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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Postgraduate Course: Don Quixote and the Picaresque in English Literature (CLLC11117)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to offer a general view of the influence of the Spanish Golden-Age novel on British authors, with particular attention to the great novelists of Augustan England. The course will begin with an introduction to the historical and literary context of Golden-Age Spain in order to consider how this context coincides largely with that of 18th-century England. These contextual similarities explain the influence of Don Quixote and the Spanish picaresque novels upon 18th-century British authors. The first part of the course will centre on Don Quixote - its main novelistic features, its influence on British authors (e.g. Smollett, Lennox and Austen), and its impact on Fielding, particularly on Joseph Andrews, but also with especial attention to Fielding's play Don Quixote in England and his novel Tom Jones. The second part of the course will focus on the picaresque, and will include a discussion of Lazarillo de Tormes and Guzmán de Alfarache (translated into English as The Rogue), of the picaresque as a generic category and of Defoe's picaresque novels, particularly Moll Flanders.
Course description The Golden Age of Spanish literature spanned from the early 16th century to the late 17th century. During this period, Spain produced countless master pieces in all literary genres. Cervantes's Don Quixote, Spain's most famous and celebrated work of fiction, was published in 1605-15. Ever since, Don Quixote has become one of the most influential books on Western writers such as Dostoevsky and Flaubert. Cervantes's works were received with much enthusiasm in Britain, where he inspired imitations, emulations, and a number of theatrical adaptations. So deep was Cervantes's influence on English letters that the terms quixotic fiction and Cervantic novel are used within English literary studies as a generic category of 18th-century prose fiction. Indeed, Don Quixote has been influential on some of the best-known British authors - Fletcher, Shakespeare, Beaumont, Butler, Fielding, Smollett, Austen, Scott, Coleridge, Greene, Chesterton or Chapman. Cervantes had a particularly deep impact on the development of English literature in the 18th century - novelists like Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, Lennox and Austen endeavoured to understand the novelistic nature of Don Quixote and to emulate it in order to challenge the romance tradition; at the same time, a wave of imitators published their quixotic fictions, books that told of the adventures of a quixotic character, the most famous being Smollett's Sir Launcelot Greaves.
Similarly, the Spanish picaresque novels became extremely popular in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Puritan Republic, Royalists held Alemán's The Rogue in very high esteem, a fashion that came to be known as gusmanry. Some of the best English literature associated with the picaresque tradition was published in the 16th and the 17th centuries, namely Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller and Bunyan's The Life and Death of Mr Badman. However, it was in the 18th century when the influence of the Spanish picaresque novels became paramount. Defoe's Moll Flanders, Roxana and Colonel Jack conform perfectly to the picaresque pattern. Similarly, Smollett wrote picaresque novels such as Roderick Random and Ferdinand Count Ferdinand.
Research into the influence of Spanish Golden-Age novels on English literature has developed dramatically since the late 1990s. The number of articles, monographs and multi-author books on the influence of Don Quixote and the picaresque novels upon English literature continues to grow consistently. Work on this topic has been published by some of the best-known scholars within English literature, eg Roland Paulson, Brean Hammond, Nigel Smith, or Alvin Snider. This is a very fashionable topic for research, of interest to scholars and students in the areas of English literature, Spanish Studies, Comparative Literature, and Literary Theory.

Introduction to Golden-Age Spain and Augustan England
Week 1: The literatures of Golden-Age Spain and Augustan England.

Part 1: Don Quixote in England
Week 2: Don Quixote in Spanish literature and in the Western tradition: a novel and a parody of chivalry romances; Cervantes's theory of the novel.
Week 3: Construing Don Quixote across the centuries: a funny book and the 'saddest' of all tales,
Week 4: Cervantes's influence on English literature
Week 5: Fielding's Joseph Andrews

Part 2: The Picaresque in England
Week 6: Picaresque Novel vs Picaresque Myth
Week 7: The development of the picaresque in Spain: Lazarillo, The Rogue, and The Swindler.
Week 8: The Picaresque Novel and the Picaresque Myth in European Literature
Week 9: Defoe's Moll Flanders

Week 10: Conclusions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Purchase of book in reading list
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
1. Acquire critical knowledge of Don Quixote and Cervantes scholarship.
2. Acquire critical knowledge of the picaresque novel as a category within literary theory, and of the three main Spanish picaresque novels - the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes, Mateo Alemán's The Rogue, and Francisco de Quevedo's The Swindler.
3. Acquire overall knowledge of the literatures of Golden-Age Spain and Augustan England.
4. Acquire critical knowledge of the influence of the Spanish Golden-Age novel on British authors, from the 17th to the 21st century.
5. Acquire critical knowledge of the works by Daniel Defoe and Henry Fielding.
6. Develop their critical abilities, particularly techniques in Comparative Literature.
Reading List
Cervantes, Miguel de, Don Quixote. Any English Edition.
Anonymous, Lazarillo de Tormes. Penguin English Edition.
Fielding, Henry. Joseph Andrews. Penguin.
Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Penguin or Oxford UP.

And a selection from a second bibliopgraphy
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will improve their analytical skills and gain deep knowledge of 16th-/17th-century Spanish and 18th-century British literatures and history. Students will be encouraged to realise and identify common political strands in the picaresque novels, and hence perceive how similar or identical social processes occur in different cultures and result in similar or identical literaty trends.
Course organiserProf John Ardila
Tel: (0131 6)50 3679
Course secretaryMiss Natalie Carthy
Tel: (0131 6)50 6536
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