The Romantic Novel in Mexico

The Romantic Novel in Mexico

The Romantic Novel in Mexico

The Romantic Novel in Mexico

Excerpt

The purpose of this study is to describe and evaluate those novels of the Romantic Period in Mexico which are not historical. While historical novels tend naturally to be nationalistic, the novels studied here are not necessarily so. Some of them are of a purely amatory nature, others attempt a portrayal of the social scene. These novels are studied from the standpoint of structural development and also of concept, especially as to identification of the work with Mexican reality.

The Romantic Period in Mexico is understood to mean the span from 1830, the end of the Period of the Struggle for Independence, to some fifty years later when Realism may be said to have become predominant. The prime purpose of the present study is to consider those novels which are eminently Romantic and to observe incidentally their tendencies toward Realism. However, it has seemed desirable for the sake of completion to give some attention to the works of the earliest well-known Realists, in order to observe the common existence of Romanticism and Realism.

The first part of the study consists of an essay on the development of the Mexican novel during the period indicated. The second part is in the nature of an annotated bibliography. It should not, however, be considered an exhaustive bibliography of the Romantic novel in Mexico. Rather, Part Two is intended to indicate the scope, chronological and conceptual, of each of the Romantic novelists mentioned in the first part. Since most of the novels studied here are little known, it has been thought advisable to write numerous plot summaries. The desirability of this procedure is strengthened by the fact that the Romantic Period marked the virtual beginning of the Mexican novel; therefore, in order to indicate the structural development of the genre in Mexico, some plots are summarized in considerable detail.

Much of the material contained in this study was offered as a doctoral dissertation to the Faculty of Philosophy of Columbia University. This material is presented here in an entirely different form, and some of the considerations contained here were not a part of the original study. The author wishes to express his indebtedness to Professors Federico de Onís and Andrés Iduarte, whose advice was generously given when the original work was prepared. Thanks are also due many persons and libraries in this country and in Mexico for help in securing copies of the novels.

J. S. B.

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