All the Alatriste news in English: Book 6, July 2010

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Estel
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Mensaje por Estel » Dom Jun 10, 2007 10:57 am

Farol escribió:Mmm...!! Rogorn... they are waiting for your report.. :D
http://www.viggo-works.com/vbulletin/sh ... 9&page=357

Yes, we are. :lol:
Too bad the fans from Capitan Alatriste and Viggo-Works didn't meet. :( I thought they would, since I had a hunch that at least Rogorn and probably a few others were going, having discussed this screening for a while. I haven't had much computer time recently, so I had forgotten about London, was surprised Friday night reading about it, otherwise I would certainly have reminded my friends at V-W to go and look for the Crimson Tide. :wink: It would have been fun for the whole lot of you to sit down and discuss Alatriste face to face. 8)

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AlatristeFan
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Mensaje por AlatristeFan » Mar Jun 12, 2007 4:42 pm

Looks like Alatriste is scheduled to compete at the first Drake International film Festival near Naples from June 23-30...

Drake Film Fest unveils inaugural lineup

By Eric J. Lyman
June 12, 2007


ROME -- "Ryan Eslinger's "When a Man Falls in the Forrest" -- a Golden Bear nominee at this year's Berlin International Film Festival -- and "Numb" from Harris Goldberg are among the dozen films to appear in competition at the first Drake International Film Festival, set for June 23-30 near Naples...."

"...Other competing titles are: Nick Lyon's gritty rape and murder mystery "Punk Love," "Gumiho Gajok" (The Fox Family) from South Korea's Hyung-gon Lee, "The Heart of the Earth," a romance from Antonio Cuadri, Brett Leonard's action fantasy "Highlander: The Source," the fifth "Highlander" film, "The Melon Route" from Croatia's Branko Schmidt and Augustin Diaz Yanes' "Alatriste," starring Viggo Mortensen and the winner of three of Spain's Goya Awards earlier this year...."

"...It was not clear which cast members would make the trip to Reggia di Caserta for the screenings, all of which are at least Italian premieres.

Much of the buzz about Drake's entry into the already crowded Italian film festival calendar involves the event's location, which was built in 1752 as the home of King Charles VII of Naples. Its main palace is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe."

The Hollywood Reporter
© 2007 Nielsen Business Media, Inc.


If any of our Italian friends or anyone else close by is lucky enough go...sure hope you enjoy yourselves.... :D
FYI..here's a link to the official festival site... diff 2007

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Arma
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Mensaje por Arma » Vie Jun 22, 2007 5:56 pm

Hi! I'm curious about that...In which scenes did they laugh?


Hum... So many scenes. And the embarassing part is that they laughed in regular and even sad scenes!

For example, when Maria de Castro says she already knew Alatriste and then they appear in bed, they burst out laughing :roll:

But what was more shocking to me was that they laughed in the scene Luis Pereira (our portuguese) dies! When he says the Inquisition has already found his brother, etc. and that they will find him next, and then they appear, they started laughing!!! At least they stopped when he killed himself...

Anyway, I think you get the idea... :wink:

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Pyogenesis
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Mensaje por Pyogenesis » Sab Jun 23, 2007 2:27 am

Então aquelas pessoas nao tenhem suficiente preparação para ver uma película tão complexa...Muito triste...
Anyway, probably it's happening the same thing in many European countries...

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Sab Jun 30, 2007 11:15 pm

From Erica Wagner in 'The Times'

DO YOU HAVE Good Intentions for your holiday reading? Are you then led astray? This year, lazing by the pool in Corfu or stretched on the shingle at Beadnell, you are definitely going to make a start on Proust (in French, n’est-ce pas?), and when you’ve got through that, it will be Bleak House followed, perhaps, by Don Quixote. You will remember to be careful not to drop any one of these heavy tomes on your flip-flopped bare toes, you will not smear suncream on the pages and you will certainly not drop any of your chosen volumes in the sea and have to read Hello! instead. Oh, no.

I am particularly prone to having Good Intentions on board aircraft. I usually have at least two books in my bag – books I’m really, honestly, truly looking forward to reading – and yet, mysteriously, I always end up spending an absolute fortune on magazines once I’m past the check-in.

Well, this is the famous thing about Good Intentions – the road to Hell, and all that. Perhaps the trouble comes in slotting books into categories such as “good for you” and “bad for you”. Dickens is organic; Dick Francis is McDonald’s. Does it have to work that way?

I am, you will not be surprised to learn, an almost insanely voracious reader. Toothpaste tubes, the back of cereal packets, biblical concordances, encyclopedias, Doctor Who annuals. The only thing I have ever really found that I can’t read are the instruction booklets that come with computer games. I’m sure I could play the games if I could manage the books, but I can’t, so I don’t. And yet still I, who read books for a living after all, still sometimes feel troubled that I am not reading something quite worthy enough.

The trouble with thinking something worthy is that, as with porridge, you are less likely to enjoy it. My son loves porridge: strangely enough I’ve never managed to mention that it’s good for him, which may be why. If you don’t feel like reading something, don’t. Try again later, and see how you get on.

So my summer’s resolution is to lighten up. That doesn’t mean that I won’t take Don Quixote on holiday with me (no, I’ve never read it) it’s just that I won’t be hard on myself if I lay it down for a while and pick up one of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s rip-roaring Captain Alatriste novels . . . or, indeed, Hello! if we are continuing the Spanish theme. It all goes into the mix, right?

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IndianMoon16
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Mensaje por IndianMoon16 » Mar Jul 03, 2007 6:32 pm

Got no clue whether this is the right place for this or not, but thought I might try.
Put it somewhere else if you want to, Rogorn, or delete it, or maybe you can translate it and put it on the Spanish part of the forum? :lol: :

If you follow the link you can vote for the OST of ALATRISTE, to win the World Soundtrack Awards.
I absolutely think they did a great job and gave them my vote, so if there are any others who would like to do the same?


http://www.worldsoundtrackawards.be/awa ... d=151&ref=

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Anna
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Mensaje por Anna » Jue Ago 09, 2007 8:34 am

I will be going to Madrid on 23 August and stay there until 27. Does anyone know if Alatriste will be shown in one of the cinemas by then? Thank you - Anna Denmark

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Jue Ago 09, 2007 11:39 am

No, it won't be. By then it will be almost a year since the original release. All you will be able to do is buy the dvd if you haven't got it yet.

We know it was recently released in Denmark. How did it do?

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Anna
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Mensaje por Anna » Vie Ago 10, 2007 8:00 am

Rogorn, thank you. The DVD was released in Denmark in May and it did quite well for about a month. I guess you know that Viggo Mortensen presented the movie in Ringsted at a special screening in July. Unfortunately I did not attend because I was away on vacation.

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Vie Oct 05, 2007 11:01 am

Alatriste in audiobook... and in English
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookse ... ly=CRV&z=y

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Jue Ene 24, 2008 10:55 pm

Apparently, Amazon has announced the publication in English of the fourth Alatriste novel, 'The king's gold', for 10 April, on hard cover.

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SisterMoon
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Mensaje por SisterMoon » Jue Feb 07, 2008 5:50 pm

Hi all,

I will visit Spain for holidays this year and I would like to see some places from the Alatriste shootings. Maybe someone from you could give me tips where to go in Andalucia?
I was at the shootings in Tarifa, Cadiz and Conil at that time, but know I want to visit
Ubeda, Baeza, Jaén :D I know they are some scenes in the movie from these cities but I don't know exaclty what buildings.
Maybe you have some other tips to go :wink:

Gracias
SisterMoon

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Pyogenesis
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Mensaje por Pyogenesis » Jue Feb 07, 2008 6:38 pm

SisterMoon escribió:but know I want to visit
Ubeda, Baeza, Jaén :D I know they are some scenes in the movie from these cities but I don't know exaclty what buildings.
Maybe you have some other tips to go :wink:

Gracias
SisterMoon


As long as I know, the scenes relating to Alatriste's encounter with Olivares ("we need men like you in Flanders",etc.) were shot in Ubeda's Hstoric Archives (Archivos Históricos de Úbeda, located in the town hall's attic. I visited them in 2000 during a trip with the Faculty, but I'm not sure if they are normally open to the public, you should ask there in the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). Besides that, Úbeda, and Baeza as well, are beautiful Renaissance towns worth visiting.

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SisterMoon
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Mensaje por SisterMoon » Mar Feb 12, 2008 7:48 am

Thanks a lot for these tips. I'm looking forward to come back to Spain. The Alatriste shootings in 2005 opened my eyes for your beautiful country :)

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Mar May 20, 2008 4:39 pm

Book 4 of the saga, 'The king's gold', is now available in English:

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesw ... ku=5979101

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Mié May 21, 2008 5:16 pm

The Sunday Times review by John Spurling

“There is now an idiotic tendency to despise action in novels,” says a literary critic in Arturo Perez-Reverte's third novel, 'The Dumas Club', published in 1993. He is defending Alexandre Dumas's 'The Three Musketeers' and its sequels against the accusation that they are not sufficiently serious. Since Perez-Reverte has made his name with elaborate intellectual thrillers in which there is plenty of action, this character is clearly speaking for his author.

The King's Gold, however, as its defiantly run-of-the-mill title suggests, has no pretensions to be intellectual. It is the fourth in a series of the adventures of Captain Diego Alatriste, a 17th-century Spanish soldier, and its plot - the covert capture of a treasure ship from the Indies - is hardly more out of the ordinary than its title.

Perez-Reverte's real interest is less in the cloak-and-dagger stuff than in the historical period. Most of the action takes place in and around Seville during the early years of Philip IV's reign. The poet Francisco Quevedo makes a few appearances, as do the king and his minister, the Count-Duke Olivares, but most of the characters are the kind of swaggering killers - big-booted, wide-hatted, long-moustached and thickly jacketed (against being stabbed) - who populate 'The Three Musketeers' or lounge about with their pipes and flagons in genre paintings of the time. Captain Alatriste and his immediate comrades are, of course, not only seasoned toughs and brilliant swordsmen, but are also sensitive and decent men, so much so that, rather than torture a man to obtain information, the captain prefers to terrify him with a recital of what he might do and then burns his own arm to show what he is capable of.

But although the heroes fight and are ready to die for king and church and country, none of these is shown to be worth a drop of anyone's blood. The once all-powerful Spain is in terminal decline, at war with its rising neighbours England, France and Holland, bogged down in Flanders, corrupted by easy wealth from the mines of Peru and the consequent greed and sloth of its people. If it were not that this novel was first published in Spain eight years ago, one might almost take it to be a shot across the bows of post-Iraq America. “All that remained,” reflects the narrator, Alatriste's 16-year-old page, “was arrogance and cruelty, and when you considered the high regard in which we held ourselves, our violent customs and our scorn for other provinces and nations, one could understand why the Spanish were, quite rightly, hated throughout Europe and half the known world.

The descriptions of the sordid streets and underworld of Seville, including a last party in the prison for a celebrity criminal due to be garrotted in the morning, are well done, and the climactic capture of the ship is a fine piece of action in words, but by the high standard of this author's early novels (The Flanders Panel and The Fencing-Master as well as The Dumas Club) the tale is disappointingly thin and the dialogue banal. If Perez-Reverte continues this series he should beware of not treating action novels seriously enough.

---

Jeremy Jehu in The Daily Telegraph

Beset by a credit crunch and ruinous foreign war, King Philip IV of Spain invents a 17th-century stealth tax. He hires the world-weary swordsman Captain Alatriste to hijack a ship from tax-dodging grandees and murder the witnesses.

Alatriste begins an Alexandre Dumas-meets-'The Magnificent Seven' recruiting drive in Seville, where professional killers are ten-a-peso and rarely unemployed. Arturo Pérez-Reverte's plot is a simple string of largely borrowed set pieces. His trick is updating the morality of 19th-century swashbucklers for modern readers - but not the language or structure.
His narrative fondly pastiches the precious prose and portentous digressions of an age before pace was deemed compatible with literary excellence. But the joke can go too far, as one digression reveals Alatriste won't die for 17 years. So much for tension.

---

Adam Mars-Jones for The Guardian

By rights, according to Mark Twain, Don Quixote should have swept away for good our admiration for adventure and heroic codes of combat, but then along came Ivanhoe and the disease broke out again worse than ever. In this long-drawn-out literary battle, Arturo Pérez-Reverte's The King's Gold, part of a historical series featuring Captain Alatriste (played in the 2006 film by Viggo Mortensen) is definitely in the Ivanhoe camp, with just enough worldliness and cynicism to entice a sophisticated readership, though the book's cover design seems aimed squarely at young adults.

The gold of the title is indeed the king's (Philip IV the king in question), a shipment of precious metal arriving from South America. But the king wants to steal it, a paradox explained by the fact that extra treasure is being brought in undeclared, concealed in hidden compartments. If an adventurous group posing as regular pirates could be hired to mount an attack, then any number of cheating middlemen could be cut out and a strong rebuke be administered to subjects who seek to feather their nests. Captain Diego Alatriste is chosen to recruit and lead the faux-piratical party.

The narrator is Iñigo Balboa, Alatriste's squire, not yet 16, but already a veteran of sorts. The convention seems to be that Íñigo is looking back on these events from maturity or even old age, which has a marked distancing effect on the story. It's odd to read, in a discussion of the corruption of Seville, that the archbishop was in despair, 'as one can read in a memoir of the time', when 'the time' is the time of the story we're being told. That 'time' is Íñigo's past, which certainly muffles any possible vividness.

Anyone coming late to a series of genre novels must expect to do some catching-up. In The King's Gold, there are any number of references to things 'I'm sure you'll remember', to past battles or characters. Sometimes flashback and flash-forward jostle each other on the same page. So one moment Iñigo may stray from the novel's time-frame by mentioning, apropos of the King's guard, 'Little did we imagine that many years later I myself would wear that uniform', and the next he's off in the other direction: 'I couldn't help but shudder when I remembered poor Elvira de la Cruz and how close I too had come to being burnt at the stake.'

In this novel of action and adventure, it can seem that it's always derring-do yesterday and derring-do tomorrow, never derring-do today. The pure drug of narrative is too often cut with the talcum powder of historical precis or the horse-tranquilliser of philosophical reflection. Eventually, The King's Gold delivers its quota of genre elements: the ambushes, the beautiful betrayer whose love may nevertheless be real, the old adversary contractually obliged to say: 'This time you win,' but also to escape with his life for the benefit of future volumes. In a couple of scenes, though, Iñigo's point of view lapses and we see Alatriste direct. This is formally problematic (how do these scenes pop up in a memoir of Iñigo's?) and dangerous in genre terms. In the boy's hero-worshipping eyes, Alatriste is a cynic who never does a mean thing - at one stage going so far as to torture himself in order to frighten a suspect into telling all he knows. Seen directly, he's a frankly preposterous figure, fighting with a 'clear-sighted indifference' which seems to have more to do with Zen martial-arts films than with anything a 17th-century swordsman might actually feel.

Arturo Pérez-Reverte was a war correspondent before he started to write novels, but there is remarkably little realism on show here. He indulges himself with literary references, quoting from Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina, even going so far as to make poet Francisco de Quevedo (despite his club foot, short-sightedness and overweight) into a comrade in arms for his heroes. The best chapter describes the last evening of Nicasio Ganzúa in prison, a sort of wake held in advance since he will be executed in the morning. Various ruffians bribe their way into the jail to pay their respects, to eat and drink and play cards. Ganzúa affects a sort of nihilistic grandeur, asking the scribe who has just read out the formal details of the sentence to repeat them since he was concentrating on the game and not listening.

For a few pages, we seem to be in the world of Goya (that earlier war correspondent) rather than Velázquez, but as the moment of judicial murder approaches, the author goes strangely soft: 'He smoothed his moustaches one last time, and at the second turn of the garrotte his face grew perfectly calm and serene, as if he were sunk in thought.' This is a remarkable thing for Iñigo to notice, both because the fatal compression of a ligature inevitably disturbs facial composure and also because we've just been told that Ganzúa's head was enclosed in a hood at the time.

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Jue May 22, 2008 2:05 pm

Some notes on the three reviews. The one from The Times is quite good:
The King's Gold, however, as its defiantly run-of-the-mill title suggests, has no pretensions to be intellectual (...), and its plot - the covert capture of a treasure ship from the Indies - is hardly more out of the ordinary than its title. Pérez-Reverte's real interest is less in the cloak-and-dagger stuff than in the historical period.

This is correct, but I feel he means 'hardly out of the ordinary' in a bad way. One of the things that attentive readers will discover as they go through the saga is that most of the action is in fact quite low-key, which makes the label of 'swash-buckling' quite inappropriate for the Alatriste books. And lazy, really. It seems that anything set in these two or three centuries will be called that as a matter of fact no matter what. Taking away book 3, which is a proper war book with big set-pieces , and parts of book 6, also quite bloody with its sail-and-raid story, in the rest of the volumes there aren't many fabulous deeds. Why, in book 1 the two Englishmen don't even get killed!

So, in this book 4, there is only one thing to do, to take care of the matter of the king's gold, and surprise surprise, that's what the book is about, BUT, as the reviewer shrewdly notes, it is not the best part of the book. Sevilla is probably Pérez-Reverte's favourite city, he knows it inside out, in several centuries, and he succeeds brilliantly at letting us know how it was then: one of the largest cities in the world at that time, the richest port bar none, particularly on fleet-arrival day, and therefore one of the most dangerous places you can find yourself in. Even with an expert and able guide like Alatriste by your side, you feel as uneasy as Íñigo. If Alatriste was to stray away for a moment and left you alone, you'd panic instantly.
Captain Alatriste and his immediate comrades are, of course, not only seasoned toughs and brilliant swordsmen, but are also sensitive and decent men, so much so that, rather than torture a man to obtain information, the captain prefers to terrify him with a recital of what he might do and then burns his own arm to show what he is capable of.

This is most people's favourite scene from the whole saga, or if not, it's for sure in the top 3. And it's a testament to Pérez-Reverte's skill in character building that it fits perfectly, that it enhances the character, and that it is believable when it could have been something to roll your eyes at. By the time you read it, four books in, you can go 'oh yes, that's Alatriste all right' and at he same time be awed by him and wowed by the scene itself. The scene was filmed for the movie, but it was so blandly done, as you can see if you have a copy of the double-disc Spanish edition, that it was pulled from the final cut. Director Agustín Díaz Yanes was for leaving it in anyway, but Pérez-Reverte and producer Íñigo Marco talked him out of it. The actor playing Jerónimo Garaffa looks as if he's witnessing a magic trick rather than wetting himself with fear. Which was the right thing to do.

And yes, the whole point is showing how Alatriste is a decent man... sometimes. He doesn't want to torture anyone, but that doesn't stop him from non-decent behaviour at other times.
If it were not that this novel was first published in Spain eight years ago, one might almost take it to be a shot across the bows of post-Iraq America.

Funny he should say that, as Viggo also made this comment.
The tale is disappointingly thin and the dialogue banal. If Perez-Reverte continues this series he should beware of not treating action novels seriously enough.

Mmmm. OK, I understand the finish-with-a-sententious-remark approach, but I think it is misplaced. None of the novels are long or even crammed with action. Things happen all the time, but they're not hurried, they take their time. For example, they take more than a whole chapter to get from the port to the ship. Because that's what happens. Because Pérez-Reverte knows from experience that in life there are not fades to black that will save you the trek, and that in those dead-time moments other things can happen. You observe your comrades. You have time to think about what you're doing, or should be (or not) doing. You even make decisions in those moments, or see things clearly, or find meaning and purpose to your actions. There is much more inner life in this saga than most reviewers give it credit for.

About the banal dialogue, well, Alatriste is never going to be an orator. Maybe we've grown too used to briliant scripts in cinema when a nurse, a policeman or a taxi driver can deliver perfect lines full of meaning in impeccable timing. But life is not like that.

---

The one from the Daily Telegraph is short and basically useless. And clueless.
Alatriste begins an Alexandre Dumas-meets-'The Magnificent Seven' recruiting drive in Seville, where professional killers are ten-a-peso.

Oh, dear. Are there mariachi bands as well? Do they yell 'arriba'?
The joke can go too far, as one digression reveals Alatriste won't die for 17 years. So much for tension.

Well, there must be a reason why this guy has a job at a leading newspaper. But it's not on the strength of reviews like this. Alatriste's death has been known for a while in the series already, mate. What, you thought the hero giving name to the series was gonna croak so easily? So much for attention.

---

The one from The Guardian/Observer raises some interesting points:

The convention seems to be that Íñigo is looking back on these events from maturity or even old age, which has a marked distancing effect on the story. (...) That 'time' is Íñigo's past, which certainly muffles any possible vividness. (...) In a couple of scenes, though, Iñigo's point of view lapses and we see Alatriste direct. This is formally problematic (how do these scenes pop up in a memoir of Iñigo's?) and dangerous in genre terms.

I have seen this debated in college lectures, and it has a lot of meat to it. Yes, how does Íñigo know what Alatriste is up to when they're not together, and even more, how does he know what Alatriste thinks? The explanation is very simple: Íñigo is writing these stories as an old man, and includes there, for the sake of chronology, what happened to the two of them, both what he witnessed and what he guessed. He just takes that licence. He is not just a witness relating his tale in a judicial manner; he gives colour to what he sees, and that extends to Alatriste's thoughts.

'Cop out!', some yell. 'Bad technique!', say others. 'Amateur!' cry a few. Well, I'm personally happy with the explanation, but I also reckon that the charge can't be completely ignored. I think that simply Pérez-Reverte wasn't going to let technique and literary constraints spoil the fun of good tale-telling. If it works that we see and hear Alatriste, and that we even hear him think, then he does it. If that's what the story needs, let's throw all the other rules out of the window. Reader interest comes first. How tiresome would it be having to explain how Íñigo came to know what happened to the captain on what night? And about Alatriste's thoughts, what, is he going to sit by the fire one day and pour his heart out to the lad so that he can write about it later? Now THAT would be out of character. Very easily done, very understandable too, but that would be the real cop-out. Alatriste talks? A lot? C'mon.

Besides, Pérez-Reverte has an illustrious precedent in none other than Francisco de Quevedo himself. In one of his books, supposedly narrated in first person by the protagonist, he tells us how a group of people plot against him somewhere else. He even knows in which street corner in Madrid this happens. Now, yell 'amateur' at him. And do it with a sword in your hand if you dare.
Sometimes flashback and flash-forward jostle each other on the same page. So one moment Iñigo may stray from the novel's time-frame by mentioning, apropos of the King's guard, 'Little did we imagine that many years later I myself would wear that uniform', and the next he's off in the other direction: 'I couldn't help but shudder when I remembered poor Elvira de la Cruz and how close I too had come to being burnt at the stake.' In this novel of action and adventure, it can seem that it's always derring-do yesterday and derring-do tomorrow, never derring-do today. The pure drug of narrative is too often cut with the talcum powder of historical précis or the horse-tranquilliser of philosophical reflection.

Well, they do their derring today too, if you wait until the end of the book. One just doesn't jump happily on the deck of a ship full of gold, ahoy, matey. It takes preparation. But just as it happens in real life, what you do now is mixed with your past in your head. And if you write from the future, a further layer of remembrance is added , so when you tell a story you end up with what you did, what you thought at the time and what you think about it now. I think it's brilliant, daring, plausible and nuanced. If you took that away, you'd be left with a linear, uninteresting, pure 'derring-do' (in the bad sense of the word) plot. No character construction, no depth. How often has this been criticised? Cardboard characters. Yet, when fleshing-out is attempted, like in here, it is treated as a bore. Don't worry, we will see the chase, but we won't just cut to it.
In the boy's hero-worshipping eyes, Alatriste is a cynic who never does a mean thing - at one stage going so far as to torture himself in order to frighten a suspect into telling all he knows. Seen directly, he's a frankly preposterous figure, fighting with a 'clear-sighted indifference' which seems to have more to do with Zen martial-arts films than with anything a 17th-century swordsman might actually feel.

We know that's not true. Alatriste, yes, is a hero to Íñigo, but he does do mean things, Íñigo knows about them, knows they're mean and he tells us that much. Sometimes he just leaves the reader to interpret what happens and a very few times he gives his opinion. That, again, is nuance. Yes, he worships Alatriste. No, he's not fooled by him.

About what a 17th-century swordsman might feel, the reviewer's guess is as good as Pérez-Reverte's, but the character is only the latter's. He built it like that, fleshed him out, and yes, I come from the same area as him and Alatriste's character is predominant there. It's only preposterous if you come with preconceptions about bullfighting and other clichés. Besides, Pérez-Reverte has known actual contract killers in many countries and of many backgrounds, and knows that the succesful ones are the ones who know when to keep quiet.
Arturo Pérez-Reverte was a war correspondent before he started to write novels, but there is remarkably little realism on show here. He indulges himself with literary references, quoting from Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina, even going so far as to make poet Francisco de Quevedo (despite his club foot, short-sightedness and overweight) into a comrade in arms for his heroes.

You can tell the reviewer is straying from what he knows about the History of the time. People of the time quoted poets at each other like today we might be able to sing dozens of rock or pop songs off the top of our heads. In fact, it would be even ahistorical if Íñigo wasn't able to remember any verses from his period. He was a son of his time, and besides, he can read and does like it. It is realistic. The Golden Century writers are rightly esteemed because they took literature from the courts and gave it to the public. They were phenomenally successful among the people, and if most weren't rich it was because most people couldn't read and therefore did not buy their books. But everyone knew Quevedo's or Lope's new verses as soon as they were out, and they circulated in unofficial manuscript copies within hours - see, piracy issues and all.

And about Quevedo's sword-fighting, well, he once beat the king's fencing master in a public show of arms to settle a disagreement on swordplay technique. It is well documented and it was big gossip at the time. Enough said.
'He smoothed his moustaches one last time, and at the second turn of the garrotte his face grew perfectly calm and serene, as if he were sunk in thought.' This is a remarkable thing for Iñigo to notice, both because the fatal compression of a ligature inevitably disturbs facial composure and also because we've just been told that Ganzúa's head was enclosed in a hood at the time.

I understand that a reviewer cannot know everything about everybody, but this episode is an homage to Quevedo, who described an execution of his own time in almost the exact words. In fact, Quevedo himself is seen in Pérez-Reverte's book telling Íñigo that he was eager to see the execution because he was writing a book about a low-life criminal. So this is the game Pérez-reverte wants us to play: to see who remembers this passage from Quevedo's book and link it to his novel. These are the kinds of level of meaning I mentioned before which are lost on many people, in particular abroad.

Plus, a hood, doesn't have to cover the whole face.

Cheers.

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Jue Abr 09, 2009 10:37 am

I never know whether anyone at all reads this section, but just in case, here goes:

IS VIGGO Mortensen the movie world's patron saint of lost causes? Once the actor has dedicated himself to a movie, he won't give up on it. Take 'Alatriste', the Spanish-language epic he spent hours on the phone promoting in Australia a couple of years ago, even though it was showing only a few times at a film festival. A film he followed to Japan on the off chance they might get it ‘‘as a samurai story''. A film he's now determined to get the rights to so he can release it on DVD in the US, where it never even got a big-screen look-in.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/ ... 23,00.html

And book 5 of the series, the last one with ties to the film, is now out in English:

http://www.capitan-alatriste.com/module ... &album=246

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Rogorn
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Mensaje por Rogorn » Lun May 18, 2009 4:49 pm

Review of 'The man in the yellow doublet'
By Toby Clements, The Daily Telegraph
3 April 2009
272pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99

Set in 1626, this is Captain Alatriste’s fifth adventure, and it finds him back in Madrid after his sojourns in Flanders and Seville, up to his old tricks: taking offence, going to the theatre, quoting poetry, kissing actresses and fighting his way out of trouble. This time he may –or may not– have killed the king in a scuffle outside an actress’s house. The adventures are related by his servant Inigo, then a youth, but now writing as an old man after the battle of Rocroi and the end of Spanish hegemony, so his memories are tinged with melancholy and interpolated with broad brush pronouncements on the dolorous state of Spain. Alatriste is an interesting character, and although Inigo worships him he can also see his “dark inner life” and the emotional wounds. Despite a strong “period” voice, Arturo Pérez-Reverte manages to avoid pastiche, and this series is becoming more impressive with each book.

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Ina
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Mensaje por Ina » Mar May 19, 2009 8:08 am

Rogorn escribió:I never know whether anyone at all reads this section,


I do :lol:

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