Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Picaresque novel
(1,767 words)

1. Concept

The picaresque novel is a type that emerged in Spain in the mid-16th century. Informed by didactic, satirical, and critical tendencies and an intent to entertain (Satire), it rapidly developed into a pan-European genre through adaptations and translations. The picaresque novel recounts the adventures (which usually begin with a shock event) of a social outsider who is exemplary rather than individual (Spanish pícaro/pícara, “rogue” [5]), of lowly and dubious origins, who …

Cite this page
Malinowski, Bernadette, “Picaresque novel”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027045>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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