ter Horst, Robert
The Fortunes of the Novel
A Study in the Transposition of a Genre
Year of Publication: 2003
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2003. XI, 303 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-4436-9 pb. (Softcover)
Weight: 0.440 kg, 0.970 lbs
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The Fortunes of the Novel examines the early emergence of the novel as a genre in Spain and its subsequent rise in England. Until the sixteenth century, poetic space had never been occupied by material concerns such as hunger, which had, in fact, been disvalued and rigorously excluded from literature. The consequent combat between poetic anti-material morality and an almost irresistible new economic motivation played itself out in Spain in a great preparatory triad composed of Lazarillo de Tormes, Alemán's Guzmán de Alfarache, and Cervantes' La gitanilla. The novel floundered as a result of undercapitalization, but was revived in England by Daniel Defoe's transposition of the Hispanic fictive inheritance. Ultimately, Walter Scott was the one to establish the novel as a genre that is legally conveyable and inheritable, and passed it on to Dickens, who, in Our Mutual Friend, finally produced a sufficient capital that is both poetic and good.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Robert ter Horst is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Rochester, New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Spanish at the Johns Hopkins University. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Duke University, and the University of Arizona, and has been a visiting professor at Cornell University. A corresponding member of the Hispanic Society of America since 1983, he is the author of Calderón: The Secular Plays and of nearly fifty scholarly articles, most of them dealing with Spanish golden age prose fiction, poetry, and drama.
Studies on Cervantes and His Times. Vol. 8
General Editor: Eduardo Urbina