Zapowiedzi powieści łotrzykowskiej w Anglii
The First Steps Towards the Picaresque Novel in England
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The paper acknowledges the role of Lazarlllo de Toruies in creating the model of picaresque fiction In Elizabethan times, but also points to its native, English tradition and background, especially to anatomies of roguery which introduced a much stronger element of crime into the English picaresque story. This is exemplified by traditional short stories of crime embedded in T. Deloney's Thomas of Reading and in Robert Greene s tendency towards writing criminal lives in his last part of his Cony-Catchin? pamphlets. The main body of the paper consists of a detailed analysis of The Unfortunate Traveller or The Life of Jack Milton (1594) by Thomas Nashe. Its aspects of a "historical" novel .and of a picaresque novella, gradually evolving into a crime story of grotesque and horror until It reaches the depth of the tragedy of revenge and horror in Chapter XII, are discussed with references to Marlowe's and Shakespeare's evil Machiavellian characters and Act III, sc. 3 of Hamlet. Queries are asked about the Elizabethan concept of tragedy in connexion with the contemporaneous Christianity devoid of charitable love. The conclusion is that T. Nashe's "mocking imagination" and consequent style make his highly individual picaresque novel so ambiguous that it Is impossible to give decisive assessment of his artistic intents. Without Its "tragic matter" It served as a model for Defoe and Smollett in the eighteenth century.
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