Changes in society between the end of the middle ages and the renaissance reflected in the Spanish literary genre of sentimental fiction.La evolución genérica de la ficción sentimental analyzes the genre of the novela sentimental or ficción sentimental, which flourished between around 1440 and 1550. These novels, or prosimetra, focus on courtly love and its negative effects on society, bringing about destruction, tragedy, and frustration: unlucky lovers, particularly men, who cannot fulfill their desire, perceive love as dangerous and unproductive, while equally it is seen from the outside as ridiculous. Only matrimony (a break of freedom) will provide lovers with a social context within which they may satisfy their desires.Sentimental fiction portrays a society in turmoil at the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. From a sociological point of view, love is egalitarian, and aristocratic as well as non-aristocratic circles can participate in the game that is love. From a literary standpoint, the genre provides a new medium for dialogue and psychological exploration of human emotions; featuring innovative forms of expression, it can be considered the first attempt to create the modern novel.
Dr ANTONIO CORTIJO OCANA teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Antonio Cortijo's tour-de-force thesis is now available in this substantial book.... An essential purchase for scholars of early modern Spain. BULLETIN OF HISPANIC STUDIES