Torquemada at the Stake

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788490079058

SKU: 9788490076033 Category: Tags: ,

Torquemada at the Stake (Torquemada en la hoguera) is a short novel that begins a tetralogy. Benito Pérez Galdós published in 1889 Torquemada en la hoguera, and between 1893 and 1895 the rest of the series: Torquemada en la cruz, Torquemada en el purgatorio and Torquemada y San Pedro.
Its protagonist, Don Francisco, already appeared in another work by Benito Pérez Galdós, Fortunata and Jacinta. Torquemada is a lender that has managed to amass an interesting capital based on lending money with usury. He mercilessly squeezes the wretched who by necessity fall into his hands.
Torquemada at the stake shows the inability of the usurer to understand reality and the misfortune that surrounds him. The character cannot rise above greed and bourgeois values.
Galdós resorts with his character to the saga of usurers that the great masters of literature have given us:

  • William Shakespeare,
  • Molière
  • and Dostoevsky,

but in his case he chooses the name of Torquemada relating his character with Tomás de Torquemada, the grand inquisitor.
In Torquemada en la hoguera the author analyzes the Spanish reality from an ideological perspective that questions the socioeconomic structure and imputes to the bourgeoisie the evils that the country suffers.

I will tell how the inhuman who consumed so many unhappy lives in flames went to the burning; that to some he pierced their livers with a hot iron; others he put in a pot well shredded, and the others were chipped in parts; Simmering, with elaborate and methodical viciousness. I will tell how the fierce sayon came to be a victim; how the hatreds he provoked became pity on him, and the clouds of curses rained upon him with pity; Pathetic case, very exemplary case, gentlemen, worthy of being told for teaching of all, warning of condemned and lesson of inquisitors.
My friends already know, from what I wanted to refer to him, Don Francisco Torquemada, whom some unpublished historians of these times call Torquemada el Peor. Woe to my good readers if they know the ruthless stoker of lives and estates for dealings of another kind, not so without malice, not so disinterested as these innocent relations between narrator and reader! Because if they have had something to do with him in a matter of more account; if they have gone to ask for help in the tantrums of pecuniary agony, they had better entrust themselves to God and let themselves die. It is Torquemada who is enabled of that hell in which the debtors die naked and fried; men of more need than possible; employees with more children than salary; others eager for the payroll after long layoffs; military personnel transferred from residence, with family and mother-in-law in addition; characters of skinny spirit, possessors of a good destiny, but, with the woodworm of a little woman who gives teas and pawns the verb to buy pasta; weeping widows who collect from the civil or military Montepío and find themselves in a thousand troubles; diverse subjects who do not succeed in solving the arithmetic problem on which social existence is based, and others very lost, very short, very unscrewed head or moral level, cheaters and deceivers.

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