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SephardismSpanish Jewish History and the Modern Literary Imagination$
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Yael Halevi-Wise

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804777469

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804777469.001.0001

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The Life and Times of the Picaro-Converso from Spain to Latin America

The Life and Times of the Picaro-Converso from Spain to Latin America

(p.143) Six The Life and Times of the Picaro-Converso from Spain to Latin America

Yael Halevi-Wise

Stanford University Press

This chapter offers a critical analysis of three contemporary historical novels that use picaresque features to portray the experiences of Jews and conversos in Spain, Portugal, and colonial Latin America. Written during the last quarter of the twentieth century, these novels link the literary and political history of the picaresque genre and highlight an ideological struggle that was also tackled in the original picaresque novels invented in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These seminal works were written by Old and New Christians who had imagined the picaro as a converso. The historical fiction examined in this chapter are Tierra adentro (Inland, 1977) by Angelina Muñiz-Huberman, A estranha nação de Rafael Mendes (The Strange Nation of Rafael Mendes, 1983) by Moacyr Scliar, and 1492: Vida y tiempos de Juan Cabezón de Castilla (1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezón of Castile, 1985) by Homero Aridjis.

Keywords:   Jews, historical fiction, conversos, Spain, Latin America, picaresque novels, picaro, Angelina Muñiz-Huberman, Moacyr Scliar, Homero Aridjis

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