Title

Novel in Spain: 1700-1900

Document Type

Encyclopedia Entry

Publication Date

2011

Department

Spanish

Language

English

Publication Title

World Literature in Spanish: An Encyclopedia

Abstract

1700-1799

After Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quijote (Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615), the novel in Spain entered what many critics deemed a general decline, not reviving again until the last half of the 19th century. This view of the 18th-century novel in Spain, however, is gradually changing. The term novela (novel) is now seen as more inclusive and pliable, and it is well recognized that in the 18th century, novela, poema épico (epic poem), romance (romance), fábula (fable), and historia (history) all referred to novels and were only some of the labels used. Another problem with defining the novel in this period is the number of translations and adaptations of foreign works that began to flood the Spanish market. Additionally, the novel was not then considered a prestigious genre, but instead regarded as a format that propagated dubious morality among youth and women. All these conditions complicate study of Spain's 18th-century novel.

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