The jealous Extremaduran

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788496428317

SKU: 9788499530802 Category: Tags: , ,

The jealous Extremaduran is, without a doubt, among the exemplary novels of Cervantes, along with La gitanilla and Rinconete and Cortadillo.
The novel tells the story of an unequal marriage. Carrizales, a rich Indian, settles in Seville and marries Leonora. He is sixty-eight and she is fourteen. Crazed by jealousy, he locks his wife in a tower, without any contact with the outside world. But a young heartthrob, Loaysa, in love with Leonora, manages to circumvent the rigid isolation, using his cunning.
There are two versions:

  • one, in the manuscript of Porras de la Cámar between 1600 and 1609,
  • and the other in the collection of Exemplary Novels published by Cervantes in 1613. The latter is the one we have chosen for our edition.

The two versions present slight textual variants and a small but very important plot change. In Porras’ version the wife of Extremadura succumbs to adultery, while in 1613, the act is not consummated.
The jealous Extremadura reflects the atmosphere of a Spain closed to the outside world and lacking freedom of conscience. Cervantes here denounces and censors his time and moral and material slavery at the dawn of modern times, that is, in the seventeenth century.

“It has not been many years since from a place in Extremadura came a nobleman, born of noble parents, who, like another Prodigal, in various parts of Spain, Italy and Flanders went thus spending the years as the hacienda; and, at the end of many pilgrimages, his parents already dead and his patrimony spent, he ended up in the great city of Seville, where he found a very good opportunity to finish consuming what little he had left. Seeing, then, so lacking in money, and still not with many friends, he accepted the remedy to which many others lost in that city are welcomed, which is to pass to the Indies, refuge and protection of the desperate of Spain, church of the rebels, safe conduct of the murderers, shovel and cover of the players (whom the experts in the art call certain), general shenanigans of free women, common deception of many and particular remedy of few.
Finally, when the time came when a fleet was leaving for the mainland, accommodating itself with Admiral Della, he seasoned his matalotaje and his esparto shroud; and, embarking in Cadiz, throwing the blessing to Spain, the fleet set sail, and with general joy they gave the sails to the wind, which soft and prosperous blew, which in a few hours covered the land and discovered the wide and spacious plains of the great father of the waters, the ocean sea.

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