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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Don Quixote’s immediate success in Spain and abroad provides us with many tools to analyze the development of the novel in early modern culture not only from aesthetic and political perspectives, but from social and financial ones as well. This novel is also a pioneer for other reasons: the publication of its first part in 1605 coincides with what traditional historiography has considered the “Spanish Baroque,” a period covering a century of unparalleled artistic achievements but also of relentless historical decay. In masterpiece after masterpiece, through genres like the picaresque and the novela cortesana and formats like the short story and the comedia novelada, authors from Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) to Francisco Santos (1623–1698) elevate the novel where their Renaissance fathers had taken poetry a century earlier, to a veritable “Golden Age.” Framing the analysis in the wider European tradition, this chapter examines some of the greatest achievements of this era in Spain, taking into account those same parameters cited above that made Cervantes’s creation such a successful one.

Keywords: Don Quixote, Baroque, Madrid, short story, realism, disillusion, picaresque

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