Since the sixteenth century, Western literature has produced picaresque novels penned by authors across Europe, from Aleman, Cervantes, Lesage and Defoe to Cela and Mann. Contemporary authors of neopicaresque are renewing this traditional form to express twenty-first-century concerns. Notwithstanding its major contribution to literary history, as one of the founding forms of the modern novel, the picaresque remains a controversial literary category, and its definition is still much contested. The Picaresque Novel in Western Literature examines the development of the picaresque, chronologically and geographically, from its origins in sixteenth-century Spain to the neopicaresque in Europe and the United States.
1. Origins and definition of the picaresque genre J. A. Garrido Ardila; 2. Lazarillo de Tormes and the dream of a world without poverty Alexander Samson; 3. Guzman de Alfarache and after: the Spanish picaresque novel in the seventeenth century Howard Mancing; 4. The Spanish female picaresque Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas; 5. The Baroque picaro: Francisco de Quevedo's Buscon Edward H. Friedman; 6. Cervantes and the picaresque: a question of compatibility Chad M. Gasta; 7. The picaresque novel and the rise of the English novel: from Baldwin and Delony to Defoe and Smollett J. A. Garrido Ardila; 8. Defoe and the picaresque Brean Hammond; 9. Picaresque itineraries in the eighteenth-century French novel Jenny Mander; 10. The picaro as narrator, writer and reader: the novels of Hans Jakob von Grimmelshausen Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly; 11. Russia: the picaresque repackaged Marcia A. Morris; 12. Riches to rags: from epic to picaresque at the colonial origins of the Latin American novel Erik Camayd-Freixas; 13. The neopicaresque. The picaresque myth in the twentieth-century novel Shelley Godsland.