Picaresque Literature of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Criticism: The Picaro - Essay

Alexander Parker (essay date 1967)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Parker, Alexander. “Zenith and Nadir in Spain.” In Literature and the Delinquent: the Picaresque in Spain and Europe, 1599-1753, pp. 53-74. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.

[In the following excerpt, Parker focuses on Historia de la vida del buscón and the development of the character Pablo.]

The first conscious attempt to find a middle-way solution to the problem of presenting delinquency in polite literature led the genre in a new direction. The next novel to appear was Marcos de Obregón (1618)1 by the poet and musician Vicente Espinel (1550-1624), who, after an adventurous and peripatetic youth, took orders and became...

(The entire section is 10537 words.)

Barbara A. Babcock (essay date 1978)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Babcock, Barbara A. “’Liberty's a Whore’: Inversions, Marginalia, and Picaresque Narrative.” In The Reversible World: Symbolic Inversion in Art and Society, edited by Barbara A. Babcock, pp. 95-116. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1978.

[In the essay which follows, Babcock discusses the social role of the picaresque hero, focusing on early Spanish picaresques as well as the film Easy Rider.]

In one of the most recent picaresque fictions, my colleague Zulfikar Ghose's The Incredible Brazilian, his picaro-narrator informs his reader in the prologue:

I am aware of the danger of fantasies, of adding spice...

(The entire section is 7416 words.)

Joseph W. Meeker (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Meeker, Joseph W. “The Pastoral and the Picaresque.” In The Comedy of Survival: Literary Ecology and a Play Ethic, pp. 50-73. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997.

[In this essay, Meeker considers the character of the picaro from the vantage point of the pastoral tradition in literature.]

The world has often seemed like a scary place for people. Ours is not the first period in history to notice that there is much corruption in social and political structures, that conventional moralities do not address our real problems, that there are too many people for comfort, that the technologies that promised us ease have also damaged our lives and environments,...

(The entire section is 9659 words.)