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Revisiting the Circuitous Odyssey of the Baroque Picaresque Novel: Reinaldo Arenas's El mundo alucinante

Revisiting the Circuitous Odyssey of the Baroque Picaresque Novel: Reinaldo Arenas's El mundo... T IS A CRITICAL COMMONPLACE that Lazarillo de Tormes’ s appearance in 1554 engendered a literary tradition, usually referred to as the “picaresque” (be that the picaresque novel, genre, mode, frame, style, or strain), that played a dominant role in Hispanic letters during Spain’s Renaissance (here, chiefly designating the sixteenth century) and the “historical baroque period” (mainly the late sixteenth and entire seventeenth centuries).1 However, the picaresque has not remained restricted to the Peninsula during the peak of its empire. Rather, we shall find that the picaresque novel—specifically one written in a decidedly baroque fashion—has resurfaced as recently as 1969 in the Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas’s El mundo alucinante (Hallucinations).2 In this transtemporal, trans-Atlantic investigation, I first demonstrate that the baroque picaresque is a Hispanic literary constant or, at a minimum, that it cyclically reappears. I examine how El mundo alucinante engages in dialogues with two canonical baroque picaresque novels of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain: Mateo Alemánn’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599/1604) and Francisco de Quevedo’s El buscón (The Scavenger, 1626). I also briefly examine how Arenas employed his primary historical source, Fray Servando’s Memorias (The Memoirs of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier). Ultimately, I attempt to explain why http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Revisiting the Circuitous Odyssey of the Baroque Picaresque Novel: Reinaldo Arenas's El mundo alucinante

Comparative Literature , Volume 57 (1) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-57-1-61
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

T IS A CRITICAL COMMONPLACE that Lazarillo de Tormes’ s appearance in 1554 engendered a literary tradition, usually referred to as the “picaresque” (be that the picaresque novel, genre, mode, frame, style, or strain), that played a dominant role in Hispanic letters during Spain’s Renaissance (here, chiefly designating the sixteenth century) and the “historical baroque period” (mainly the late sixteenth and entire seventeenth centuries).1 However, the picaresque has not remained restricted to the Peninsula during the peak of its empire. Rather, we shall find that the picaresque novel—specifically one written in a decidedly baroque fashion—has resurfaced as recently as 1969 in the Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas’s El mundo alucinante (Hallucinations).2 In this transtemporal, trans-Atlantic investigation, I first demonstrate that the baroque picaresque is a Hispanic literary constant or, at a minimum, that it cyclically reappears. I examine how El mundo alucinante engages in dialogues with two canonical baroque picaresque novels of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain: Mateo Alemánn’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599/1604) and Francisco de Quevedo’s El buscón (The Scavenger, 1626). I also briefly examine how Arenas employed his primary historical source, Fray Servando’s Memorias (The Memoirs of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier). Ultimately, I attempt to explain why

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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