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doctor-Q
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Questions about the book

Mensaje por doctor-Q » Lun Mar 28, 2005 4:31 pm

Sachie escribió:Hi doctor-Q!

By the way, I have a question.
How old is Inigo supposed to be when he wrote "Capitan Alatriste" series ?
30 years old? Or around 50 years old?

Another small question.
Which is Captain Alatriste in Velazquez's "La rendicion de Breda", 1) or 2)? :roll:

1) Imagen

2) Imagen

Sachie



Hi Sachie,

First of all, I have to say that I am not much of an expert in Alatriste. But I can tell you that there is an article in the third book which could clarify your questions: (In spanish)

Y sin embargo, la afirmación de Íñigo Balboa en la página 13 del primer volumen de la serie, suena inequívoca: «A mi padre lo mataron de un tiro de arcabuz en un baluarte de Jülich. Por eso Diego Velázquez no llegó a sacarlo más tarde en el cuadro de la toma de Breda como a su amigo y tocayo Alatriste, que sí está allí, tras el caballo»... Esas desconcertantes palabras fueron consideradas durante mucho tiempo por la mayor parte de los expertos como afirmación gratuita de Íñigo Balboa, interpretándola a modo de homenaje imaginario a su querido capitán Alatriste, pero desprovisto de toda justificación veraz. El propio Arturo Pérez-Reverte, a la hora de manejar como fuente documental para Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste las memorias de Íñigo Balboa, que fue soldado en Flandes e Italia, alférez abanderado en Rocroi, teniente de los correos reales y capitán de la Guardia Española del Rey Felipe IV antes de su retirada por asuntos particulares hacia 1660, a la edad de cincuenta años, tras su matrimonio con doña Inés Álvarez de Toledo, marquesa viuda de Alguazas, y su posterior desaparición de la vida pública –las memorias manuscritas de Íñigo Balboa no aparecieron hasta 1951, en una subasta de libros y manuscritos de la casa Claymore de Londres–, confiesa haber creído durante mucho tiempo en la falsedad de la afirmación del propio Íñigo sobre que Diego Alatriste figure realmente en el lienzo de Velázquez.
Pero el azar ha terminado por resolver el misterio, aportando un dato que habían pasado por alto algunos estudiosos, incluido el propio autor de esta serie de novelas basadas casi íntegramente en el manuscrito original1. En agosto de 1998, cuando acudí a visitar a Pérez-Reverte en su casa cercana a El Escorial por asuntos editoriales, éste me confió, aún estupefacto, un descubrimiento que acababa de hacer de modo casual mientras documentaba el epílogo del tercer volumen de la serie. El día anterior, al consultar la obra de José Camón Aznar Velázquez –una de las más decisivas sobre el autor de La rendición de Breda–, Pérez-Reverte había dado con algo que aún lo tenía estupefacto. En las páginas 508 y 509 del primer volumen (Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1964) el profesor Camón Aznar confirma, mediante el estudio de una radiografía del lienzo, algunas afirmaciones de Íñigo Balboa sobre el cuadro de Velázquez que en principio tenían apariencia contradictoria; como el hecho, probado en la placa radiológica, de que el artista pintó originalmente banderas en vez de lanzas. Nada infrecuente, por otra parte, en un pintor famoso por sus arrepentimientos: modificaciones hechas sobre la marcha que lo llevaban a veces a cambiar trazos, alterar situaciones y eliminar objetos y personajes ya pintados. Además de las banderas trocadas en lanzas –¡qué diferente habría sido, tal vez, el efecto del cuadro!–, el caballo de los españoles fue proyectado de tres formas distintas; al fondo, en la orientación geográfica adecuada, hacia el dique de Sevenberge y el mar, parece advertirse una extensión de agua con un navío; Spínola estaba abocetado más erguido; y en la parte española es posible adivinar otras cabezas con valonas bordadas. Por razones que desconocemos, en la versión definitiva Velázquez suprimió la cabeza de noble apariencia de un caballero, y alguna otra más. Respecto a la presencia de Diego Alatriste, que Íñigo Balboa describe en el lienzo, precisando incluso su localización exacta –«... bajo el caño horizontal del arcabuz que el soldado sin barba ni bigote sostiene al hombro... »–, el espectador sólo puede ver un lugar vacío sobre el jubón azul de un piquero vuelto de espaldas.
Pero la verdadera sorpresa –prueba de que la pintura, como la literatura, no es sino una sucesión de enigmas, –de sobres cerrados que encierran otros sobres cerrados en su interior– acechaba en apenas media línea escondida en la página 509 del libro de Camón Aznar, referida a ese mismo, y sospechoso, espacio vacío donde la radiografía reveló que:
«... Tras esa cabeza se adivina otra de perfil aguileño».
Y es que a menudo la realidad se divierte confirmando por su cuenta lo que nos parece ficción. Ignoramos porqué motivo Velázquez decidió eliminar posteriormente del cuadro esa cabeza ya pintada, y tal vez las siguientes entregas de la serie esclarezcan ese misterio. Pero ahora, casi cuatro siglos después de todo aquello, sabemos que Íñigo Balboa no mentía; y que el capitán Alatriste estaba –está– en el lienzo de La rendición de Breda.

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doctor-Q
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Mensaje por doctor-Q » Lun Mar 28, 2005 4:43 pm

In english, one can summarize the former text to answer your questions:

- The books are based in the written memories of Iñigo de Balboa (put up for auction in 1951 in the Claymore house of London)
- Iñigo retired when he was 50, and I guess he wrote his memories afterwards
- About Alatriste in Velazquez´s "La rendición de Breda", it looks like he was originally, in the first sketch, where the horse is. (They mention a scientifical study about what is actually behind the definitive appearence of the painting). So, as far as I understand, Alatriste is behind the horse. What a pitty!

As I said I am not an expert, if anybody knows something else... Please tell us!

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Targul
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Mensaje por Targul » Lun Mar 28, 2005 5:46 pm

As an a picture of Joan Mundet refers, possibly the model of the Velazquez's picture "The god Mars", ¡is Alatriste himself!

Imagen

Salutes

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Astarloa
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Mensaje por Astarloa » Lun Mar 28, 2005 9:33 pm

Hey there^^
The great Velázquez is famous for his "arrepentimientos", he used to change and re-paint stuff already painted. At the last pages of the book "El sol de Breda", the third of Alatriste, it is said that Diego Alatriste could have appeared in the picture but it was deleted by Velázquez afterwards.

However, Pérez-Reverte once said that "Es privilegio del novelista manipular la historia en beneficio de la ficción", and ussually plays with the readers of his books, like in this case =)
Con cualquier contrario embiste,
Mas no hallo de qué me espante,
Pues nadie hay más bravo en Gante
Que el Capitán Alatriste.

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Sachie
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Mensaje por Sachie » Vie Abr 01, 2005 6:41 pm

Hi doctor-Q!

Thank you very much for your explanations and so sorry not writing back sooner. I haven't noticed this thread :oops: :oops:
Now, I got it :D :D :D
doctor-Q escribió:About Alatriste in Velazquez´s "La rendición de Breda", it looks like he was originally, in the first sketch, where the horse is. (They mention a scientifical study about what is actually behind the definitive appearence of the painting). So, as far as I understand, Alatriste is behind the horse. What a pitty!

Then, Alatriste is literally behind the horse ? 8O Yes, what a pity!

Targul escribió:As an a picture of Joan Mundet refers, possibly the model of the Velazquez's picture "The god Mars", ¡is Alatriste himself!

8O 8O 8O 8O Wow, it's really make sense! Thanks a lot for the image and information.

Astarloa escribió:At the last pages of the book "El sol de Breda", the third of Alatriste, it is said that Diego Alatriste could have appeared in the picture but it was deleted by Velázquez afterwards.

What a pity! When I've visited Museo Nacional sel Prado about 2 or 3 years ago, a guide said Imagen was Diego Velázquez himself, because he liked to appear in his own paintings. If he didn't delete Alatriste!

Now, many Japanese are really interested in Capitan Alatriste series, but there is no stuffs or News on it here in Japan. So, thanks a lot, again, doctor-Q, Targul and Astarioa for your great information. :D :D

Based on doctor-Q's great translations, I made this page

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Poppy
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Mensaje por Poppy » Sab Abr 02, 2005 7:31 pm

Hello. It's my first time posting and it's exciting going right to the source!! I've read just the first book and loved it. I have a simple question, or 2 now.
Was Alatriste a real person Yes/No
Was Inigo a real person Yes/No
Please enlighten me! 8O

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Astarloa
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Mensaje por Astarloa » Dom Abr 03, 2005 8:53 pm

Sachie, you missunderstood me, prolly my english isn't so clear sorry ;P
In the Appendix of the third book it is explained that Alatriste could have appeared in the picture of Velázquez, even quoting several scientifical studies and books about the painter. It's also said there that Alatriste also appeared as a character in a play about the siegue of Breda ("El sitio de Breda") from the 17 century writer (and soldier in the Tercios too) don Pedro Calderón de la Barca. But that's a "joke" of Pérez Reverte to the readers, mixing history with fiction: the life, the political situation, the wars of Flanders, the Inquisition, the streets of old Madrid, the Tercios etc.., or many characters like king Philipe IV, lord Buchingham, the count-duke of Olivares, Quevedo, Velázquez and much more were as it's written in the books of Alatriste, but Alatriste himself was born by the hand of Pérez Reverte.
Con cualquier contrario embiste,
Mas no hallo de qué me espante,
Pues nadie hay más bravo en Gante
Que el Capitán Alatriste.

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Sadel
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Mensaje por Sadel » Lun Abr 04, 2005 11:20 am

Poppy escribió:
Was Alatriste a real person Yes/No
Was Inigo a real person Yes/No


They seem to be real persons, the books are based in the written memories of Iñigo de Balboa (put up for auction in 1951 in the Claymore house of London).

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quemeplace
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Mensaje por quemeplace » Lun Abr 04, 2005 11:38 am

Sadel escribió:They seem to be real persons, the books are based in the written memories of Iñigo de Balboa (put up for auction in 1951 in the Claymore house of London).


8O Oh, please...!!

I guess Reverte had a blast writing that famous "Nota del editor" at the end of "El sol de Breda", but I wonder if he expected that so many people would believe it's true.

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Poppy
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Mensaje por Poppy » Lun Abr 04, 2005 12:21 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I tend to be suckered in by elaborate jokes by authors such as this and actually like to be. I will voluntarily suspend disbelief at the drop of a hat. Not that I ever doubted you quemeplace!(on another board) but the above discussion was very intriguing.

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Sachie
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Mensaje por Sachie » Lun Abr 04, 2005 3:18 pm

Hi Astarloa,

Your English is perfect, perhaps the author's settings and plots of the books are brilliant :wink:
In order to enjoy "those jokes" in the books, I feel I should study Spanish histories (including other European countries'?) hard and, well, we( Japanese) need Japanese-translated version of "Capitan Alatriste"!
Here is the scans from the latest issue of Japanese magazine "Movie Star," in return for all of your kindnesses and so interesting information. Hope you like them!

Imagen Imagen Imagen
(Click each image to enlarge)

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quemeplace
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Mensaje por quemeplace » Lun Abr 04, 2005 6:41 pm

Poppy escribió:Not that I ever doubted you quemeplace!(on another board) but the above discussion was very intriguing.


I know :wink:
I told you it can be very confusing.

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doctor-Q
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Mensaje por doctor-Q » Mié Abr 06, 2005 3:54 pm

Hi Sachie,

You said you are interested in the History of Spain (I guess that it is to understand better the novels of Alatriste).
Here you have a summary of the history of those times, plus a map of the Spanish Empire from 1580 until 1640.
Enjoy it!

--------------------------------
History of Spain

1.Charles V and Philip II

Ferdinand and Isabella were the last of the Trastamaras, and a native dynasty would never again rule Spain. When their sole male heir, John, who was to have inherited all his parent's crowns, died in 1497, the succession to the throne passed to Juana, John's sister. But Juana had become the wife of Philip the Handsome, heir through his father, Emperor Maximilian I, to the Hapsburg patrimony. On Ferdinand's death in 1516, Charles of Ghent, the son of Juana and Philip, inherited Spain (which he ruled as Charles I, r. 1516-56), its colonies, and Naples. (Juana, called Juana Loca or Joanna the Mad, lived until 1555 but was judged incompetent to rule.) When Maximilian I died in 1519, Charles also inherited the Hapsburg domains in Germany. Shortly afterward he was selected Holy Roman emperor, a title that he had held as Charles V (r. 1519-56), to succeed his grandfather. Charles, in only a few years, was able to bring together the world's most diverse empire since Rome.

Charles's closest attachment was to his birthplace, Flanders; he surrounded himself with Flemish advisers who were not appreciated in Spain. His duties as both Holy Roman emperor and king of Spain, moreover, never allowed him to tarry in one place. As the years of his long reign passed, however, Charles moved closer to Spain and called upon its manpower and colonial wealth to maintain the Hapsburg empire.

When he abdicated in 1556 to retire to a Spanish monastery, Charles divided his empire. His son, Philip II (r. 1556-98), inherited Spain, the Italian possessions, and the Netherlands (the industrial heartland of Europe in the mid-sixteenth century). For a brief period (1554-58), Philip was also king of England as the husband of Mary Tudor (Mary I). In 1580 Philip inherited the throne of Portugal through his mother, and the Iberian Peninsula had a single monarch for the next sixty years.

Philip II was a Castilian by education and temperament. He was seldom out of Spain, and he spoke only Spanish. He governed his scattered dominions through a system of councils, such as the Council of the Indies, which were staffed by professional civil servants whose activities were coordinated by the Council of State, which was responsible to Philip. The Council of State's function was only advisory. Every decision was Philip's; every question required his answer; every document needed his signature. His father had been a peripatetic emperor, but Philip, a royal bureaucrat, administered every detail of his empire from El Escorial, the forbidding palace-monastery-mausoleum on the barren plain outside Madrid.

By marrying Ferdinand, Isabella had united Spain; however, she had also inevitably involved Castile in Aragon's wars in Italy against France, which had formerly been Castile's ally. The motivation in each of their children's marriages had been to circle France with Spanish allies--Habsburg, Burgundian, and English. The succession to the Spanish crown of the Habsburg dynasty, which had broader continental interests and commitments, drew Spain onto the center stage of European dynastic wars for 200 years.

Well into the seventeenth century, music, art, literature, theater, dress, and manners from Spain's Golden Age were admired and imitated; they set a standard by which the rest of Europe measured its culture. Spain was also Europe's preeminent military power, with occasion to exercise its strength on many fronts--on land in Italy, Germany, North Africa, and the Netherlands, and at sea against the Dutch, French, Turks, and English. Spain was the military and diplomatic standard-bearer of the CounterReformation . Spanish fleets defeated the Turks at Malta (1565) and at Lepanto (1572)--events celebrated even in hostile England. These victories prevented the Mediterranean from becoming an Ottoman lake. The defeat of the Grand Armada in 1588 averted the planned invasion of England but was not a permanent setback for the Spanish fleet, which recovered and continued to be an effective naval force in European waters.

Sixteenth-century Spain was ultimately the victim of its own wealth. Military expenditure did not stimulate domestic production. Bullion from American mines passed through Spain like water through a sieve to pay for troops in the Netherlands and Italy, to maintain the emperor's forces in Germany and ships at sea, and to satisfy conspicuous consumption at home. The glut of precious metal brought from America and spent on Spain's military establishment quickened inflation throughout Europe, left Spaniards without sufficient specie to pay debts, and caused Spanish goods to become too overpriced to compete in international markets.

American bullion alone could not satisfy the demands of military expenditure. Domestic production was heavily taxed, driving up prices for Spanish-made goods. The sale of titles to entrepreneurs who bought their way up the social ladder, removing themselves from the productive sector of the economy and padding an increasingly parasitic aristocracy, provided additional funds. Potential profit from the sale of property served as an incentive for further confiscations from Conversos and Moriscos.

Spain's apparent prosperity in the sixteenth century was not based on actual economic growth. As its bullion supply decreased in the seventeenth century, Spain was neither able to meet the cost of its military commitments nor to pay for imports of manufactured goods that could not be produced efficiently at home. The overall effect of plague and emigration reduced Spain's population from 8 million in the early sixteenth century to 7 million by the mid-seventeenth century. Land was taken out of production for lack of labor and the incentive to develop it, and Spain, although predominantly agrarian, depended on imports of foodstuffs.


Imagen

2. Spain in Decline:

The seventeenth century was a period of unremitting political, military, economic, and social decline. Neither Philip III (r. 1598-1621) nor Philip IV (r. 1621-65) was competent to give the kind of clear direction that Philip II had provided. Responsibility passed to aristocratic advisers. Gaspar de Guzman, count-duke of Olivares, attempted and failed to establish the centralized administration that his famous contemporary, Cardinal Richelieu, had introduced in France. In reaction to Guzman's bureaucratic absolutism, Catalonia revolted and was virtually annexed by France. Portugal, with English aid, reasserted its independence in 1640, and an attempt was made to separate Andalusia from Spain. In 1648, at the Peace of Westphalia, Spain assented to the emperor's accommodation with the German Protestants, and in 1654 it recognized the independence of the northern Netherlands.

During the long regency for Charles II (1665-1700), the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, validos milked Spain's treasury, and Spain's government operated principally as a dispenser of patronage. Plague, famine, floods, drought, and renewed war with France wasted the country. The Peace of the Pyrenees (1659) ended fifty years of warfare with France, whose king, Louis XIV, found the temptation to exploit weakened Spain too great. As part of the peace settlement, the Spanish infanta Maria Teresa, had become the wife of Louis XIV. Using Spain's failure to pay her dowry as a pretext, Louis instigated the War of Devolution (1667- 68 ) to acquire the Spanish Netherlands in lieu of the dowery. Most of the European powers were ultimately involved in the wars that Louis fought in the Netherlands. [/img]

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Sachie
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Mensaje por Sachie » Vie Abr 08, 2005 3:08 am

Thank you so much for your explanations.
It IS "the empire that has no sunset." (I don't know the original phrase for it :oops: )
By the way, according to Spanish movie magazine "Accion," the episode of "two english strangers attacked by Alatriste and Malatesta" seems to be in the movie. That is one of my favorite scenes in "Capitan Alatriste" (I've learned it from comic version) , I'm really looking forward the movie and your translations, dear doctor-Q!
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