'The Swindler' and the Picaro
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In this article, the writer notes that 'The Swindler' by Francisco de Quevedo is often called an example of the picaresque genre of Spanish fiction. The writer explains that picaresque literature is a term often given to a number of novels of the Golden Age of Spanish literature that depict a hero, or more accurately, an anti-hero, who falls into or chooses a life of crime. The writer reviews the book concentrating on the concept of the picaresque classification. The writer maintains that the extent to which 'The Swindler' achieves its goal of social satire depends upon whether one regards it as a social satire of Spaniards who uphold the values of honor, or a satire of those previous authors of picaresques who romanticize and excuse the common behavior of base criminals like the character Pablos, by sentimentalizing them as picaros.
From the Paper:"Pablos openly takes delight in his negative exploits, rather than justifies the fact that he need to undertake a life of crime to survive--crime is all he has known, it is part of his family and blood, and he serves the high-born only to enrich himself. He aspires to seem like an aristocrat, and the social critique of Quevedo's society is manifest in the character's corrupt nature, whose double-dealings mimics the social-climbing behaviors of individuals of higher birth, even while aristocrats spurn people of Pablos' parentage as beneath them. But there is little sympathy or playful excuses based upon circumstance that could justify Pablos' actions, rather Pablos openly embraces immorality even when it is not strictly necessary for his advancement. He does not hope to attain high status and wealth to escape a life of crime--rather crime is all over, and Pablos knows this, thus he merely wishes to pursue criminal behavior in a more enriching fashion."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Quevedo, Francisco de. The Swindler. From Two Spanish Picaresque Novels. Translated with an introduction by Michael Alpert. New York: Penguin Classics, 1969.
- Clamurro, William H. "The Destabilized Sign: Word and Form in Quevedo's Buscon."MLN. 95. 2. Hispanic Issue. Mar. 1980. pp. 295-311.
- Eisenberg, Daniel. "Does the Picaresque Novel Exist?"Kentucky Romance Quarterly. 26.1979. pp. 203-19. 9 Jun 2008. http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/deisenbe/Other_Hispanic_Topics/does_the_picaresque.pdf
- Sieber, Harry. "Quevedo." MLN. 88.2 Hispanic Issue Mar. 1973. pp. 454-458.
- Yovel, Yirmiyahu. "The birth of the picaro from the death of shame." Social Research. Winter 2003. 9 Jun 2008. 9 Jun 2008.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2267/is_4_70/ai_112943745/pg_1
Cite this Book Review:
'The Swindler' and the Picaro (2009, January 20) Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-swindler-and-the-picaro-111404/
"'The Swindler' and the Picaro" 20 January 2009. Web. 27 January. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-swindler-and-the-picaro-111404/>