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Encyclopedia > Picaresque novel

The picaresque novel (Spanish: "picaresco", from "pícaro", for "rogue" or "rascal") is a popular subgenre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts in realistic and often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his or her wits in a corrupt society. This style of novel originated in Spain and flourished in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and continues to influence modern literature. The Three Graces, here in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility in Greek mythology. ... Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which exposes the follies of its subject (for example, individuals, organizations, or states) to ridicule, often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ... Realism in art and literature is the depiction of subjects as they appear, without embellishment or interpretation. ... Look up adventure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Heroine, the feminine of hero, should not be confused with heroin, the drug. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe; title page of 1719 newspaper edition A novel (from French nouvelle, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to various perspectives about Europes borders. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...



The genre has classical precedent in Petronius's fragmentary "Satyricon" and in Apuleius's "The Pierced Nutsack", and elements of Chaucer and Boccaccio have a picaresque feel, but the modern picaresque begins with Lazarillo de Tormes, published anonymously in Antwerp and Spain in 1554 and variously considered either the first picaresque novel or at least an antecedent to the genre. The title character Lazarillo is a pícaro who must live by his wits in an impoverished country full of hypocrisy. The autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, written in Florence beginning in 1558, also has much in common with the picaresque. The first unquestioned picaresque novel was published in 1599: Mateo Alemán's Guzmán de Alfarache, characterized by religiosity. Francisco de Quevedo's El buscón (1626) is considered the masterpiece of the subgenre, because of his baroque style and the study of the delinquent psychology. Petronius (c. ... Satyricon, or the Petronii Arbitri Saturicon, is a book of randy and satirical Neroic tales by Petronius Arbiter, of whom little is known. ... Lucius Apuleius (c. ... Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902 Chanticleer the rooster from an outdoor production of Chanticleer and the Fox at Ashby_de_la_Zouch castle Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 - December 21, 1375) was a Florentine author and poet, the greatest of Petrarchs disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities is a Spanish novel, published anonymously, 1554, in Alcalá de Henares in Spain, and, in 1557, in Antwerp, Flanders, then under Spanish rule. ... The Cathedral of our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp) in the Handschoenmarkt, in the old quarter of Antwerp is the largest cathedral in the Low Countries and home to a number of triptychs by Belgian Baroque painter Rubens. ... Events January 5 - Great fire in Eindhoven, Netherlands. ... Gold Salt cellar by Cellini Benvenuto Cellini (November 3, 1500 – February 13, 1571) was an Italian goldsmith, painter, sculptor, soldier and musician of the Renaissance. ... Founded 59 BC as Florentia Region Tuscany Mayor Leonardo Domenici (Democratici di Sinistra) Area  - City Proper  102 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 356,000 almost 500,000 3,453/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Latitude Longitude 43°47 N 11°15 E www. ... Events January 7 - French troops led by Francis, Duke of Guise take Calais, the last continental possession of England July 13 - Battle of Gravelines: In France, Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeat the French forces of Marshal Paul des Thermes at Gravelines. ... Events The Jesuit educational plan known as the Ratio Studiorum is issued (January 8). ... Mateo Aleman (1547 - 1609?), Spanish novelist and man of letters, was born at Seville. ... Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Villegas (born September 17, 1580 - September 8, 1645) was a Spanish writer during the Siglo de Oro. ... Events September 30 - Nurhaci, chieftain of the Jurchens and founder of the Qing Dynasty dies and is succeeded by his son Hong Taiji. ... Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens: dynamic figures spiral down around a void: draperies blow: a whirl of movement lit in a shaft of light, rendered in a free bravura handling of paint. ...

In other European countries, these Spanish novels were read and imitated. In Germany, Grimmelshausen wrote Simplicissimus (1669), the most important of non-Spanish picaresque novels. It describes the devastation caused by the Thirty Years' War. In France, this kind of novel declined into an aristocratic adventure: Le Sage's Gil Blas (1715). In England, the body of Tobias Smollett's work, and Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) are considered picaresque, but they lack the sense of religious redemption of delinquency that was very important in Spanish and German novels. The triumph of Moll Flanders is more economic than moral. ... Simplicissimus was a satirical German weekly magazine started by Albert Langen in April 1896 and published through 1944. ... // Events Samuel Pepys stopped writing his diary. ... The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631). ... Alain-René Lesage (May 8, 1668 – November 17, 1747) was a French novelist and playwright born at Sarzeau, Brittany. ... Lesage Alain-René Lesage (May 8, 1668, Sarzeau – November 17, 1747, Boulogne), also spelled Le Sage was a French novelist and playwright born at Sarzeau, in the peninsula of Rhuys, between the Morbihan and the sea, Brittany. ... // Events July 24 - Spanish treasure fleet of ten ships under admiral Ubilla leave Havana, Cuba for Spain. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages None official English de facto Capital None official London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001... Tobias Smollett Tobias George Smollett (March 19, 1721 - September 17, 1771) was a Scottish author, best known for his picaresque novels, such as Roderick Random and Peregrine Pickle. ... Daniel Defoe Daniel Defoe (1660 [?] â€“ April 1731) was an English writer, journalist and spy, who gained enduring fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. ... The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders is a 1722 novel by Daniel Defoe. ... // Events Abraham De Moivre states De Moivres theorem connecting trigonometric functions and complex numbers Publication of the first book of Bachs Well-Tempered Clavier Fall of Persias Safavid dynasty during a bloody revolt of the Afghani people. ...

Influence on modern fiction

In the English-speaking world, the term "picaresque" has referred more to a literary technique or model than to the precise genre that the Spanish call picaresco. The English-language term can simply refer to an episodic recounting of the adventures of an anti-hero on the road. Henry Fielding proved his mastery of the form in Joseph Andrews (1742), The Life of Jonathan Wild the Great (1743) and The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), but, as Fielding himself wrote, these novels were written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, not in imitation of the picaresque novel. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A Literary technique or literary device may be used by works of literature in order to produce a specific effect on the reader. ... In literature and film, an anti-hero is a central or supporting character that has some of the personality flaws and ultimate fortune traditionally assigned to villains but nonetheless also have enough heroic qualities or intentions to gain the sympathy of readers or viewers. ... Henry Fielding (April 22, 1707 – October 8, 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humor and satirical prowess and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. ... Joseph Andrews is a novel by Henry Fielding, first published in 1742. ... // Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... // Events February 14 - Henry Pelham becomes British Prime Minister February 21 - - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handels oratorio, Samson. ... The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (often known simply as Tom Jones) is a comic novel by Henry Fielding. ... Events While in debtors prison, John Cleland writes Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure). ... Cervantes can refer to: Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, 16th-century man of letters Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, a municipality in the Philippines Cervantes, a town in Western Australia Cervantes de Leon, a character in the Soul Calibur series of fighting games This is a... This page is about the fictional character and novel. ...

Other novels with elements of the picaresque include the French Candide, the Canadian Solomon Gursky Was Here and the English The Luck of Barry Lyndon. Candide, ou lOptimisme, (English: Candide, or Optimism) (1759) is a picaresque novel by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. ... Solomon Gursky Was Here is a 1989 novel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler. ... The Luck of Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in 1844 about an Irish peasant who tries to become a gentleman. ...

Some modern novelists have used some techniques of the antique novels, as Gogol in Dead Souls (1842-52). Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901) combined the influence of the picaresque novel with the then new spy novel. Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Svejk (1923?) was the first example of the picaresque technique in Central Europe. Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was consciously written as a picaresque novel, as were many other novels of vagabond life, such as Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957); Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March is a picaresque novel with bildungsroman traits. Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo journalism" can be seen as a hybrid of fictional picaresque with memoir and traditional reportage. The picaresque elements are especially prominent in his less journalistic, more literary and psychotopically themed works, such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Great Shark Hunt". A rather darker use of picaresque tradition can be found in Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird (1965). Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol (Russian: Николай Васильевич Гоголь) (March 31, 1809 - March 4, 1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian writer. ... Dead Souls is a satirical novel by the Russian author Nikolai Gogol. ... Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India. ... Kim is a spy novel and picaresque novel, written by Rudyard Kipling and first published in 1901. ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The spy fiction genre (sometimes called political thriller) first arose just before the First World War, at about the same time, the first organized intelligence agencies were being formed. ... Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek (April 30, 1883 – January 3, 1923) was a Czech humorist and satirist who became well-known mainly for his world-famous novel The Good Soldier Å vejk, an unfinished collection of farcical incidents about a soldier in World War I which has been translated into sixty languages. ... Fritz Muliar as Schwejk (1972) The Good Soldier Švejk (spelled Schweik or Schwejk in many translations, and pronounced /ʃvɛjk/) is the shortened title of the world-famous unfinished novel written by Czech humorist Jaroslav Hašek in 1921-22. ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Regions of Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, novelist, writer, and lecturer. ... Huckleberry Finn and Jim Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) is commonly accounted as the first Great American Novel. ... Jack Kerouac Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922, Lowell, Massachusetts – October 21, 1969, St. ... On the Road is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published by Viking Press in 1957. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bellow as depicted in his Nobel diploma. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... A Bildungsroman (IPA //, German: novel of education or novel of formation) is a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity. ... Hunter S. Thompson, New York City, 1979 (Photo: Allen G. Arpadi) Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. ... Gonzo journalism is a journalistic style, most famously used by Hunter S. Thompson. ... The hard cover version of the book. ... Jerzy Kosiński. ... The Painted Bird is a controversial novel by Jerzy Kosinski in which the world is described through the eyes of a young, black haired, black eyed boy who finds himself lost in small towns scattered around Eastern Europe (presumably Poland or Bellorussia) during World War II. The book has been... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ...

Sergio Leone identified his Spaghetti Westerns, more specifically his Dollars trilogy, as being in the picaresque style. Sergio Leone (3 January 1929 – 30 April 1989) was an Italian film director. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

Other recent examples are Camilo José Cela's La familia de Pascual Duarte (1951), Günter Grass's The Tin Drum (1959), Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle (1973) Helen Zahavi's Dirty Weekend (1991), and Stewart Home's Cunt (1999). Spanish writer Camilo José Cela Don Camilo José Cela Trulock, Marquis of Iria Flavia (es: Don Camilo José Cela Trulock, marqués de Iria Flavia) (1916 – 2002) was an influential Galician writer and member of the Generation of 50. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... Günter Grass Günter Wilhelm Grass is a Nobel Prize-winning Kashubian-German author. ... The Tin Drum (German: Die Blechtrommel) is a 1959 novel by Günter Grass. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944) is a prolific American writer and social activist, notable for novels, poetry, and screenwriting. ... Rubyfruit Jungle is the first novel (1973) by Rita Mae Brown, remarkable for its explicit lesbianism. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Dirty Weekend is a film (1993) directed by Michael Winner based on a 1991 novel by Helen Zahavi (screenplay by Zahavi and Winner). ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Stewart Home (born 1962) is a British fiction writer, subcultural pamphleteer, underground art historian, and activist. ... This article or section needs to be wikified. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...

See also

Adventure novels have adventure as a main theme. ...


  • Alexander A. Parker: Literature and the delinquent: The picaresque novel in Spain and Europe, 1599-1753.

  Results from FactBites:
Picaresque novel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (567 words)
The picaresque novel (Spanish: "picaresco", from "pícaro", for "rogue" or "rascal") is a popular style of novel that originated in Spain and flourished in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and has continued to influence modern literature.
The term denotes a subgenre of usually satiric prose fiction and depicts in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society.
Alexander A. Parker: Literature and the delinquent: The picaresque novel in Spain and Europe, 1599-1753.
  More results at FactBites »



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