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Manuscrito encontrado en Zaragoza

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,680 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
El MANUSCRITO ENCONTRADO EN ZARAGOZA es un caso único de obra maestra literaria de primer orden que, doscientos años después de su composición, sigue inédita en su texto original. Han contribuido a esta situación curiosa diversos factores: sus dimensiones, su extrañeza, su formato laberíntica, la superposición de original y traducciones, y un cúmulo de accidentes. Novela i ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published September 1996 by Minotauro (first published 1804)
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Sep 06, 2016 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike many so called classic texts I have read this one doesn't seem to have dated much. At least not in its first half. The writing is thought by scholars to have begun about 1809. As Salman Rushdie says in an attached blurb " reads like the most brilliant modern novel." I think that might be an effect of the recent English translation offered here that seems to give the text such a contemporary feel, like a modern-day historic novel.

The premise is that in the 1760s a Walloon officer name
Am I allowed to fully love a book I have never finished? A twisting gothic story cycle of tales within tales(and then within tales again) Kind of an updating of 1001 arabian nights and Dante's Divine Comedy(or the Decameron or Canterbery tales)for the age of reason(?!)Filled with ghoulish horror and lots of duels, weird intrigue, kabbalah, ghosts, hidden treasures, and lots of stories. If you are a fan of Milorad Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales, Robert Irwin' ...more
May 03, 2011 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Potocki brought a little bit of everything to this book of tales within tales within tales: gothic horror, bildungsroman, swashbuckling adventure, picaresque reminiscent of the great Lazarillo de Tormes, philosophical and theological exposition, libertine erotica, political intrigue, travelogue—in other words, a true olla podrida of styles, narrated in an arch, dry, and ultra-witty voice that has been admirably delivered from the French original by the English scholar Ian Maclean. The Manuscript ...more
Dec 06, 2015 [P] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to introduce these reviews with a story or anecdote inspired by the text in question, something, in most cases, from my own past or present life. So as I came to write about Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa I was understandably perturbed when I realised that group sex [specifically threesomes] is so central to the novel’s plot. As much as I want to engage and entertain the reader, to build a relationship with the reader, I don’t much fancy going there. Even a self-obsessed ...more
Aug 11, 2010 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been a particularly fast reader and this book was consumed in the smallest of sips until I was stuck in hospital for a week and swallowed the last 300 pages in one gulp.
Jan Potocki sounds like a character that Jan Potocki would invent: nobleman, warrior, diplomat, poet, lover, etc., etc. According to legend he shot himself with a decorative strawberry from the top of his silver sugar canister. Each day he filed away at it for a few strokes and when it was through he settled his bills
Steve Sewall
Aug 02, 2011 Steve Sewall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a fine film, The Saragossa Manuscripts, championed by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, that captivated me when I saw it in 1968. But the film is a smidgeon of the book, a what awaits readers .

I concluded after two readings of this book that it is humanly impossible to grasp it on a single reading. Like many other great writers, Potocki wrote to be reread. His reader must be sufficiently entranced after a first reading want to find out what lies at its heart - indeed, to see if it even
Aug 15, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the blurbs in the front of the book: "The 100 or so stories told over 66 days are fantastic, ghostly, erotic, comic, ghoulish, philosophical and Munchausenly tall." "One of the strangest books ever written can at last take its rightful place in world literature."

This has to be one of the most uniquely-written books I have read. Totally addictive, with continued inter-locking stories that are hard to put down. The book is plot-driven, but the characters within the stories are also very inte
Sep 13, 2008 Cailin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my senior seminar in college; the topic of the course was Possible Worlds. It was accompanied by a little too much Leibniz. Regardless, the sometimes exhausting tome was amusing, a little scary, and had a pleasing POINT... to those of us who love the labyrinth of literature and the idea of stories in life, as well as print.
The characters, time period, and setting are all quite interesting; the plot too, is compelling. But what makes this book GOOD is the execution of something m
Jan 07, 2009 Ned rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
this is my third read of this in ten years. A rarity, that.
Timeless. Always enigmatic. These are overused today as hyperbolic advertisement for things like cheese-puffs and belly-button rings. This book isn't like that at all.
Maybe I should tell the story about how I found this one.

Before the internet, before I got a second computer I used to keep lists. On paper with a pen lists of news topics. Alphabetized for later much easier access I would make my lists til there was no more room on the pag
Apr 01, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is truly a strange and fun book. Written by a very eccentric Pole around the turn of the 19th century, it recounts a whole slew of frame tales set in 16th century Spain. It moves very quickly. At one point the narratives are nested 4 deep (a story within a story within a story within a story). It has Vampires and compulsive dueling, a wordless romance communicated exclusively through the making of colored inks, a calculus of morality and wisdom, and a vast conspiracy theory of European hist ...more
May 18, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure excellence. Traversing the intricate labyrinth of Potocki's masterpiece is a daunting challenge and will require periods rest during gestation, however the difficulty does not lie in the length of the work's passages, rather in the frequent addition of new voices, perspectives, places, dates (accurate and inaccurate) and relations that sometimes leave you wishing for a character map.

Alas, this book is greatly fulfilling -- every page of this work is guaranteed to produce amusement or provi
saragossa manuscript

film only
books about books
polish root

The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)
Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie (original title)

From IMDB - In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest route through the Sierra Morena. At an inn, the Venta Quemada, he sups with two Islamic princesses. The
Lee Foust
Feb 28, 2015 Lee Foust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Although I feel as though this review will almost immediately drift into minor criticisms--provoked by my living in the hectic 21st century versus the leisurely pace of an 18th century text as episodic, as long, as intricate, and as self-involved as __The Manuscript Found in Saragossa__, let me first say that this is a pretty fantastic book, both for its engrossing tales, but primarily for those very intricacies and formal narrative somersaults that I have seldom found in other texts of this typ ...more
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, french
I had never heard of this classic of Polish literature (originally written in French) until it was suggested to me by a colleague at another library in Utah. It certainly deserves to be better known.

A manuscript is found by a French officer during the looting at the siege of Saragossa; although he knows little Spanish, it seems interesting to him and he has it translated into French. It proves to be a journal of 66 days in the life of Alphonse van Worden, a Walloon officer in the Spanish army. T
Santiago Ortiz
Sep 18, 2014 Santiago Ortiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, classic
Awsesome, sui generis, book, its structure and social landscape is complex and intrincate; let me just share some quotes:

"All the gypsy’s stories begin in a simple enough way and you think you can already predict the end. But things turn out quite differently. The first story engenders the second, from which a third is born, and so on, like periodic fractions resulting from certain divisions which can be indefinitely prolonged. In mathematics there are several ways of bringing certain progressio
Richard Hannay
Mar 31, 2016 Richard Hannay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, fantasy, 2016
El Conde Potocki pule incesantemente durante años la bala que un día habrá de poner fin a su vida. El Conde Potocki durante años pule incesantemente una novela que no podrá leerse completa hasta dos siglos después de su muerte, una novela escrita en francés de la que existen varias versiones y que será entretanto plagiada, editada fragmentariamente, celebrada y llevada al cine. No por Buñuel que, sin embargo decía en sus memorías haber querido intensamente hacerlo. La novela es un verdadero jard ...more
Dec 20, 2012 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Idealna książka na jesienne wieczory, pewnie dlatego jej lekturze poświęciłam tyle czasu, bo jak wiadomo w Polsce ta pora roku pojawia się szybciej niż w hiszpańskich górach. Smaczny kąsek, zupełnie nie czuć, ze ma prawie 200 lat
Philippe Malzieu
At the beginning for me it was a movie. Black and white movie see at random a day in ciné-club. I read the book after and I find it delicious. A picaresque book with many link between them like russian doll. A real masterpiece.
Al Bità
Mar 27, 2010 Al Bità rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost any description of this work is unjust: one is forced to tell only about some of the many elements it contains without really exhausting its complexity. And even that statement is misleading. I think, perhaps, the 'simplest' description is to call it a kind of literary snapshot of Spain set in the mid-18th century.

It achieves this by imposing a strict framework: 66 days of travelling, in which the 'main hero' (who becomes significantly less central to the work as it progresses) meets up w
Wow. That was a mammoth undertaking.

This is, basically, the story of a young officer travelling through spain to get to his regiment... but he comes across all manner of strange people and events on his trip - and they all tell him their own stories as well...

In one way, this is a perfect book to read in tiny sips - there are so many small snippets of story that are constantly being layered on top of each other, or jumping between different characters and events. But there are little slivers of
Jake Thomas
Feb 12, 2008 Jake Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Story lovers, fans of wacky, trippy fun.
I recently got engaged. My fiance's family has a love for this book, so I figured I should read it before going down to spend Thanksgiving with them last year. There are moments in life where stars allign, the world comes into relief and you feel the comforting hands of kismet massaging your shoulders. If these people loved this book then we were going to get along just fine.

This book is astounding. If you love stories, good old-fashioned yarns, this book should be bumped to the top of your read
Víctor Sampayo
Aug 10, 2016 Víctor Sampayo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Es simplemente un libro que me hubiera gustado escribir. Las aventuras de Alfonso van Worden al cruzar la Sierra Morena desde Andalucía hacia Madrid discurren entre la fantasía y la realidad, pero también por la historia (si bien Potocki la utiliza como materia prima más que como retrato), la filosofía, las religiones, la cábala, el erotismo, las ciencias... así, en sesenta y una jornadas profundiza y desvela el misterio del protagonista, a la manera de Las mil y una noches, es decir, en relatos ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Diarmid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
'The Manuscript Found in Saragossa' was written a couple of hundred years ago by a Polish traveller and soldier named Jan Potocki, one of those authors whose life seems to have been as colourful as his writing. The overarching narrative is of a young Walloon officer travelling through Spain in 1739 and waylaid along his route by two mysterious sisters, who may or may not be real. Having been held up he then encounters a range of characters who tell him their stories, often with other stories con ...more
Ignacio Senao f
Al igual que ocurre en “Melmoth el Errabundo” un laberinto de historias dentro de otras historias, narradas por sus protagonistas. Como escenario principal España, y sus costumbres de aquella época. Curioso que ambos autores no son de esta nacionalidad.

No es una lectura para todos los paladares, requiero una concentración y motivación (la cual no he tenido), para su plena comprensión. Muchos nombres que se entrelazan, y si pierdes el hilo de uno de ellos, todo deja de tener sentido. Sé muy bien
Sep 10, 2015 Elad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I really wanted to finish this book, but came absolutely no where near finishing it. The premise is exciting, the stories (and stories within the story, and within the story of that...) are all adventurous and filled with detail, but I just couldn't bring myself to continue going, where? I'm not even sure. I imagine Edina and Zubina continue to haunt him and name, forever lending a twist to his path across the Sierra and the characters he continues to meet (or meet again.)

Perhaps another time.
Jul 25, 2007 Dmitry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of horror, adventure or sci-fi, Borges or Calvino.
Oh what a book this is. Two hundred years old, it could've been written yesterday. Imagine a "Canterbury Tales" or "Decameron" where the stories are a mix of supernatural horror and swashbuckling adventure, each satisfying on its own, but added together, telling an intricate hidden plot. Unprecedented and unsurpassed.
Jul 18, 2008 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Russian dolls in Chinese boxes. A proto-post-modern gothic picaresque satirical Bildungsroman featuring stories within stories within stories (within stories...), all of them immensely entertaining; populated with ghosts, bandits, succubi, Cabalists, Gypsies, crypto-Muslims, and the Spanish Inquisition (I'll bet you didn't expect them). Wild, weird, way ahead of its time.
Oct 02, 2013 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-13
Until I feel I have absorbed this long rambling tale my comments will suffice. Sometimes the story flowed, sometimes it dragged. It was surprisingly modern, surprisingly bound by a code of honor, that did not judge discreet sexual indiscretion, but look out ladies if you got caught. It had more sex at times than a porn site.
Patrick Kelly
Jan 12, 2014 Patrick Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A famously meta, mind-bending novel by an author who ended his own life with a silver bullet (he believed he'd become a werewolf). The novel features kabbalah, ghosts, and other weird goings-on. Must read!
Dominika Kaníková
These stories were so captivating and easy to read so i felt like i read it in a while. You have got the opportunity to get to know stories of people that were strange and scary. Lovely book.

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Jan Potocki was born into the Potocki family, an aristocratic family, that owned vast estates in Poland. He was educated in Geneva and Lausanne, served twice in the Polish Army as a captain of engineers, and spent some time on a galley as a novice Knight of Malta. He was probably a Freemason and had a strong interest in the occult.
Potocki's colorful life took him across Europe, Asia and North Afri
More about Jan Potocki...

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“Words strike the air and the mind, they act on the senses and on the soul.” 4 likes
“It is not science which leads to unbelief but rather ignorance. The ignorant man thinks he understands something provided that he sees it every day. The natural philosopher walks amid enigmas, always striving to understand and always half-understanding. He learns to believe what he does not understand, and that is a step on the road to faith.” 3 likes
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