Spanish Picaresque Fiction: A New Literary History

Spanish Picaresque Fiction: A New Literary History

Spanish Picaresque Fiction: A New Literary History

Spanish Picaresque Fiction: A New Literary History

Synopsis

Exiled to the margins of society and surviving by his wits in the course of his wanderings, the picaro marks a sharp contrast to the high-born characters on whom previous Spanish literature had focused. In this illuminating book, Peter N. Dunn offers a fresh view of the gamut of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish picaresque fiction.

Excerpt

Both picaresque novels and detective stories are defined by reference to a figure whose prototype exists in the real world at the time of writing. Each is mobile, and each is tricky; there the resemblance ends. the detective comes to the scene of events from outside, follows their development at the same time that we do, and attempts to uncover their cause. the picaro is the center of his world, creates himself, and is his own justification. We know what a detective is and does, but there is little agreement on who in the real world should properly be called a picaro, or on the relation between a fictional picaro and his world or between one novel and another.

There has been no lack of theorizing on the picaresque, but the enterprise has been frustrating: the stronger the theory, the fewer the works it is able to encompass. Why do picaros vary so greatly in their relationships with their world and with their own past selves? Why are theories that seek inclusiveness incoherent? This book grew out of a realization that the texts we read and the way we describe them are not consistent: that the way we have classified them has determined what we find in them.

My subtitle, A New Literary History, inevitably promises more . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.