Picaresque novel

(4505 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The emergence of the picaresque novel in Spain (novela picaresca), in Germany (Schelmenroman) and in England (literally rogue's tales, or novel of roguery) forms one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the novel. Removed from ancient and Renaissance novels – such as those by Longus and Heliodor in the third century CE, or Montalvo (Amadis de Gaula, 1482 cont.) and Silvio Piccolomini (Euryalus et Lucretia, 1470) – the development of the modern novel as a genre within the canon of rhymed poetry took centuries to achieve. Scholars usually attribute its final success to the rise of the middle class in England and the articulation of their world view in such works as Robinson Crusoe (1719)…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Picaresque novel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=862, accessed 01 September 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres
  2. Picaresque narrative
  3. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences