The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Laín Coubert / The Stranger Character Analysis

Laín Coubert is originally the name Carax gives to the devil in one of his novels. Later, it’s the alter ego he adopts after learning of Penélope’s death and beginning the quest to burn all his work. Although Daniel originally fears Coubert, once he realizes it’s actually Carax he admires and protects him. On the other hand, Nuria makes a sharp distinction between Julian Carax, with whom she fell in love, and Coubert, who is defined by hatred and capable of violence, such as his casual murder of Sanmartí. Like Zacarías, Coubert is a figure associated with the devil but neither wholly bad nor good. He’s also a disturbing reminder that one individual can be capable of both great brilliance and love and great violence and hatred.

Laín Coubert / The Stranger Quotes in The Shadow of the Wind

The The Shadow of the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Laín Coubert / The Stranger or refer to Laín Coubert / The Stranger. 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.
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 13 Quotes

I discovered that Laín Coubert, impersonating Julián, had been roaming through the city and visiting the Aldaya mansion.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Julián Carax, Laín Coubert / The Stranger
Page Number: 440
Explanation and Analysis:
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4 Quotes

It was Laín Coubert, just as I’d learned to fear him reading the pages of a book, so many years ago…I saw how the hand of the angel pierced [Fumero’s] chest, spearing him, how the accursed soul was driven out like black vapor, falling like frozen tears over the mirror of water.

Related Symbols: Angels and Devils
Page Number: 465
Explanation and Analysis:
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Laín Coubert / The Stranger Character Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Laín Coubert / The Stranger appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
An Empty Plate: Chapter 7
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...pleasure boats with both his parents, he only notices after some time that a limping stranger in a dark suit is following him. Suddenly, the man greets him by name and... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
The stranger says he knows a lot about Daniel and abruptly offers to buy The Shadow of... (full context)
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
Daniel asks the stranger if he’s a collector. The stranger responds that Carax is his “specialty” and that he... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 8
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...from its usual shelf in the conservatory, thinking that he will give it to the stranger to ensure his and Clara’s safety. As Daniel passes Clara’s bedroom, he hears a deep... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 10
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...Eventually, Cabestany died and his sons inherited the company. One day, a man named Laín Coubert arrived and offered to buy all the copies of Carax’s work at a generous price.... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...she stole them she noticed a strange man following her and deduced that it was Coubert. She hid the books without telling anyone where they were, intending to retrieve them once... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 11
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 so quickly that Daniel isn’t sure if he imagined... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 20
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
When asked about Laín Coubert, Nuria theorizes that this is the alias of Jorge Aldaya, whom she believes once called... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 24
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...1936, and that shortly afterwards a mysterious figure with some resemblance to Jorge named Laín Coubert appeared, bent on destroying all of Carax’s work. Daniel feels nauseous, and throws up his... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 25
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...Carax. Daniel tells Father Fernando what they know about the identity of the book-burner Laín Coubert. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 34
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...voice in the shadows tells him to “get out,” and he recognizes it as Laín Coubert. Daniel grabs Bea and runs out of the house without telling her whom he encountered. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 38
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...declares his theory that Jorge Aldaya is hiding in the old mansion disguised as Laín Coubert, and accuses Nuria of lying to protect his role in Carax’s murder. Then he walks... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 11
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
When Nuria arrives at work, she finds that someone named Laín Coubert has already been there asking to buy all the company’s Carax stock. That night, Nuria... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...most of their financial reserves, Carax takes to going out at night, disguised as Laín Coubert and stealing to support them. She realizes that he’s also breaking into libraries and homes... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 13
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...she fell in love with, and that he is now dominated by his alter-ego Laín Coubert. She discovers that “Laín Coubert, impersonating Julian,” has been returning to the Aldaya mansion every... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...him and Bea running into the library. Fumero turns his gun on Bea but Laín Coubert, who has “taken [Carax’s] place,” attacks Fumero and throws him into the fountain, where the... (full context)