At the Margins of the Renaissance: Lazarillo de Tormes and the Picaresque Art of Survival

At the Margins of the Renaissance: Lazarillo de Tormes and the Picaresque Art of Survival

by Giancarlo Maiorino
     
 

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Published Anonymously in 1554. Lazarillo de Tormes upset all the strict hierarchies that governed art and society during the Renaissance. It traces the adventures, not of a nobleman or ancient hero, but rather of an ordinary man who struggles for survival in a cruel, corrupt society after growing up under the care of a blind beggar. Giancarlo Maiorino treats this… See more details below

Overview

Published Anonymously in 1554. Lazarillo de Tormes upset all the strict hierarchies that governed art and society during the Renaissance. It traces the adventures, not of a nobleman or ancient hero, but rather of an ordinary man who struggles for survival in a cruel, corrupt society after growing up under the care of a blind beggar. Giancarlo Maiorino treats this picaresque narrative as a prism for exploring econopoetics, a term he uses to foreground the ways in which literary and economic modes of production feed off one another. His approach introduces readers to the turbulent world of common people of Renaissance Spain even as it affords abundant insights into the historical significance of this literary classic. Although literary historians generally connect the rise of the novel to the needs of the middle classes of England, Maiorino demonstrates that its deepest roots are in the culture of indigence that developed at the peripheries of Renaissance society and challenged -- even parodied -- its authoritarian ambitions. Seen in this light. Lazarillo de Tormes emerges as a key text in understanding the novel's purchase on visions of escape from authority into alternative modes of existence. Maiorino grounds his far-reaching arguments in recent theories of textuality and the practices of everyday life. His book will be important reading for all those concerned with the Renaissance, Spanish history and culture, and, more generally, theories of the novel.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Maiorino successfully shifts the discussion of Renaissance texts in particular and of literature in general from heroes of the upper or even the middle classes to the ‘common people.’ He accomplishes this by returning us to an early form of the novel and the prototype of picaresque fiction, the Lazarillo de Tormes, taking this early ‘novel’ as the starting point for a wide-ranging and stimulating discussion of various tropes and images that will lead toward a greater understanding of the ways in which aesthetic and socioeconomic factors figure in literary texts.”
—James Mandrell, Brandeis University

“This scholarship is clear, concise, pithy, and powerful.”
Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

“Giancarlo Maiorino's new book is an important, complex, and suggestive study that foregrounds the many contexts of the picaresque. . . . The book will become a standard reference for all students of picaresque narratives.”
—Frederick de Armas, University of Chicago

“This scholarship is clear, concise, pithy, and powerful.”

Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271022796
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Series:
Studies in Romance Literatures
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

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