Forgotten Book: The Nail & Other Short Stories by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón


As suggested in the title this is a collection of tales by one of the greatest Spanish writers of the nineteenth century, Pedro Antonio de Alarcón. The one in the book’s title is considered by some scholars the first Spanish detective story. The Nail is dated in 1853, twelve years after Poe. You can read it in English HERE and in Spanish HERE.

The plot of The Nail revolves around the insistence of a judge to investigate a casual finding, whose solution will lead him to his own misfortune. It offers some interesting facts about the judicial system of the time, though the argument is closer to a romantic story than to detective fiction.

Alarcón knew Poe’s work well. He was among the first to introduce Poe’s literature in Spain. As Loreto Gómez López-Quiñones points out in her essay, The creative worlds of Edgar Allan Poe and Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (in English), on the similarities and differences between these two writers.

Friday Forgotten Books is hosted by Patti Abbott at Pattinase.

4 thoughts on “Forgotten Book: The Nail & Other Short Stories by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón”

  1. José Ignacio – I read some of Alarcón’s work when I was taking my undergraduate degree (I studied Spanish), but not this collection. You’ve reminded me of a very, very talented writer, for which thanks.

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