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After Cervantes: Romance and Reason in the Seventeenth Century

  • Ioan Williams

Abstract

If the generally predominant diagnosis of the causes of the novel’s development were correct we should expect to have seen a gradual development throughout the seventeenth century, perhaps especially in England. In the seventeenth century there is certainly a steady development of many of the factors which are commonly referred to as the conditions of the novel’s rise: that is, the final abandonment of the Ptolemaic system, introduction of new philosophic ideas and scientific methods, an increase of interest in the individual as such and the development of economic factors which were eventually to lead to the development of the capitalist system, and finally the social flexibility dependent on them. In spite of all these factors, however, and in spite of the fact that in Don Quixote the novel as a literary form has clearly shown its capacity to exist right at the beginning of the century, its development in the decades which followed Cervantes’ death was irregular and slow.

Keywords

Seventeenth Century Central Character Contemporary Manner Romance Tradition Human Passion 
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Copyright information

© Ioan Williams 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioan Williams

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