Talk:Picaresque novel

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The English Rogue[edit]

Where is Richard Head's "The English Rogue" (1665), published 3 years before Grimmelshausen's "Simplicissimus"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Lazarillo de Tormes[edit]

The term "Picaro" does not appear in the original tale of Lazarillo de Tormes, but it does appear in the sequel, written by Juan de Luna in 1620. He describes a picaro as being very much like a philosopher, but while a philospher has to make sacrifices to achieve a nonmaterialistic lifestyle, a picaro gets it for free. (A philosopher throws all of his possessions into the sea, the Picaro throws them into his belly.) Perhaps that is where the credit for Picaro comes from? Monlette (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Childrens books, broad definition[edit]

It seems to me to require a very broad definition of the picaresque to include the Oz books or Harry Potter. Don't we want to compare and contrast to the picaresque proper, rather than just say these are "picaresque". - Jmabel | Talk 05:19, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I definitely think that the childrens' book section should be removed. I don't see how it makes any sense. How do any of those books represent an anti-hero on the road? I'm going to remove it. If you want to put it back, discuss it here. - Loperco | Talk 14:56, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Not very diverse set of examples[edit]

Only one female author (Rita Mae Brown). I added Sarah Waters' applauded Tipping the Velvet but there needs to be considerably more work on this set of lists. --LQ 03:33, 6 November 2006 (UTC) I added Iris Murdoch's Under the Net, which is considered one of the most important novels of the 20th century. Vidamasvida (talk) 16:49, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Don Quixote?[edit]

Does Don Quixote qualify as a picaresque? It's the classic Spanish novel example that springs to mind.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'm somewhat surprised to find so little said about Don Quixote -- and the novels of Charles Dickens are also almost ignored. Rwood128 (talk) 15:03, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

How about Rabelais' Pantagruel[edit]

I think Gargantua_and_Pantagruel would also qualify, no? It started to be published in 1532 and therefore predates Lazarillo, but was definitely successful enough to have been a huge influence. It was also one of the first printed books that were specifically designed to be on the cheap side of the market, therefore addressing a more popular audience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Peutch (talkcontribs) 12:42, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Why only novels?[edit]

Can't "picaresque" be extended to film as well? Many film comedies, and the entire road movie genre, depend on this narrative conceit.Dooodle (talk) 19:04, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

What about plays which give episodes in the life of a rogue, like El Burlador de Sevilla embodying the Don Juan legend? Hors-la-loi 17:22, 11 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hors-la-loi (talkcontribs)

Vanity Fair[edit]

Another important novel that may be considered part of the genre is Thackeray's VANITY FAIR, in which the social climber Beck Sharp tries to invade a corrupt aristocratic clique by her wits and charm. Unlike most picaresque novels, however, it has a female anti-hero, is not set among lower classes, and does not involve a journey as the basis of its plot. CharlesTheBold (talk) 16:38, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Francisco Rico[edit]

Somehow I get the feeling that his views are a bit over-represented in this article. He himself has only a rather short article on Spanish Wikipedia, and none on any other language version. Is he really a leading scholar about the topic?—Graf Bobby (talk) 19:43, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Influences and originality[edit]

"Possibly" influenced by Arabic literature? Stories about rascals and tricksters are universal. Such tales have been told everywhere since the beginning of humanity. What stands out about the picaresque is that it is more than just a collection of loosely connected amusing episodes featuring clever rascals. The assertion concerning Arabic magama lit influence is made without any support. What is needed is some evidence that stories from, or deriving from Arabic magama literature, were being read in 16th century Spain; otherwise the unsupported statement should be removed, or an explicit statement made that this is only one suggested influence.

Yes, as you say, the trickster and his adventures is a universal theme. In the Hebrew Bible, to take one example, Jacob cheats both his brother Esau and his father Isaac but is then cheated by his father-in-law Laban before eventually outwitting him too. Interestingly, there are also stories there of women tricking men, like Tamar and Judith. Hors-la-loi 17:17, 11 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hors-la-loi (talkcontribs)

Moll Flanders[edit]

"In England, the body of Tobias Smollett's work, and Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) are considered picaresque, but they lack the sense of religious redemption of delinquency that was very important in Spanish and German novels. The triumph of Moll Flanders is more economic than moral." This is sheer opinion on behalf of the article editor who wrote it. Moll Flanders can be argued (like all of Defoe's novels) to be a Puritan allegory. The economic "triumph" accompanies the moral reformation, as is typical in Puritan theology. If someone has made the argument in the above quote in a legitimate source, that source should be included with a citation, and it should be noted as an analysis (i.e., "So-and-so has argued that..."). Otherwise, it is non-encyclopedic personal opining. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Why is The Book of The New Sun discussed as an example?[edit]

I listed on the main article for the story ( ) why I did not think it belonged in the picaresque novel category, and I list here (verbatim) my objections, but this time to it being discussed as an example of picaresque. I've not the knowledge of wikipedia to check such, but I am thinking that both mentions were probably of the same mistaken editor:

To whit:

  • The antagonist is not an antihero.
While he is raised and trained in an unpopular and unpleasant profession, he does not revel in the darker aspects of it, keeping in sight the more "noble" aspect of the ingrained necessity of such a function (which he later comes to question). To him, the job is little more than a job that someone must do and for which he is trained. Many pains are taken to separate the joy and pleasure he associates with his career is that of doing a job well and the comradeship of his guildmates. This is merely the swineherd who would be king had he been raised by a guild of torturers instead of a pig farmer. He retains all, not just some, of the heroic nature expected of one to make such an elevation along with the human capacity of making mistakes.
  • travel
This is probably the strongest aspect it shares with a picaresque story; however travel in and of itself is not enough. In many ways, this story arc has much more in common with the likes of the Arthurian legends or the story of Odysseus than picaresque stories in that his travels generally have the purpose of fulfilling a goal and not the aimless wandering of some rogue poking his nose into whatever he can.
  • satire
Mayhap I dense, but I cannot recall any point in the story that can be considered satirical without considerable mental gymnastics.
  • episodic
Eh, in the sense that it was a framed narrative aware that sequels would follow (which well could be a function of the publishing industry's practices and not any artistic decision), then yes; however within this story there is far more continuity through the "episodes" such that they are more scenes than episodes, but this just may be my interpretation of the difference between the two.

Now, if you want to dig through science fiction to find an ideal picaresque story, Time Enough for Love will fit the bill; however, Wolfe's work simply will not. Wolfe's books differ in that it seems an attempt to present, at the same time, science and gnosis (of the mystic sense). Further it seems an attempt at presenting both myth and legend along with the underpinning reality (which differs surprisingly little from the myth and legend). Even as some who read this might not be familiar with the stories themselves, a cursory reading of the summary can show this to be other than a picaresque novel (well, series thereof). (talk) 22:00, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Hitchhiker's and Restaurant[edit]

I was surprised to find neither The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy nor The Restaurant at the End of the Universe on the list. True, starting with Life, the Universe, and Everything, Douglas Adams's novels became quite tightly plotted (to the extent that I had to re-read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency more than twice just to understand what exactly happened), but the first two books of the series certaintly strike me as "a series of loosely connected adventures or episodes".

Indeed, so loose were the connections that neither the novels, nor the radio series, the TV series, the stage shows, the wonderful, wonderful Infocom game, OR the film follow the same storyline. In some aspects, the one version just rearranges the sequence of events from the other version, but in other instances [I feel my writing is terrible and unconvincing today], there is wholly-different material that doesn't appear in any other version. For example, Arthur Dent only turned into a rag-doll and vomited yarn in the film version. Heh. But seriously, there were more big, structural differences between each version. I think even the two different stage productions were different from each other. (Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic is a great, if dated and incomplete, source for Adams/Hitchhiker's information.)

Maybe Arthur Dent doesn't quite fit the picaresque protagonist profile (although, once his planet is destroyed at the beginning of the first book, he never concerns himself with such petty matters as employment, for the remainder of the five novels).

Definitely, "satire is a prominent element" in virtually all of Adams's work.

Anyone else have a certain opinion on this?

--Ben Culture (talk) 10:22, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

P.S. Good call on Confederacy of Dunces!

WorldCat Genres[edit]

Hello, I'm working with OCLC, and we are algorithmically generating data about different Genres, like notable Authors, Book, Movies, Subjects, Characters and Places. We have determined that this Wikipedia page has a close affintity to our detected Genere of picaresque-literature. It might be useful to look at [1] for more information. Thanks. Maximilianklein (talk) 23:43, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Charles Bukowski[edit]

Would Charles Bukowski qualify as Picaresque novel author according to the 6 points mentioned?

Thanks, Stefan

Stefanwikipedia (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Tortilla Flat[edit]

I'm not an expert, but Tortilla Flat seems a perfect example of a picaresque-inspired novel. Pibwl ←« 19:25, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Picaresque novel/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article needs cites. Jensiverson (talk) 19:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 02:56, 30 April 2016 (UTC)