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)…

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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Picaresque novel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=862, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Related Groups

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