The Friend of Death

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Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788499535623
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411260121

SKU: 9788498971897 Category: Tags: ,

According to Pedro Antonio de Alarcón in his History of my books, the argument The friend of death. The action takes place in Spain in the eighteenth century, during the reign of Philip V. The story was told to him by his paternal grandmother when he was a child and is part of traditional folklore.
The Friend of Death is a fantastic tale written in 1852, included in Alarcón’s Implausible Narratives , which were published in 1882.
Here is narrated the life of a young orphaned shoemaker who, by chance circumstances, is raised in the house of a rich count, along with his wife and daughter. What begins as children’s games between the orphan and the daughter of the counts, leads to a passionate youthful love.
When the count dies, the countess kicks the young man out of the house and goes with her daughter to live outside the country. Desperate to get away from his surroundings, to lose his position and, above all, his love, he falls into a spiral of self-destruction. This spiral ends in a suicide attempt that is thwarted by the intervention of Death, an ambiguous being with confused intentions.

This was a poor boy, tall, skinny, yellow, with good black eyes, a clear forehead and the most beautiful hands in the world, very badly dressed, of haughty bearing and unbearable humor … He was nineteen years old, and his name was Gil Gil.
Gil Gil was the son, grandson, great-grandson, chozno, and God knows what else, of the best old shoemakers of the court, and when he went out into the world he caused the death of his mother, Crispina López, whose parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents also honored the same profession.
Juan Gil, legal father of our melancholic hero, did not begin to love him since he knew that he knocked with his heels at the doors of life, but merely since they told him that he had left the maternal cloister, even if this exit left him without a wife; whence I dare to infer that the poor master builder and Crispina López were a model of short marriages, but bad. So short was his, that it could not be more, if we take into account that he left fruit of blessing … to some extent. By this I mean that Gil Gil was seventeen, or, to put it better, that he was born seven months after his parents’ marriage, which does not always prove the same thing… However, judging only by appearances, Crispina López deserved to be more mourned than her husband mourned her, because when she passed to hers from her father’s shoe store, she brought him in dowry, in addition to an almost excessive beauty and a lot of bedding and clothing, a very rich parishioner – nothing less than a count! and Count of Rionuevo—, who had for some months (we believe seven), the strange whim of fitting his small and delicate feet in the rough work of good John, the most unworthy representative of the holy martyrs Crispin and Crispinian, who enjoy God …

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