Celestina, by Fernando De Rojas with Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator)
At times a comic character and at others a self-assertive promoter of women's sexual license, Celestina is an inimitable personality with a surprisingly modern consciousness, certain to be relished by a new generation of readers.
The emotion, the beauty, the tragic and at the same time the sense of the great human passions find in La Celestina one of their most intense expressions. The "crazy love" of Calisto and Melibea, threaded with the threads of a "witch", Celestina, fatally culminates in the death of both.
Fernando de Rojas ties the reader to a powerful and magnificent text and which works the miracle of filling the reading itself with passion.
First published in 1499, Celestina became Spain's first-ever bestseller. Readers thrilled to the salty character of Celestina and her world of prostitutes and black magic even as they mourned the fate of Calisto and Melibea, the young lovers she unites using her wiles as a seller of perfumes and potions. Fernando de Rojas's exhilarating mix of street wit, obscenity, and cultured rhetoric mark Celestina as a masterpiece: an original, explosive, genre-defying work that paved the way for the picaresque novel and for Cervantes.