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Play and the Picaresque

Lazarillo de Tormes, Libro de Manuel and Match Ball

by Gordana Yovanovich

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list price: $91.00
also available: Hardcover
published: 1999

This study takes a fresh look at the picaresque genre as seen in three important contemporary Latin American novels, Cortázar's Libro de Manuel, Skármeta's Match Ball, and the first picaresque novel, Lazarillo de Tormes. Gordana Yovanovich considers the genre in relation to the concept of play and shows how the traditional picaresque genre has been replaced by a distinctly modern version.

Play and the Picaresque contends that within Latin American culture humour and play serve as forms of empowerment and means of survival for those who are marginalized in society. Like the pícaros of sixteenth-century Spanish novels, the proletarian characters in the Latin American fiction known as Magical Realism embody a playful and spontaneous approach to life and literature. The relationship of the magical to the real in Latin American fiction is, the book argues, comparable to the 'let's pretend' world and toys in play. The act of playing and living in these novels is a re-creative experience - a concept which has not been adequately explored in contemporary criticism.

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About the Author

Gordana Yovanovich

Gordana Yovanovich is the author of Julio Cortázar’s Character Mosaic (1991) and Play and the Picaresque (1999), and editor of The New World Order (2003). She has published articles in scholarly journals on the role of character and on play and improvisation. She is also the coordinator and founder of the only bilingual, interdisciplinary Latin American and Caribbean Studies master’s program in Canada.

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