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Tragicomedy and Novelistic Discourse in Celestina

Overview

The late fifteenth-century Spanish masterpiece Celestina is one of the world's classics. In this important study, Dorothy Sherman Severin investigates how Fernando de Rojas' work in dialogue, which parodies earlier genres, is a precursor of the modern novel. In Celestina, the hero Calisto parodies the courtly lover, the heroine Melibea lives through classical examples and popular students' knowledge, the bawd and go-between Celestina deals a blow to the world of wisdom literature, and Melibea's father Pleberio ...

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Overview

The late fifteenth-century Spanish masterpiece Celestina is one of the world's classics. In this important study, Dorothy Sherman Severin investigates how Fernando de Rojas' work in dialogue, which parodies earlier genres, is a precursor of the modern novel. In Celestina, the hero Calisto parodies the courtly lover, the heroine Melibea lives through classical examples and popular students' knowledge, the bawd and go-between Celestina deals a blow to the world of wisdom literature, and Melibea's father Pleberio gives his own gloss on the lament. There is also a fatal clash between two literary worlds, that one of the self-styled courtly lover (the fool) and the prototype picaresque world of the Spanish Bawd and her mentors (the rogues). The voices of Celestina are parodic, satiric, ironic and occasionally tragic, and it is in their discourse that the dialogue world of the modern novel is born. In order to make this book accessible to a wider English-speaking readership, quotations from the text are accompanied by English translations, mainly from the seventeenth-century English version by James Mabbe.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Celestina and novelistic discourse; 2. The prefatory material: the author's ambivalent intentions; 3. Genre and the parody of courtly love; 4. From parody to satire: clerical and estates satire; 5. Verbal humour and the legacy of stagecraft; 6. The rhetorical shift from comedy to tragedy: ironic foreshadowing and premonitions of death; 7. Is Melibea a tragic figure?; 8. Pleberio's lament, Cárcel de Amor, and the Corbacho; 9. Conclusion: Rojas' ambivalence towards literature; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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