“These letters deal with the national character, what it is in the day and what it has been. To handle this criticism to the taste of some, it would be necessary to strain the nation, fill it with expletives and not find in it anything of medium merit. To please others, it would be equally necessary to praise all that the examination of his genius offers us, and to extol all that in itself is reprehensible. Whichever of these two systems were followed in the Moroccan Letters would have a large number of enthusiasts ; and at the cost of misconception with some, the author would have ingratiated himself with others. But in the impartiality that reigns in them, it is indispensable to contract the hatred of both partialities.”

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