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Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares

Between History and Creativity

by Joseph Ricapito

Publication Year: 1996

Miguel de Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares, a collection of short stories in the tradition of Boccaccio, has a solid foundation in the history of Golden Age Spain. Joseph V Ricapito studies Cervantes's work from the point of view of "novelized history" or "history novelized." In line with current New Historical thought, he argues that literary production is largely from life and experience, and that Cervantes was acutely aware of the problems of his day.The novelas offer us a glimpse of Cervantes's Spain and include a cataloguing of the social, political, and historical problems of the time. Ricapitc shows how Cervantes fictionalizes the problems of unpopular minorities like Gypsies and conversos (Jewish converts to Catholicism); the difficulties of social mobility in a Christian setting; the presence in society of differing and even outlandish individuals; and the oppressive role of honor, which was popularized by Lope de Vega and later formed a leitmotiv of Spanish drama. In his analysis of Cervantes's creative response to history, Ricapito relates the novelas to the works of Lope de Vega and Mateo Aleman and shows how Cervantes brings to life many literary topoi and places them in a realistic, credible framework in which the historical presence is strongly felt. In Cervantes's treatment of Spain's waning prestige in Europe, we see his vision of human behavior. His view is stern, his critique is sharp, and he is sensitive to external stimuli.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-

I have read briefer versions of these chapters at scholarly meetings, and the many suggestions and critical comments offered to me have found their way into this book. lowe a debt of gratitude to the staff of the Interlibrary...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

Some years ago in a conversation after a lengthy and enjoy~ able dinner at La Carmencita in Madrid, Stephen Gilman summed up a part of our conversation by saying that one believed either that literature was a product of creative imagination, or that it was inspired...

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Chapter One "La gitanilla" At the Crossroads of History and Creativity

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pp. 11-38

It has been the destiny of "La gitanilla" to be regarded benignly as a tale dealing with love, involving a Gypsy girl and a non-Gypsy youth, and this perception has tended to give the story a kind of saccharine taste. The love component dominated in the eyes of readers and, indeed, many critics...

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Chapter Two Cat6licos secretos, Conversos, and the Myth of the Maritime Life in "La espanola inglesa

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pp. 39-68

In keeping with the interpretation that I have given to "La gitanilla" (and as I shall do with other stories), I see in "La espanola inglesa" an example of Cervantes's historical, religious, and social sensitivity to his time...

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Chapter Three "Ellicenciado Vidriera," or "La historia de un fracaso"

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pp. 69-96

"Ellicenciado Vidriera" represents for me one of the best examples of history and literature blended into one unit. There exists an historical and social backdrop to this story that brings coherency to the tale, and at the same time we see Cervantes's concern with the...

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Chapter Four The Prose of Honor

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pp. 97-120

"Ellicenciado Vidriera" represents for me one of the best examples of history and literature blended into one unit. There exists an historical and social backdrop to this story that brings coherency to the tale, and at the same time we see Cervantes's concern with the...

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Chapter Five Apologia pro patria sua Cervantes's "La senora Cornelia"

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pp. 121-134

The writing of "La senora Cornelia" was an attempt to salvage and protect an ideal picture of Spain that Cervantes held, one that the Spanish reading public also wished to preserve. I study in this tale the idea...

Notes

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pp. 135-150

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 151-158

Index

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pp. 159-164


E-ISBN-13: 9781612491110
E-ISBN-10: 1612491111
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557532046
Print-ISBN-10: 1557532044

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 1996

Series Title: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures
Series Editor Byline: Patricia Hart