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Written by an international group of scholars, this edited collection provides an overview of the Spanish picaresque from its origins in tales of lowborn adventurers to its importance for the modern novel, along with consideration of the debates that the picaresque has inspired.
La vida del Buscón llamado Don Pablos (The Life of the Rogue Called Don Pablos) by Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645) was first published in 1626, although there is proof that it was written some years earlier. Quevedo is one of the major figures in early modern Spanish literature. A nobleman of strongly elitist bent, he exemplified the baroque spirit in his poetry and other works, which cover politics, philosophy, and theology, often through crushing satire. The baroque period is characterized by a spirit of competition and rivalry. Quevedo’s principal rival – part of a long list – is Luis de Góngora, another brilliant poet with a mordant wit. As a poet, Góngora is considered to be a master of culteranismo, marked by a profusion of rhetorical figures and flourishes. Quevedo, in turn, is associated with conceptismo, which elevates conceits and conceptual plays (and ploys). The Buscón is Quevedo’s only fictional narrative, and it shows the author’s consciousness of the picaresque genre. With the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes and Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache, the Buscón is classified as an archetypal picaresque text. Pablos becomes the baroque pícaro par excellence.
Quevedo’s opening note to the reader sets a tone of irony. The book will offer tales of deception and scams, but one can benefit from its sermons, which, in fact, can be hard to find. Forms of parody perhaps may provide keys to analysis. One may discern that Quevedo will follow the deep structure of his predecessors while venturing into his own brand of picaresque narrative. In the first chapter, Pablos addresses a nameless narratee, as he recounts his genealogy. Lineage is significant in autobiography, biography, and chivalric romance, while in the picaresque its function is to mock the protagonist. Pablos, from Segovia, is most obviously a New Christian, whose father was a barber and a thief and whose mother was a prostitute and enchantress, although each pretended to be upright and of pure blood. Pablos had a little brother who was jailed for stealing and who died from lashes that he received in prison. The parents want Pablos to follow their respective paths, and they put forth their cases before him.
The term picaresque describes a specific set of early modern Spanish narratives, variations in Europe and Latin America, and more recent forms in international literature and culture. There are recognized precursors of picaresque narrative, archetypal picaresque narratives, gender distinctions (pícaros and pícaras), and innovative re-creation or refashioning of the models. There are scholarly polemics on the texts and on definitions, categorizations, parameters, and readings of the works under scrutiny. There are differing opinions on antisocial behavior and discourse. This companion to the picaresque genre – and the phenomenon of the picaresque – seeks to present an overview of the picaresque and analyzes of a range of examples, along with a treatment of the debates that the picaresque has inspired. Edward H. Friedman focuses on the picaresque as a genre. Anne J. Cruz examines the origins of the picaresque. Marta Albalá Pelegrín comments on Francisco Delicado’s La lozana andaluza (1528), a work in dialogue form that may be considered a predecessor to the picaresque novel. The anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1554), Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599, 1604), and Francisco de Quevedo’s La vida del Buscón (1626) – often labeled as the three major picaresque texts – are studied, respectively, by J. A. Garrido Ardila, Howard Mancing, and Edward H. Friedman. Additional chapters are devoted to La pícara Justina, often attributed to Francisco López de Úbeda (Brian M. Phillips), Alonso Jerónimo de Salas Barbadillo’s La hija de Celestina (Enrique García Santo-Tomás), Miguel de Cervantes’s picaresque writings (Vicente Pérez de León), Vicente Espinel’s Marcos de Obregón (John C. Parrack), Carlos García’s La desordenada codicia de los bienes agenos (Antón García-Fernández), and the anonymous Estebanillo González (Faith S. Harden). In the following chapters, Hilaire Kallendorf surveys criticism on the picaresque, José Luis Gastañaga Ponce de León looks at the picaresque in Spanish America, Richard Squibbs deals with manifestations of the picaresque in France and England, and Andrés Zamora explores the continuity of the picaresque in Spain. Each contributor offers a particular perspective, and the goal is to provide a guide to the picaresque from multiple vantage points. Connections among texts and theorization on genre are fascinating – and flexible – issues. The act of reading and the act of criticism also should be fascinating and flexible exercises, and the editor and the contributors to this volume wish the readers a productive passage.
Picaresque narrative begins as an ingenious response to previous writings. In sixteenth-century Spain, the dominant forms of fiction were idealistic in nature: sentimental, pastoral, and chivalric romance. Sentimental romance brings in the courtly love tradition in works such as Diego de San Pedro’s Cárcel de amor (The Prison of Love, 1492), which represents amorous pursuit as an emotional and verbal battle. Pastoral romance, as in Jorge de Montemayor’s Los siete libros de la Diana (The Seven Books of Diana, 1559), offers an embellished vision of bucolic life, with eloquent shepherds and shepherdesses in glorified settings far removed from rustic customs. Chivalric romance, exemplified by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo’s Amadís de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul, 1508), exalts the valor, heroic exploits, and service to designated ladies of illustrious knights-errant. Stemming from classical antiquity, romance replaces quotidian reality and its imperfections with positive and rose-colored visions and with exaggerated and stylized plots. Subsequently, there is a rising interest in the development of literary realism as an alternative mode of composition. The Italian novella, including Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (1353), and other European texts herald a shift from idealism to realism. Francisco Delicado’s narrative in dialogue form, La lozana andaluza (The Lusty Andalusian Woman, 1528), is a notable Spanish precursor to this trend. The picaresque genre signals the movement toward alternative ways of constructing and narrating fiction. This was a moment of creation and of experimentation, and incipient realism became linked with satire and parody and with deviation from existing paradigms.
A minimum of two works technically can constitute a genre. The anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) imitates and deflates the idealism of the romances of chivalry and of autobiography by having a character from the lowest rungs of society narrate his story. His genealogy is the antithesis of lofty bloodlines, and his progression through an assortment of trials and tribulations is hardly worthy of encomiums. The narrator/protagonist seeks upward mobility in a rigidly hierarchical society. Lázaro’s aspirations are undermined by social protocol and by an author who accentuates the irony of the ambitions and of the discourse. Mateo Alemán follows with Guzmán de Alfarache, published in two parts (1599, 1604), considerably longer, but sharing a first-person narrator, lowly lineage, a series of masters, impractical objectives, and humiliating incidents.
Literary categories and labels are useful in a paradoxical way, and more so in the aftermath of poststructuralism. Frames allow for typologies and for groupings of texts, yet if similitude is a point of departure, difference — differentiation, distinction, divergence, deviation — ultimately will inform the critical or analytical act. Take the case of the (for many) ‘first modern novel’, Don Quijote, which is easy to classify and even more likely to resist, or to defy, classification. It serves as an example of realism, as contrasted with the idealistic fictions of sentimental, chivalric, and pastoral romance, but it has more in common with modernist and postmodernist responses to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century narrative realism than with the objectives and conventions of the authors cataloged as realists. Not only is realism relative, dependent on a significant ‘other’ to shape its identity, but it also is compromised from the start, separated from the signified in the mediating space of words that attempt to capture things. In Don Quijote, Cervantes breaks from idealism in an ironic way. His realism is inflected by an antithetical force, that of metafiction, which takes the narrative in an opposing direction that substitutes self-reflexivity for mimesis. It is not realism or metafiction but the dialectics of realism and metafiction that defines the rhythm, movement, and tone of Don Quijote. In the Arte nuevo de hacer comedias and in his dramatic works themselves, Lope de Vega balances comedy and tragedy in a variety of forms. In those plays that veer toward comedy, the threat to honour and the potential for catastrophe yield to the upside-down perspective of saturnalian inversion; happy endings (often punctuated by multiple marriages) result from breaking rules in ways that would not be sanctioned in ‘real’ society. In the more serious plays, the dénouement frequently illustrates tragedy averted and acknowledgment of the guiding principles of society. El castigo sin venganza (1631), one of Lope's later works, is particularly interesting in generic terms, given that the playwright categorizes the text as a tragedy. By Lope's own criteria, that denomination must be qualified.
Derived from the Phaedra myth and from literary and historical variations on the theme, El castigo sin venganza centres on the Duke of Ferrara, a profligate who, under pressure from his constituents, arranges to marry the noblewoman Casandra.
Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Introduction: Concomitant psychotropic medication (CPM) treatment is common in persons with major depression (MDD). However, relationships with patient characteristics and response to treatment are unclear.
Methods: Participants with nonpsychotic MDD (N=2682) were treated with citalopram, 20–60 mg/day. Sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment outcome characteristics were compared between those using CPMs at study entry or during up to 14 weeks of citalopram treatment, and non-users.
Results: About 35% of participants used a CPM. Insomnia was the predominant indication (70.3%). CPM users were more likely to be seen in primary care settings (69.3% versus 30.7%), be white, of non-Hispanic ethnicity, married, and have a higher income, private insurance, and certain comorbid disorders. CPM users had greater depressive severity, poorer physical and mental functioning, and poorer quality of life than non-users. Response and remission rates were also lower. CPM users were more likely to achieve ≥50 mg/day of citalopram, to report greater side effect intensity, and to have serious adverse events, but less likely to be intolerant of citalopram.
Conclusion: CPMs are associated with greater illness burden, more Axis I comorbidities (especially anxiety disorders), and lower treatment effectiveness. This suggests that CPM use may identify a more difficult to treat population that needs more aggressive treatment.