The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Daniel meets Fermín when he’s a homeless man living near the Barceló apartment; on a hunch Daniel offers him a job at the bookshop, and Fermín turns out to have an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and a rare ability to track down books. Flamboyant, excitable, and enthusiastic, Fermín soon becomes a father figure to Daniel, a fun-loving alternative to the sad and serious Mr. Sempere. Daniel asks Fermín for assistance in his investigations long before he confides in his father, which causes some tension with Mr. Sempere. Fermín is particularly loquacious when giving Daniel unwanted advice on his love life, often making troubling generalizations about women and how best to seduce them. However, his hypothetical misogyny is somewhat balanced by his genuine love for Bernarda, the Barcelós’ maid, with whom he eventually settles down. Well acquainted with Barcelona’s seedy underside, Fermín is always introducing Daniel to hidden corners of the city. He reflects and represents the city’s manifold energies and resilience; however, like the city, he’s also shaped by the trauma of his experiences during the Civil War, when he was jailed as a political subversive.

Fermín Quotes in The Shadow of the Wind

The The Shadow of the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Fermín or refer to Fermín. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Shadow of the Wind published in 2005.
City of Shadows: Chapter 28 Quotes

He didn’t tell me any of that because he knew that the miracle happened only once…A thousand times I’ve wanted to recover that first afternoon with Bea in the rambling house of Avenida del Tibidabo…

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker), Fermín, Beatriz (“Bea”) Aguilar
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:
City of Shadows: Chapter 31 Quotes

“Look, the one thing that really pisses me off is people who stir up the shit from the past!” Fumero cried out. “Things from the past have to be left alone, do you understand?”

Related Characters: Inspector Javier Fumero (speaker), Daniel Sempere, Fermín
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Shadow of the Wind LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Shadow of the Wind PDF

Fermín Character Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Fermín appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
An Empty Plate: Chapter 9
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...The man gives Daniel some wine to help him compose himself and introduces himself as Fermín Romero de Torres. He immediately launches into a complicated story of his past career in... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Daniel takes his leave from Fermín and walks to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. While he waits for someone to answer... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 11
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...literature and is savvy enough to track down elusive books. Hearing this, Daniel tracks down Fermín in the stone arch where he lives, reading news stories about the greatness of the... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
On their way, Fermín begins talking about his “nemesis,” Inspector Fumero, who put him in jail after the Civil... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Despite Fermín’s shame at his shabby appearance, Daniel introduces him to Mr. Sempere, who receives the homeless... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...of Mr. Sempere’s old suits, and when he returns the two men are chatting comfortably, Fermín explaining that he’s always loved poetry but was pressured into joining the civil service by... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fermín turns out to be a lively and flamboyant character, wearing a large hat and galoshes... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
However, a few months later, Fermín’s landlady, Doña Encarna, calls in the middle of the night to say that he’s screaming... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
While she attempts to seem strict, Doña Encarna willingly accepts Fermín’s apology for the disturbances, pitying him as a “dispossessed” person like herself. Daniel and Mr.... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Daniel and Fermín start going to the cinema together, even though Fermín derides film as mindless compared to... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
One day at the cinema, while Fermín is buying candy, Daniel is horrified to see Coubert sitting close to him. Coubert leaves... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 12
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Released from his heavy workload at the bookstore by the arrival of Fermín, Daniel devotes himself to investigating Julian Carax and spending time with his old friend Tomás... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 13
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
As teenagers, Daniel and Tomás are increasingly worried about being drafted. Fermín, who hates the government, decides they must think of a ruse to keep the boys... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 14
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
The next day, Daniel delivers an order of books to a Professor Javier Velázquez because Fermín is too disgusted with the customer’s fascist leanings to go himself, claiming his money is... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 16
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Mr. Molins’s narrative ends and Daniel returns to the bookshop, where Fermín immediately starts teasing him about dating a young woman. After some confusion, Daniel finds out... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Before Fermín leaves to meet Bernarda for the afternoon, Daniel asks him to find out who owns... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...Chief Inspector Francisco Javier Fumero. It turns out he’s less interested in Don Federico than Fermín, whom he knows by various aliases and has tracked to the bookstore. Scared but stalwart,... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...his anxiety, Daniel goes for a walk. He decides not to tell Mr. Sempere and Fermín about this development, thinking that making them anxious would be playing into Fumero’s game. He... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 18
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...Monfort’s address from his keepsake box and spends the morning working in the shop while Fermín teases him about his imminent meeting with Bea. Their neighbor Merceditas—whom Daniel believes Mr. Sempere... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 19
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...at this turn of events—even the conventionally uptight Merceditas, who says the police are evil. Fermín counters that they are morons, which is even worse because morons are more sanctimonious and... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Feeling that Fumero tortured Don Federico in order to demonstrate his power over Fermín, Daniel tells Mr. Sempere about the inspector’s visit, but his father just tells him to... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 22
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
When Daniel gets home, Fermín is waiting to question him about his date, telling him sagely to “never trust girls... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Then Fermín asks if Daniel thinks he could be a good father, ideally a supportive and thoughtful... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Fermín goes on to say that he talked to a friend at the post office, and... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 23
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel hangs around the bookshop the entire next day in case Bea drops by, while Fermín lectures him that a man must take the lead in courtship. Instead, Tomás arrives. Ignorant... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 24
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
The next morning, Daniel and Fermín meet at a café to plan their day’s investigations. Fermín theorizes that Carax and Jorge... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
Fermín points out that all they know after this is that Carax probably died in Barcelona... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fermín and Daniel take a cab out of the city to the school, which is housed... (full context)
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
The first person Fermín and Daniel meet is Father Fernando Ramos, who just happens to have been the classmate... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 25
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
The nested narrative ends, and Daniel and Fermín are horrified that Fumero is so entwined in the story, although they deny knowing him... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 26
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
On the way home, Fermín and Daniel stop at a café to talk over the day’s events. Fermín manages to... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 29
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
The next morning, Fermín tells Daniel that he’s made some inquires about Miquel Moliner. Although Nuria claimed he was... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fermín decides they should track down Jacinta, and that afternoon they travel to a badly-run hospice... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 30
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Daniel and Fermín are able to gain entrance to the hospice thanks to a confused nun who mistakes... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 31
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
On the old man’s instructions, Daniel and Fermín finally locate Jacinta. She’s in very bad condition, but still remembers her beloved Penélope. They... (full context)
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...Aldayas had disappeared without a trace. After finishing the story, Jacinta begins to sob, and Fermín comforts her. (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
Daniel and Fermín leave the hospice in a hurry, planning to regroup in a café, but they are... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 32
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Daniel takes Fermín to the Barceló home in a taxi, worrying that he will die on the way.... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
After the doctor leaves, Barceló calls Mr. Sempere to say that Fermín has had a “minor accident” and is recuperating with Bernarda. He then presses Daniel about... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 33
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Barceló listens attentively to most of Daniel’s story. Then they check on Fermín, who is recuperating next to a sleeping Bernarda. Fermín puts on a brave face for... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...and connections to solve the mystery before Fumero catches up to them again and kills Fermín. He orders Daniel to visit Nuria and explain he knows she’s been lying, in order... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 34
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel dreams of Bea’s body all night. In the morning, Fermín returns to the bookstore and horrifies Mr. Sempere with his bruised face. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 36
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...let others take the fall for him, as when he watched while Fumero beat up Fermín. On his way home, he realizes the same police officer who had restrained him during... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
In the evening, without telling Mr. Sempere, Daniel and Fermín walk to a café, immediately noticing that a policeman is following them. At the café,... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Fermín tells Daniel that he met Fumero when the inspector was working for the anarchists and... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel comforts Fermín and tells him he shouldn’t feel guilty about informing under such terrible circumstances, and Fermín... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 38
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...lying to protect his role in Carax’s murder. Then he walks out of the apartment. Fermín is standing on the street nearby, dressed as a priest and watching for any movements... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 40
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel spends all afternoon in the bookstore without hearing from Fermín. Eventually he calls Fermín’s apartment building and the Barceló house, but he’s not there either.... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...After dinner, Fumero and his henchmen raid the bookshop and smash the furniture, searching for Fermín. Fumero threatens to break Mr. Sempere’s legs if Daniel lies, but luckily Daniel can say... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...Nuria Monfort’s murder, attributing it to a tramp dressed as a priest. The picture shows Fermín’s face, and Daniel realizes he has been framed. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 42
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...Daniel hasn’t ordered anything. He gives Daniel a bag, inside of which is the missal Fermín carried when he was dressed as a priest outside Nuria’s apartment. Tucked inside is a... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 2
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...but is bundled into the backseat by two men, only to find that one is Fermín and the other Don Federico. Daniel faints and wakes up in Fermín’s safe house. He’s... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel wakes up in the middle of the night to find Fermín snoring next to him. He realizes that Bea has probably taken refuge in the Aldaya... (full context)
Postmortem
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Daniel spends three weeks in the hospital and even Fermín is convinced he will die. During the ambulance ride, Bea and Palacios cradled him and... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
Daniel wakes up in the hospital to find Mr. Sempere, Bea, and Fermín standing guard over him. Barceló, Clara, Tomás, Bernarda, and their neighbors arrive soon after. Mr.... (full context)
The Waters of March
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
The night before his wedding, Fermín tells a reluctant Daniel that he has organized a bachelor party. To fulfill the promise... (full context)
Dramatis Personae
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fermín and Bernarda are married and have four children. Fermín is now the keeper of the... (full context)