This is the Zorro I know: Guy Williams of the 1950’s Disney television show. I can’t remember if I watched in Spanish or English, so hazy are my childhood memories when it comes to language. I do remember watching it with my father as he relived his own childhood memories of the masked man.
Most people know Zorro as a man who crusades for justice in disguise. He lives a double life. By day he is a mild-mannered wealthy landowner. By night he fights against the injustices committed by any but in particular that of the Spanish authorities in the 1800’s California territory.
Isabel Allende tells the story of Diego de la Vega’s origins from birth to his first victory in California. She focuses on his childhood in California and on his teen years in Spain during the French occupation. We see the inherent characteristics as well as the skills acquired that will eventually result in the man called Zorro. It is truly an origins tale for only the last sixty pages see Zorro’s return to California.
It is hard to judge the writing as the novel is an English translation of Allende’s Spanish work. The art of the chosen word can be hard to capture in translation. Her story, however, is full of action and drama without forgetting the characters and their passions in the process.
*** Amazing TED talk by Isabel Allende found here. ***