The picaresque novel or picaric / picaresque novel (from the Spanish : pícaro = rogue ), whose origin lies in the 16th century in Spain, describes from the perspective of its hero how he makes his way through life in a series of adventures. The rogue comes from the lower social classes, is therefore uneducated, but " farmer smart ". With the intention of overcoming the social stigmatization due to his low birth, he is constantly looking for opportunities for advancement and often resorts to criminal means. It passes through all social classes and becomes their mirror. The hero has no influence on what is going on around him, but always manages to save himself from all sticky situations.
Traditionally, the picaresque novel is a (fictitious) autobiography with satirical features that addresses certain grievances in society. It often begins with a disillusionment with the hero, who only realizes the wickedness of the world here. He travels, be it voluntarily or involuntarily. The adventures experienced are episodic, i. In other words, they are not interdependent and can be expanded as required, which was often the case with translations. The end is usually a "conversion" of the rogue, after which he finds a regular life. There is also the possibility of an escape from the world, i.e. from reality.
On the concept of Picaro
The eponymous word means something like “mean guy with a bad lifestyle”, but it can also stand for “kitchen boy”. The early translations differ greatly, as pícaro was rendered in English with rogue ("rogue, rogue") and in German with Landstörtzer ("tramp"). It was not until the 18th century that the term “rogue” became common when it lost its originally negative connotation .
However, the heroes of the picaros are not all men. As early as 1605 López de Ubeda wrote the novel La pícara Justina about a female main character. The motif is taken up by Alonso Jerónimo de Salas Barbadillo in La Patrona de Madrid restituida (1609) and La Hija de Celestina (1612) as well as in the novel La ingeniosa Elena (1612). Even Alonso de Castillo Solórzano writes in La niña de los embustes (1632) and La Garduña de Sevilla y las bolsas anzuelo de (1629) on female heroines.
For some novels that were written before the picaresque novel established itself as a genre, the term "picaresque novel" has subsequently prevailed. For example, Eucolpius, a traveling pupil ( scholasticus ) and main character in the Satyricon of Petronius (1st century AD) is considered a rogue, although the narrative style, in contrast to later picaresque novels, is based on the Menippe satire .
From Metamorphoses or The Golden Ass (around 170 n. Chr.), An article published in eleven books novel of Apuleius , are influences on Simplicius Simplicissimus (1668) and Gil Blas detected (1715-1735). Also Don Quixote of de Miguel Cervantes , whose classification is controversial as a picaresque novel, is based partly on the novel of Apuleius.
The early use of typical elements of the picaresque novel can also be observed in Asia. For example, the heroes of the Makamen of Badi 'az-Zaman al-Hamadhani and Al-Hariri (10th century) tend to mischievous deeds, which is why the short, often socially critical stories can be described as picaresque. In the Chinese folk book Die Räuber vom Liang-Schan-Moor (13th century), the episodic structure is striking, reminding Wilhelm Grube (who, however, translates the title as The Story of the River Bank) to the German picaresque novel.
The picarro novel
Originated in Spain
The picaresque novel comes from 16th century Spain. Rainer Warning regards it as a phenomenon of the Spanish late baroque, which should be understood as "epochal and spatially limited corpus".
Américo Castro notes that the authors of the Spanish Picaro novels were often conversos , i.e. Jews or Moors who had converted to Christianity . Since Spanish society often suspected such conversos of having only pretended to convert, they were mostly outsiders and used their writing talent to hold up a mirror of their wickedness to society. This contradicts Warning, who considers the proportion of conversos among the authors of the picarro-novel to be far less significant than Castro.
The first early representative is Lazarillo de Tormes , who appeared anonymously in 1554 and almost nothing is known about the author. The novel, the main character of which is a pícaro (rogue), was such a great success that four different reprints were printed within a year. However, some Romanists, including Marcel Bataillon , criticized Lazarillo for lacking the criminal streak that makes a typical rogue. This in turn prompted Michael Nerlich to make a plea for Lázaro in 1968 , but in the subtitle of which he put the term "genre" in quotation marks.
With Mateo Alemán , the author of the Guzmán de Alfarache (1599), a converso (albeit only through ancestors, according to Warning ) uses the genre for the first time. The work made the picaresque novel popular in Spain and found many imitators. Miguel de Cervantes wrote the novella Rinconete y Cortadillo in 1613 . Don Quixote contains picaresque episodes, but cannot genuinely be seen as a picaresque novel. Another representative of the genre is the Historia de la vida del Buscón (1626) by Francisco de Quevedo .
The novel Marcos de Obregón by Vicente Espinel , published in 1618, can be regarded as a special case , whose hero of the same name comes from a good family, often rebukes his fellow human beings in a moralizing way and only behaves like a typical pícaro in a few scenes . According to Jürgen Jacobs, this is probably the reason why Ludwig Tieck published a translation of the novel made by his daughter Dorothea Tieck in 1827 and commented on in detail by himself. Through Tieck's selection of a "harmonizing" variant of the picaresque novel, this genre, which is so incompatible with the bourgeois spirit of the early 19th century, nevertheless found its way into the German romantic literary scene .
Distribution in Europe
The Spanish picaresque novel will soon find imitators all over Europe. In England e.g. B. Thomas Nashes The Unfortunate Traveler (1594), in France z. B. Charles Sorels Francion (1622-1633). Translations appear in Germany that are often expanded. In baroque literature , the picaresque novel is one of the three novel forms, alongside the courtly gallant and shepherd novel .
Aegidii Albertini's German translation of Guzmán de Alfarache (Der Landstörtzer Guzman von Alfarache, 1615) was formative for the German picaresque novel . One of the most important non-Spanish picaresque novels is often Der adventurliche Simplicissimus (1668) by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen , which is also considered to be the first German-language adventure novel . However, since Simplicissimus does not have the typical characteristics of a pícaro (low birth, striving for social advancement and pranks bordering on criminal), this assignment is controversial. Grimmelshausen wrote other novels, which thematically connect to the Simplicissimus , they are called the Simplicianische Schriften . The Landstörtzerin Courasche (1670) deserves special mention here. Other representatives of the genre are:
- Johann Beer : The Simplician World-Kucker (1677)
- Daniel Speer : The Hungarian or Dacian Simplicissimus (1683)
- Christian Reuter : Schelmuffsky (1696)
Later novels often make use of mischievous protagonists, but are no longer counted among picaresque novels in the narrower sense. Similarities exist in the choice of first-person narration , in retrospective narration , in the choice of the frog's eye view . In connection with the frog's eye view, Pavel Mazura also mentions the term mask: “ In connection with the frog's eye view, where the authors define a field of activity for their heroes, they also have to create tolerable conditions for them to survive in order to carry them through the whole work harmlessly to be able to. You treat them to a fool's or dwarf mask. And with this help the heroes armed with the masks unmask the societies in which they dwell. "
In the 18th century picaresque elements can be found in Daniel Defoe ( Moll Flanders , 1722) and Tobias Smollett . Also Gil Blas (1715-1735) by Alain-René Lesage and works of Henry Fielding of the picaresque novel are counted frequently successors, but this is controversial. In Gil Blas in particular, the author turns away from the picaresque between the first part and the two sequels of the novel: While the first part with its "loose sequence of episodes, the linearity in time, the identity of adventure and chapter, autobiographical I- Form und Retrospective ”as well as the“ satirical-revealing [n] walk ”of the protagonist through society appears as a typical example of a picaresque novel, according to Winfried Wehle it is precisely these characteristics that are neglected in the sequels. In the second and third part, education becomes the means with which the former rogue achieves his goals (these too are atypical for the genre, as he strives for ever higher offices).
In the German-speaking world, Johann Gottfried Schnabel in his four-part novel Insel Felsenburg and Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel in the biography of a poodle , published in 1794, fall back on the tradition of the picaresque novel. It is noticeable, however, that on the island of Felsenburg only the events in the outer world, but not those on the island itself, are characterized by picaresque elements. Even with Pfeffel one can only speak of an approximation of the “mischievous narrative paradigm”, since the novel belongs to the genre of autozoography.
As Jürgen Jacobs notes, the emergence of a bourgeois society was accompanied by a departure from picaresque novels in favor of “educational and developmental stories” in which the protagonist strives for “a reconciliation of the self and the world”.
Nevertheless, picaresque features can be found in some of the novels of this period, including: James Justinian Morier's The Adventures of Hadschi Baba from Isfahan (1824), Heinrich Heines From the Memoirs of Mr. Schnabelewopski (1834), Nikolai Gogol's The Dead Souls (1842), Gottfried Keller's Clothes Make the Man (1874), Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Eça de Queiroz 's The Relic (1887) and James Fenimore Cooper .
In the 20th century the picaresque novel regained popularity, which is why picaresque elements can be recognized in numerous works.
Jaroslav Hašek , according to Werner Wintersteiner, in his novel The Brave Soldat Schwejk (1920/1923) specifically uses the “picaresque motif” because it enables him to criticize the war. Hašek's novel can therefore also be viewed as a reception of Simplicissimus , in which the war is also portrayed from a mischievous perspective.
- Josef Winckler : The Great Bomberg (1922)
- Ilja Ehrenburg : The unusual adventures of Julio Jurenito (1922), The eventful life of Lasik Roitschwanz (1928)
- Ilja Ilf and Jewgeni Petrow : Twelve Chairs (1927) and The Golden Calf (1930)
- Ernst Penzoldt : The Powenz Gang - Zoology of a Family (1930)
- Louis-Ferdinand Céline : Journey to the End of the Night (1932)
- John Steinbeck : Tortilla Flat (1935)
- Thornton Wilder : Heaven is my choice. (1935)
- Halldór Laxness : The Icelandic Bell (1943–1946)
- Romain Gary : Éducation européenne, (1945), German General Nachtigall
- Giovanni Guareschi : Don Camillo and Peppone (1948)
- Albert Vigoleis Thelen : The Island of the Second Face (1953)
- Saul Bellow : The Adventures of Augie March (1953)
- Thomas Mann : Confessions of the impostor Felix Krull (1954)
- Herbert Jobst : The Dramatic Life of Adam Probst (four novels, 1957–1973)
- Alan Sillitoe : Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (1958)
- Günter Grass : The Tin Drum (1959)
- Thomas Berger : Little Big Man (1964)
- Richard Fariña : Been Down So Long It Looks Like up to Me (1966)
- Günter Kunert : In the Name of Hats (1967)
- Vladimir Voinovich : The Memorable Adventures of Soldier Ivan Chonkin (1969) and Ivan Chonkin, Heir apparent (1979)
- Gerold Späth : Bad (1970)
- Irmtraud Morgner : Life and Adventure of Trobadora Beatriz (1974)
- Edgar Hilsenrath : The Nazi & the Barber (1977)
- August Kühn : Born 22 (1977)
- Peter-Paul Zahl : The Lucky (1979)
- Bohumil Hrabal : I Served the English King (1980)
- John Kennedy Toole : The Idiot Conspiracy (Written in 1963 but not published until 1980.)
- Winston Groom : Forrest Gump (1986)
- Hermann Peter Piwitt : The Pomegranate (1986)
- Urs Widmer : The Congress of Paleolepidopterists (1989)
- Tom Kummer : Good Morning, Los Angeles. The Daily Hunt for Reality (1997)
- Serge Ehrensperger Kubalek's Cartons (1999)
Even in the 21st century, there are occasional allusions to the picaresque novel, for example in the following texts:
- Umberto Eco : Baudolino (2000)
- Alexej Slapovsky: The Day of Money (2000)
- Andrea Camilleri : King Zosimo (2001)
- Christoph Simon : Planet Obrist (2005)
- Jonas Jonasson : The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2009)
- Patrick Tschan : Polar Red (2012)
- Albert Sánchez Piñol : The Fall of Barcelona (2012)
- Jonas Jonasson : The Illiterate Woman Who Could Count (2013)
- Ingo Schulze : Peter Holtz. His happy life told by himself (2017)
- Matthias Bauer : The picaresque novel (= Metzler collection. 282). Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 1994, ISBN 3-476-10282-3 .
- Hans Gerd Rötzer : The European picaresque novel (126 p. 5 fig.). Reclam, Ditzingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-15-017675-7 .
- Pavel Mazura: Two examples of the picaresque novel in German literature . Diploma thesis, Brno 2010.
- J. A. Garrido Ardila: Introduction: Transnational Picaresque . In: Philological Quarterly . tape 89 , no. 1 , 2010.
- Carolin Struwe: Episteme des Pikaresken. Modeling of knowledge in the early German picaresque novel . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016 ( google.at ).
- Richard Mellein: Petronius . In: Thomas Paulsen (Ed.): Kindler compact. Ancient literature (= Kindler compact ). JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-476-04362-7 , pp. 170 .
- Richard Mellein, Peter Kuhlmann : Lucius Apuleius . In: Thomas Paulsen (Ed.): Kindler compact. Ancient literature (= Kindler compact ). JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-476-04362-7 , pp. 191 .
- Johann Christoph Bürgel: Social criticism in rogue robe. Reflections on the Makamen al Hamadhanis and al-Hairis . Walter Dostal on his 65th birthday. In: Asian Studies . Journal of the Swiss Asian Society. tape 45 , no. 2 . Peter Lang, Bern / Frankfurt am Main / New York / Paris / Vienna 1991, pp. 228 .
- Wilhelm Grube: History of the Chinese Literature . CF Amelangs Verlag, Leipzig 1902, p. 418 ( archive.org ).
- Bote, Hermann. In: Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg-DE, accessed on June 16, 2020 .
- Rainer Warning: Narrative work on the myth of the divine rogue. Quevedos "Buscón" . In: Jan Mohr, Carolin Struwe, Michael Waltenberger (eds.): Picarian narration. On the novel of the 17th and 18th centuries (= studies and documents on German literature and culture in a European context . Volume 206 ). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-051618-0 , p. 38 .
- Rainer Warning: Narrative work on the myth of the divine rogue. Quevedos "Buscón" . In: Jan Mohr, Carolin Struwe, Michael Waltenberger (eds.): Picarian narration. On the novel of the 17th and 18th centuries (= studies and documents on German literature and culture in a European context . Volume 206 ). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-051618-0 , p. 39 .
- Rainer Warning: Narrative work on the myth of the divine rogue. Quevedos "Buscón" . In: Jan Mohr, Carolin Struwe, Michael Waltenberger (eds.): Picarian narration. On the novel of the 17th and 18th centuries (= studies and documents on German literature and culture in a European context . Volume 206 ). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-051618-0 , p. 40 f .
- Pícaro. In: PONS | Spanish German. PONS GmbH, 2020, accessed on June 21, 2020 .
- Alexander Samson: Lazarillo de Tormes and the dream of a world without poverty . In: JA Garrido Ardila (ed.): The Picaresque Novel in Western Literature. From the Sixteenth Century to the Neopicaresque . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015.
- Michael Nerlich: Plea for Lázaro. Comments on a "genre" . In: Fritz Schalk (Ed.): Romanic research . tape 80 . Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 355 f .
- Jürgen Jacobs: The Pícaro in the bourgeois age. On Ludwig Tie's translation of Marcos de Obregón and on his novella Miracles . In: Arcadia. International journal for literary studies . tape 24 , no. 3 . Walter de Gruyter , 1989, p. 365 .
- Jürgen Jacobs: The Pícaro in the bourgeois age. On Ludwig Tie's translation of Marcos de Obregón and on his novella Miracles . In: Arcadia. International journal for literary studies . tape 24 , no. 3 . Walter de Gruyter, 1989, p. 364 .
- Ernest Schonfield: Brecht and the Modern Picaresque . In: Godela Weiss-Sussex , Robert Gillett (Ed.): "Blur the traces!" Bertolt Brecht's Work and Legacy. A reassessment . 2008, p. 57 .
- Pavel Mazura: Two examples of the picaresque novel in German literature, diploma thesis, Brno 2010, pp. 17–31
- Pavel Mazura: Two examples of the picaresque novel in German literature, diploma thesis, Brno 2010, p. 25
- Winfried Wehle: Chance and epic integration. Change of the narrative model and socialization of the rogue in the Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane . In: Olaf Deutschmann , Hans Bottle , Rudolf Grossmann , Wido Hempel , Erich Köhler , Margot Kruse , Walter Pabst , Hermann Tiemann (eds.): Romanistic Yearbook . tape 23 . Walter de Gruyter, December 1972, ISSN 1613-0413 , p. 109 f .
- Janet Bertsch: The Whole Story. Language, Narrative and Salvation in Bunyan, Defoe, Grimmelshausen and Schnabel . Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of London. London 2000, pp. 49 .
- Frederike Middelhoff: Literary Autozoographien. Figurations of the autobiographical animal in the long 19th century (= Cultural Animal Studies . Volume 7 ). JB Metzler , Stuttgart 2020, ISBN 978-3-476-05512-5 , pp. 255 .
- Jürgen Jacobs: The Pícaro in the bourgeois age. On Ludwig Tie's translation of Marcos de Obregón and on his novella Miracles . In: Arcadia. International journal for literary studies . tape 24 , no. 3 . Walter de Gruyter, 1989, p. 363 .
- Werner Wintersteiner: “Nothing but death and satire”. Grimmelshausen's criticism of the war from today's perspective . In: Tobias Bulang, Sabine Seelbach, Ulrich Seelbach (Eds.): Daphnis . tape 47 , no. 1-2 . Brill | Rodopi, March 2019, ISSN 1879-6583 , p. 371 .
- Many of Gary's works have picaresque features
- Grass, Günter; The Tin Drum. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag; Munich 1997
- Pavel Mazura: Two examples of the picaresque novel in German literature, diploma thesis, Brno 2010, pp. 17–41
- The writer Ingo Schulze in conversation with Alf Mentzer. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 9, 2017 ; accessed on September 9, 2017 .