The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento, Written by Himself for His Children

The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento, Written by Himself for His Children

The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento, Written by Himself for His Children

The Mangy Parrot: The Life and Times of Periquillo Sarniento, Written by Himself for His Children

Synopsis

Fashion design's fundamental skills are not just about drawing: story boards, profile boards, sketch-book work and design development sheets are all treated here in depth, along with useful guidelines for presentation and display of finished illustrations.

Excerpt

When José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi published his masterwork, El Periquillo Sarniento, in 1816 in Mexico City, he was making a clean break with three centuries of colonial practice. Through the long years of Spanish rule, not even the most creative of writers in the colonies had produced a novel—and this in spite of the fact that the novel was a favored genre in Spain itself in the 16th and 17th centuries. Literary historians have long speculated about the reason for this discrepancy. Some have argued that American writers shied away from the novel due to the Inquisition, which denounced fiction for uselessly stimulating readers’ imaginations and banned the novels from the colonies, the weaker peoples of which it would have harmed; yet the fact that the classic Spanish novels were exported to the Spanish Americas and avidly read there—not only Don Quijote, but also such fictions as the romances of chivalry, Guzmán de Alfarache and El buscón—belies this theory. Others have argued that American realities were so marvelous in themselves that colonial writers had no need to invent stories.

A very different explanation for the absence of the novel in Spain’s colonies, or indeed of any mirroring prose technique, can be found in a definition of satire that Lizardi himself wrote for an unpublished collection of poetry dated December 3, 1822:

A satire is a poem that rebukes vices by ridiculing them, insofar as it deals
only with the vices themselves and not the persons—which is what we
endeavor to do, following Martial’s advice: Parcere personis, dicere de vitiis.
Book X, Ep. 33. A satire is pleasing to readers and, according to one Spanish
writer, it is even more so than a panegyric poem; the reason he gives is that
satire is always true and devoid of the flattery and hyperbole which (gener
ally speaking) adorn praise, so that satire enters the readers’ minds more eas
ily.

There have been many famous poets who have written in this style in every
era. Outstanding examples among the ancients are Horace, Juvenal, and Per
sius; among modern poets: Quevedo, Góngora, Moreto, Gracián, and so
forth, among the Spanish; the inimitable Dante, among the Italians; Régnier,
among the French; and so on elsewhere, for it would seem pedantic to list

Literary historians are generally agreed that the Periquillo is the first novel to appear in Spanish America, indeed in Mexico. A few scholars, however, have argued that other prose works, produced earlier, deserve this distinction. For further discussion of this matter and other assertions I make throughout the remainder of this essay, see my Lizardi and the Birth of the Novel in Spanish America.

I have edited this previously unknown collection, together with a study of manuscript writing at that moment in Mexico: La literatura manuscrita: Un manuscrito inédito de poesías de José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi (México: UNAM, Bancroft Library, 2003).

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