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Cervantes' Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda: A study of genre

Molinari, Maria Alberta; (1995) Cervantes' Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda: A study of genre. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The present thesis is a study of genre In Cervantes' Persiles. It questions the "romantic" label attached to it and seeks to analyse its "novelistic" or "realistic" aspects. The Introductory chapter deals with the terminology and function of genre, and also with the conventions of both romance and the novel with their attendant modes, the romantic/idealistic and the ironic/realistic. This is followed by an analysis of the origins and development of the Byzantine romance, a particular type of romantic fiction to which the Persiles belongs. The main part of the study endeavours to illustrate how the Persiles differs from the established canon of the Byzantine romance, especially in the questions of the characterisation of the heroine and the happy ending. This is carried out through extensive comparisons with other ancient and Renaissance stories of love and adventure; and through an analysis of the protagonists, secondary characters, and episodes in the Persiles itself. Special attention is paid to the protagonists' wedding, and to how Cervantes upsets the readers' expectations of a conventional happy ending by means of a consistent use of the ironic mode typical of the novel. Through the presentation of multidimensional characters, the use of contrasting perspectives on a given episode, and the ironic manipulation of characters and episodes, Cervantes achieved in this work a kind of "generic hybridisation" which calls into question the assumption that the Persiles is pure, uncontaminated romance. The present study hopes to show that the Persiles opens and ends according to the conventions of romance, but in fact develops as an antiromance, subverting many of its generic stereotypes and exposing the fallacy of this type of escapist fiction.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Cervantes' Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda: A study of genre
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108388
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