By Fonger De Haan
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Extra info for An Outline of the History of the Novela Picaresca in Spain
On the way he meets a hermit and stays with him for a time ; when his evil doings make it impossible for him to continue there, he goes to Coimbra, poses as physician and dancing master, achieves great fame in both professions, but has to lea ve again for fear of the consequences of his incorrigible habits. Having spent his earnings, he enlists as a soldier, deserts after a year's service, and returns home. There he reads some antiquated books on abstruse subjects, especially on Mathematics, and after six months of such preparation he begins to write almanacs, which achieve great popularity on account of their ambiguous prognostications and funny poetical introductions.
9 2 The Vz'afe offers interest from every point of view : the history of the Spanish stage would be very incomplete if we did not have Rojas' book; but, besides this, it is an indubitable autobiography 93 of one of that numerous dass who lived by their wits and their wit, and were not ashamed to confess their shortcomings and direct violation of all the proprieties. A real autobiography of this kind is in itself sufficient to give rise to a dass of Iiterature dealing with unscrupulous characters, and it seems 20 NOVELA PICARESCA.
It is a clever composition, written in pleasant style, and contains much 32 NOVELA PICARESCA. information and many jokes not easily found elsewhere, while the author's extensive reading is frequently apparent in his allusions to literature. The little work might still have gained in value had the author seen fit to institute a comparison between Spanish and French thieves, as in another 12 6 and more popular treatise he compared the two nations in their habits of life. From the latter, more than from any other contemporary source, we get a complete account of various peculiarities that are invaluable for the right understanding of obscure matters of dress and manners such as a native does not consider strange and striking, and a foreigner seldom consigns to writing.
An Outline of the History of the Novela Picaresca in Spain by Fonger De Haan