Early in «El coloquio de los perros» Cipión makes a fundamental distinction between two kinds of narrative accounts: «que los cuentos unos encierran y tienen la gracia en ellos mismos; otros, en el modo de contarlos» (Cervantes III, 247). Consistent with this, most readers of the Novelas ejemplares have perceived that the twelve stories in the collection are not of a single kind, that more than one concept of genre is to be perceived in the book. In this essay I would like to 1) look briefly at some attempts at designing a taxonomy of these novelas, 2) suggest a new way of considering the question of generic categorization, and 3) consider some broader implications of approaching literary texts from a theoretical perspective quite different from those that have been most prominent in the last quarter of a century. For the sake of simplicity and space, I use the following set of abbreviations104:
|AL||El amante liberal —128→|
|RC||Rinconete y Cortadillo|
|EI||La española inglesa|
|LV||El Licenciado Vidriera|
|FS||La fuerza de la sangre|
|ZE||El celoso extremeño|
|IF||La ilustre fregona|
|DD||Las dos doncellas|
|SC||La señora Cornelia|
|CE||El casamiento engañoso|
|CP||El coloquio de los perros|
I have made a fairly extensive (but not exhaustive) survey of attempts to divide the novelas into multiple categories in the last century and a half (see Appendix)105. A perusal of the Appendix makes it apparent that some unusual and highly original -even eccentric- tax-onomies have been invent Consistent with the «two Cervantes» theme that has often run through Cervantes criticism, the tendency has been to divide the novelas into two absolutely distinct and irreconcilable categories. As William C. Atkinson so succinctly put it, «Seven of the tales in the collection, as every critic has noted, are divided by anaesthetic abyss from the other five. These latter -those omitted by Rodríguez Marín in his Clásicos castellanos edition- have no claim to beeither new or exemplary. Conceived in the Italianate tradition of amorous intrigue, incredible coincidence, and total innocence of philosophic intention, they constitute an artistic anachronism in the company of the other seven» (194). About mid-century Agustín de Amezúa y Mayo wrote: «estimo superfluo e infundado el intento de algunos críticos de clasificar a las Novelas ejemplares en grupos fijos y determinados. Es prurito viejo, que trae su corriente desde muy lejos» (478)106.
If nothing else, this survey shows that, in spite of the essentialist position of scholars like Atkinson, generic boundaries do not exist in any absolute sense, but are imposed-sometimes in radically different —129→ ways -by a wide variety of readers. And once imposed, they are considered to be a natural part of reality. As sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel notes, «boundaries are mere artifacts that have little basis in reality. It is we ourselves who create them, and the entities they delineate are, therefore, figments of our own mind. Nonetheless, our entire social order rests on the fact that we regard these fine lines as if they were real» (3).
I think, however, that as we come closer to the present it is possible to see somewhat of a modern consensus -with clear exceptions such as the positions described by Julio Rodríguez-Luis, Luis A. Murillo, and Antonio Rey Hazas. Ruth El Saffar107 and E. C. Riley best represent this consensus, as they divide the novelas into two opposite types with an intermediate grouping. The first type is called «romance» and includes AL, FS, EI, DD, and SC; in general these are also the stories that have been called «Italianate», «idealistic», and «romantic». The second group is called «novel» and includes RC, LV, ZE, CE, and CP; other terms applied to these stories include «realistic», «satiric», or «picaresque»108. The remaining two novelas, LG and IF, are generally considered to consist of a blend or mixture of the two types. I would like to reconsider the question of generic categorization not so much in order to arrive at a completely new way of dividing the stories into groups, but to make more precise the means by which we make generic distinctions and then to consider the consequences of the distinctions that result. The primary tools I will use come from two complementary sources: contemporary cognitive science and Mikhail Bakhtin.
According to cognitive psychologist Diane Gillespie (165-66), a paradigmatic example of research in cognitive science was carried out in the late 1970s by Eleanor Rosch in the area of —130→ categorization109. The classical -Aristotelian- concept of a category is of something that objectively exists in the world. If a particular item meets certain necessary and sufficient conditions it is considered to be a member of that category; if not, it is exclud A thing cannot be A and not-A at the same time. It is an all-or-nothing proposition, one that is clear and simple, one that illustrates the dualism many people have perceived throughout the universe: win or lose; alive or dead; with me or against me; white or black. Categories are there, objective, directly perceivable by anyone. Rosch challenged this essentialist tradition and, in a series of elegant experiments, worked out an alternative, and much more powerful, model.
Categories, Rosch showed, are much more like Wittgenstein's «family resemblances» (1, 66-71) than the result of clearly-drawnlines of division. They are more like what mathematicians call «fuzzy sets»110. That is to say, we can look at a group of persons or things and perceive a general resemblance or relationship among them, without being able to specify any set of necessary and sufficient conditions that they all meet. In a family, a group of cousins may all be clearly related, but their facial features, height, weight, eye and hair color, and so forth, differ considerably within the group and often share aspects of persons not related. Yet there is a loose set of traits that, though no one is shared by all, is more or less characteristic of the family. It is as though we had an idea of what a prototypical member of the family might look like and found that all of the cousins pretty much approximated that model and that most others from outside the family did not. Indeed, it is the concept of the prototype that is at the heart of Rosch's approach to categories.
An illustration of how Rosch approached the problem is provided if a number of individuals are asked to close their eyes and think of a bird. The mental image that most people conjure up is one of a robin, or perhaps a sparrow, a bluebird, or a wren. But it is less —131→ likely that they picture a turkey, a pelican, or an owl, and it is almost certain that they do not conjure up a mental image of a humming-bird, a penguin, or an ostrich. This is because, for nearly all of us, certain birds capture better than do others the essence of what being a bird is all about. The small, flying, chirping, familiar birds of our back yards are closer to the prototype of what a bird is. These birds have more of a quality of «birdiness» than do other kinds of birds. In fact, most human categories -all sorts of animals, furniture, homes, people, novels, etc.- are creations of our practical thinking and experience. And our categories -including our literary genres- do not have clearly- defined boundaries, but often have what George Lakoff (91-114) calls a «radial» structure. We can think, for example, of the category of birds as consisting of a series of concentric circles.
Very near the center, close to the prototype of the category, is our familiar robin. Nearby are other similar birds: sparrows, cardinals, orioles, canaries. Further out are turkeys and chickens, toucans and eagles. And still further away are ostriches and emus, penguins and humming birds. There will be variation in placement in this series of
Figure 1. Bird Prototype.—132→
concentric circles by individual, circumstance, culture, and much more. Categories are not stable, but relative, contingent, fuzzy concepts. And they are contextual; for someone who lives in Antarctica a penguin might indeed be close to the prototype for a bird; a robin most probably wouldn't be such a prototypical exemplar.
A theory of categorization based on the tenets of modern cognitive science111 illustrates two of the main points made consistently within that orientation: 1) all knowledge is knowledge to someone, and 2) a human knower is always situated within a specific historical and cultural context. In her superb introduction to the field, Gillespie explicitly bases her orientation on the concept of «contextualization» which originated with Stephen Pepper's taxonomy of world views (which also includes mechanism, formism, and organicism) and is most consistent with the tradition represented by the «new science» of Vico, the pragmatism of James, Dewey, and Mead, the later work of Wittgenstein, the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, and the dialogism of Bakhtin. Contextualism emphasizes the situatedness of actions and persons in their historical and cultural contexts and has had its basic premises affirmed in recent years in historiography (White), narrative approaches to psychology (Sarbin), and the feminist critique of scientific epistemology (Longino). For Gillespie: «Because the event takes up the knower in the known, contextualism is an interactive, dynamic world view. Moreover, nothing in the event is permanent or immutable because each particular changes with the flux of time. The contextualist focuses on the richness of experience and on shared meanings that arise out of interaction with others. Truth lies in the process of taking up the whole context of the event in its» thick description, «including its complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions... And someaning is embodied in our experience of the world» (18). Categories —133→ do not exist in and of themselves but are perceived by individuals situated in context.
David Fishelov (54-64) has suggested that Wittgenstein's concept of family resemblances, together with prototype theory from cognitive science, might provide the best basis for an approach to literary genres. I believe that Fishelov is very much on the right track. For example, like others, I have for years struggled with the concept of genre with respect to the picaresque novel («Picaresque Novel», «Protean Picaresque»). I would now propose that the literary genre we call the picaresque novel be considered as having a theoretical prototype and a radial structure. Works such as Lazarillo de Tormes and Guzmán de Alfarache would be very close to the bulls-eye proto-type, with La pícara Justina and Alonso, mozo de muchos amos further from the center, and El diálogo del capón and Periquillo el de las gallineras even further out, while El diablo cojuelo and El criticón are off my version of the map:
Figure 2. Picaresque Prototype.
Let us now turn to the Novelas ejemplares and look for two prototypes in order to justify both Cipión's statement cited at the beginning and the general feeling of most readers that there are more or less two types of story in the collection. For starters, I suggest that Mikhail Bakhtin provides a very thorough and pragmatic description of one kind of fiction in his discussion of the «adventure-time» chronotope in the Greek romance (86-87). And since we know that Cervantes explicitly compared his own Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda to Heliodorus's Ethiopian History, the use of Bakhtin's description of Greek romance is specifically appropriate for Cervantes. The plots of these romances are, Bakhtin observes, «remarkably similar to each other» (87); in fact, one might say they share a «family resemblance».
Bakhtin lists elements that make up what he calls «a typical composite schema of this plot»: «There is a boy and a girl of marriageable age. Their lineage is unknown, mysterious (but not always: there is, for example, no such instance in Tatius). They are remarkable for their exceptional beauty. They are also exceptionally chaste. They meet each other unexpectedly usually during some festive holiday. A sudden and instantaneous passion flares up between them that is as irresistible as fate, like an incurable disease. However, the marriage cannot take place straightway. They are confronted with obstacles that retard and delay their union. The lovers are parted, they seek one another, find one another; again they lose each other, again they find each other. There are the usual obstacles and adventures of lovers: the abduction of the bride on the eve of the wedding, the absence of parental consent (if parents exist), a different bridegroom and bride intended for either of the lovers (false couples), the flight of the lovers, their journey, a storm at sea, a shipwreck, a miraculous rescue, an attack by pirates, captivity and prison, an attempt on the innocence of the hero and heroine, the offering-up of the heroine as a purifying sacrifice, wars, battles, being sold into slavery, presumed deaths, disguising one's identity, recognition and failures of recognition, presumed betrayals, attempts on chastity and fidelity, false accusations of crimes, courttrials, court inquiries into the chastity and fidelity of the lovers. The heroes find their parents (if unknown). Meetings with unexpected friends or enemies play an important role, as do fortune-telling, prophecy, prophetic dreams, premonitions and sleeping potions. The novel ends happily with the lovers united in marriage. Such is the schema for the basic components of the plot» (87-88).—135→
It is not difficult to see how this model can be applied to Cervantes's novelas: the five novelas in the traditional «romance» category tend to approximate this prototype fairly closely, while those in his «novel» category do not. We might illustrate the romance prototype thus:
Figure 3. Romance Prototype.
Note that AL and EI come very close to the romance prototype, but -and it is important to insist upon this distinction- neither one of them is the prototype112. Of Cervantes's novelas they are the ones that most closely resemble this theoretical prototype or idealized cognitive model. DD and SC lack somewhat more of the elements -ship-wreck, pirates, being sold into slavery, etc.- but still largely conform —136→ to the model. FS is a little farther from the center because it lacks even more of the elements: it begins with a realistic act of brutal violence (the rape of Leocadia by Rodolfo), the two main characters do not fall in love at the beginning and struggle throughout to be reunited, and so forth. But certain features of all of these stories are basically the same: the beautiful young protagonists, their great love, trials and tribulations, separation, and the happy marriage at the end.
There is nothing quite comparable to the Bakhtinian «romance» model for the «novel» prototype. This is hardly surprising, as the novel is the most protean of genres, the literary genre hardest to define. It tends to be all that which romance is not. According to Walter L. Reed, the author of what is perhaps the best history of the genre we call the modern novel, the novel is an «outsider» to literary kinds; it is what Reed calls «a deliberate stranger to literary decorum» (3). Reed's definition, imprecise as it must be, will serve: for him the novel is «a long prose fiction which opposes the forms of everyday life, social and psychological, to the conventional forms of literature, classical or popular, inherited from the past» (3-4). Certainly this is consistent with Bakhtin's concept of the novel as being radically different from all other genres: «Of all the major genres only the novel is younger than writing and the book: it alone is organically receptive to new forms of mute perception, that is, to reading» (5). Thus, the novel alone among literary genres is characterized by dialogic, rather than monologic, language, and the multiplicity of voices that Bakhtin calls «heteroglossia»113. So, if we chart the model for the «novel» prototype of the novelas -a model representing all that which the romance is not- we have something like this:—137→
Figure 4. Novel Prototype.
Here, RC and CE are probably the closest to the prototype (again, note that neither of these stories is the prototype, but merely the closest to it). CP, even though its protagonists are talking dogs and it includes the ambiguously fantastic central episode with the witch, is still quite close. LV, with its satiric and philosophical maxims, its romance subplot with the love potion, and its heroic ending, is somewhat farther out. And, for me, ZE is located still a little farther out because of the young lovers who overcome difficulties (quite unlike those in a novela like AL) in order to come together (but not marry) at the end, and so forth. But at the same time, ZE, if seen primarily as an apologue and focusing on Carrizales's pathology, might be placed considerably closer to RC. The actual placement on the concentric circles is admittedly arbitrary, as the relative distances between any two of the stories might be perceived differently by different individuals. What is important, however, is that subtle degrees of difference are an integral part of the model: this is not a unitary or essentialist grouping where in all members meet the necessary and sufficient conditions for inclusion in the sets.—138→
LG and IF really do partake of both models, though over all somewhat more of the romance model. They both begin closer to the novel prototype with the action in the world of gypsies and pícaros, their heteroglossia, and their humor. But they both wind up quite firmly in the romance camp with the happy marriage of the beautiful young protagonists. We could add them to both generic prototypes, with both of them closer to the center on the romance chart, as seen in Figure 5.
Now, instead of two concentric circles, we might redraw these prototypical groupings on a continuum, more or less as follows:
Figure 6. Generic Continuum.
Here we see the inadequacy of most previous concepts of category (recall Atkinson's «aesthetic abyss»). To lump AL, EI, DD, SC, and FS all together under the rubric «romance» or «idealistic» is to blur subtle but important distinctions among them. To group RC, CE, CP, LV, and ZE together as «novel» or «realistic» is to blur equally great -or even greater- distinctions. And even to call LG and IF a mix of the two or a hybrid masks the nature of their generic relationship to the other stories. Much more precision is gained if we talk not in terms of discrete categories, traditional sets, or binary distinctions, but in terms of prototypes, radial categories, a continuum, fuzzy sets, degrees of membership, and so forth.
Obviously Cervantes had a fairly clear idea of two general orientations to his collection of novelas as indicated, if nowhere else, by Cipión's comment cited earlier. And the order in which the stories are placed in the volume reinforces the view of two alternating generic aesthetics114.—139→
Figure 5. Romance and Novel Prototypes.—140→
The collection begins with LG, one of those novelas that partakes substantially of both prototypes (and also is the longest story in the collection). After this we have the alternating pairs AL/RC, EI/LV, FS/ZE; then comes the second obviously intermediate generic story, IF; and this is followed by the romance pair DD-SC and then the novel pair CE-CP. Since the linked pair CE-CP cannot be separated, two romance -oriented novelas must be placed together. Since, in addition to the two mixed-genre stories (LG and IF), there are ten novelas to be paired off they cannot be placed 5-5, but must be either 4-6 or 6-4, as they are. The fact that the collection ends with the second
Figure 7. Alternating Structure.—141→
longest and, by most standards, the most original and spectacular novela of them all, CP, may suggest that although the romance prototype is somewhat dominant in the collection as a whole, Cervantes chose to end with what he may well have considered his best and most original -the novelistic CP115.
And, of course, it would be possible to elaborate on this generic continuum by placing Cervantes's longer works of prose fiction on the same scale. Don Quijote, both Part I and Part II, would be located near the novel pole and Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda near the romance pole, but neither would be the prototype or even quite as close as RC on one end and AL on the other. Don Quijote I, especially, contains embedded narratives (some of which themselves could profitably be placed independently on the continuum116) that tend more toward romance, while the Persiles clearly has some novelistic tendencies, not only in some realistic elements of plot but also in its considerable dose of metafiction that is generally inconsistent with the romance model (see, above all, Williamsen). La Galatea, mean-while, suggests other possibilities. It is clearly within the romance sphere, but it is more like a pastoral prototype than the Greek adventure model, though it too, in some of the embedded narratives (especially that of Timbrio et al.) partakes of the Greek adventure prototype. So we might postulate perhaps another axis, this one completely within the romance sphere, between pastoral and adventure.
The point is that we can perceive much more detail, subtle distinction, and uniqueness if we use prototypical generic models and a graded continuum than if we talk in terms of categorical groups. Even when scholars make attempts to show that there are some differences among novelas in one group or another, they still tend -implicitly if not explicitly- to stress categorical similarity and uniformity more than variety117. They see the lines they have artificially drawn between categories as really existing and making —142→ absolute separations. Thus, for example, a reader as subtle and perceptive as Alban Forcione, thinking in binary opposites, has written that «the fact is that the Persiles and the Quixote are about as different as two works of literature could possibly be» (149). Well, they aren't. They are quite different, but they could be considerably more so, and that would be more obvious if we didn't tend to think of one as romance and one as novel and these as two distinct and unique literary genres that have nothing in common. To think in terms of binary oppositions, that staple of structuralist and poststructuralist thought, is not a strategy of modern cognitive science. As Zerubavel has stated, «Reality is not made up of insular chunks unambiguously separated from one another by sharp divides, but, rather, of vague, blurred-edge essences that often 'spill over' into one another. It normally presents itself not in black and white, but, rather, in subtle shades of gray, with mental twilight zones as well as intermediate essences connecting entities» (62).
Individuals construct their realities in these subtle shades of gray, with fuzzy logic, in specific social, cultural, and historical contexts. We would change the nature of our discourse on Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares (and on literature in general) if we moved beyond formalism and structuralism and adopted instead cognitive contextualism118.
1854. Fernández de Navarrete, Eustaquio. «Bosquejo histórico sobre la novela española». In Novelistas posteriores a Cervantes. (Biblioteca de Autores Españoles 33) Madrid: Rivadeneira. v-c.
- amatorias o del género urbano: AL, EI, FS, IF, DD, SC
- de costumbres: LG, ZE, CE
- satíricas: LV, CP
- picaresca: RC
Orellana y Rincón, Luis. Estudio crítico de las Novelas ejemplares. Valencia: n. p.
- las que tienen por fin exponer un ideal de perfección: LG, AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- las que idealizan el ridículo de algunas vicios y preocupaciones sociales: RC, ZE, IF, CE
- las meramente satíricas: LV, CP
1890. Sánchez de Castro, Francisco. Lecciones de la literatura general y española II: Literatura española. Madrid: n. p.
- eróticas: AL, EI, FS, IF, DD, SC
- de costumbres: LG, ZE, CE
- satíricas: LV, CP
- picaresca: RC
1912. Amezúa y Mayo, Agustín G de. «Introducción». In El casamiento engañoso y El coloquio de los perros novelas ejemplares de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Madrid: Bailly-Baillière. 3-267.
- primera época: de influencia italiana: AL, DD, SC
- segunda época: de transición: LG, EI, FS, ZE, IF, CE
- tercera época: de novelista moderno: RC, LV, CP
1917. Savj-López, Paolo. Cervantes. Trans. by Antonio G. Solalinde. Madrid: Calleja.
- las peripecias exteriores ocupan la narración: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- una luminosa representación de vida real: LG, RC, ZE, IF, CE
- no son novelas: LV, CP
1921. Hurtado, Juan, y Ángel González Palencia. Historia de la literatura española. Madrid: n. p.
- de pura invención: AL, FS, SC
- algo de sabor realista y mucho de corte italiano: LG, EI, DD
- de carácter realista: RC, ZE, IF, CE
- no son novelas: LV, CP
1925. Northup, George Tyler. An Introduction to Spanish Literature. Chicago: U Chicago P.
- romantic: LG, AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- picaresque realism and romantic plot: ZE, IF
- collection of aphorisms: LV
- naturalist: CE
- realist: RC, CP
1926. Place, Edwin B. Manual elemental de novelística española: Bosquejo histórico de la novela corta y el cuento durante el siglo de oro. Madrid: V. Suárez.
- novelas más italianizantes: ZE, DD, CE
- novelas algo italianizantes, pero de psicología muy opuesta: FS, SC
- cuadros de costumbres: LG, EI, RC, IF
- de categoría diversa: AL, LV, CP
1929. Pfandl, Ludwig. Historia de la literatura nacional española en la Edad de Oro. Barcelona: Sucesores de J. Gili.
- la novela romántica: LG, AL, EI, FS, ZE, IF, DD, SC, CE
- la sabiduría sentenciosa en forma novelesca: LV
- el cuadro satírico de costumbres: RC, CP
1930. Mérimée, Ernest and S. Griswold Morley. A History of Spanish Literature. New York: Henry Holt.
- romantic and of an Italian cut:
- AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- observations of reality mingled with imagination: LG, IF
- good humor and stoic wisdom: LV, CP
- not exemplary: ZE, CE
- picaresque: RC
1933. Hainsworth, G. Les Novelas ejemplares de Cervantes en France au XVIIe siècle: Contribution à l'étude de la novelle en France. Paris: Champion.
- nouvelles invraisemblables: LG, AL, EI, FS, IF, DD, SC
- nouvelles à tendences realistes: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
1937. Boggs, Ralph Steele. Outline History of Spanish Literature. Boston: D. C. Heath and Co.
- based on Italian models or resembling Italian patterns: LG, AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- realistic and picaresque elements dominate: RC, ZE, IF, CE
- philosophic dialogues: LV, CP
1937. Valbuena Prat, Ángel. Historia de la literatura española I. Barcelona: G. Gili.
- italianizantes: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- ideorrealistas: LG, ZE, IF
- realistas: RC, LV, CE, CP
1947. Babelon, Jean. Cervantes. Trans. by Luis Echavarri. Buenos Aires: Losada.—145→
- una intriga sabiamente urdida: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- género intermedio: LG, ZE, IF, CE
- no pasa casi nada o nada absolutamente: RC, LV, CP
1948. Atkinson, William C. «Cervantes, El Pinciano, and the Novelas ejemplares». Hispanic Review 16 (1948): 189-208.
- Italianate tradition of amorous intrigue: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- new and exemplary: LG, RC, LV, ZE, IF, CE, CP
1948. Hansen, Terrence L. «A Motif-Index of the Novelas ejemplares of Cervantes». M. A. thesis, Stanford U.
- Italianate: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- realistic-idealistic: LG, ZE, IF
- realistic-picaresque: RC, CE
- philosophical: LV, CP
1948. Río, Ángel del. Historia de la literatura española I. New York: Dryden.
- idealistas: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- realistas: LG, RC, LV, ZE, IF, CE, CP
1949. Sainz de Robles, Federico Carlos. Ensayo de un diccionario de la literatura II: Escritores españoles e hispanoamericanos. Madrid: Aguilar.
- de pura invención: AL, FS, SC
- realistas: LG, EI, DD
- picarescas: RC, IF, ZE, CE
- estrañas: LV, CP
1951. Alonso Cortés, Narciso. «Cervantes». In Historia general de las literaturas hispánicas II. Ed. Guillermo Díaz-Plaja. Barcelona: Barna. 803-56.
- las de una enmarañada sucesión de lances inusitados: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- las que guardan muchas analogías en su estructura novelesca: LG, IF
- las que ofrecen mayor realismo: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
1955. Díaz-Plaja, Guillermo. Historia de la literatura española. Mexico City: Porrúa.
- lances de amor y fortuna: LG, AL, EI, FS, ZE, IF, DD, SC, CE
- cuadros satíricos de costumbres: RC, CP
- colecciones de proverbios en forma de novela: LV
1960. Díez-Echarri, Emiliano, y José María Roca Franquesa. Historia de la literatura española e hispanoamericana. Madrid: Aguilar.
- italianizantes: EI, FS, DD, SC
- morisca: AL
- realistas: IF, CE, ZE
- picaresca: RC
- asunto de aventuras: LG
- de sátira lucianesca: LV, CP
1961. García López, José. Historia de la literatura española. Barcelona: Vicens-Vives.
- visión idealista: LG, AL, EI, FS, IF, DD, SC
- técnica más o menos realista: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
1962. Casalduero, Joaquín. Sentido y forma de las Novelas ejemplares. Madrid: Gredos.
- el amor es el punto de arranque: LG, AL, EI, FS, IF
- la necesidad del matrimonio: DD, SC
- amor y matrimonio son anteriores a la narración: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
1962. González López, Emilio. Historia de la literatura española: Edad Media y Siglo de Oro. New York: Las Américas.
- idealistas italianizantes: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- idealistas-realistas: LG, ZE, IF
- realistas: RC, LV, CE, CP
1964. Avalle-Arce, Juan Bautista. «Introduction». In Cervantes: Three Exemplary Novels. New York: Dell. 9-28.
- ones that adhere closest to established literary canons: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- more original and «realistic»: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
- more original and «realistic» but to a lesser degree: LG, IF
1965. Castro Calvo, José María. Historia de la literatura española I. Barcelona: CREDSA.
- de tema italianizante: EI, FS, DD, SC
- de tema morisco: AL
- de tema de aventuras: LG
- de ambiente picaresco: RC
- de tesis realista: ZE, IF, CE
- de sátira lucianesca: LV, CP
1974. El Saffar, Ruth. Novel to Romance: A Study of Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP.
- idealistic: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- realistic: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
- between the two categories: LG, IF
1980. Rodríguez-Luis, Julio. Novedad y ejemplo de las Novelas de Cervantes. 2 vols. Madrid: José Porrúa Turanzas.
- novelas de intriga amorosa y aventura: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- la virtud entre ladrones y pícaros: LG, IF
- en torno a la picaresca: RC, LV, CP
- novelas modernas: ZE, CE
1981. Riley, E. C. «Cervantes: A Question of Genre». In Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies on Spain and Portugal in Honour of P. E. Russell. Ed. F. W. Hodcroft et al. Oxford: Society for the Study of Mediaeval Languages and Literature. 69-85.
- romance: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- novel: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
- hybrid: LG, IF
1988. Murillo, Luis A. «Narrative Structures in the Novelas ejemplares: An Outline». Cervantes 8 (1988): 231-50.
- romance structure: LG, AL, EI, IF, DD
- biographic structure: RC, LV, ZE, CE
- legendary structure: FS, SC
- dialogic structure: CP
1993. Mancing, Howard. «Cervantes». In Dictionary of the Literature of the Iberian Peninsula, A-K. Ed. G. Bleiberg, Maureen Ihrie, and Janet Pérez. Westport, CT: Greenwood. 383-95.
- idealistic or romantic: AL, EI, FS, DD, SC
- realistic, often satiric: RC, LV, ZE, CE, CP
- transitional: LG, IF
1995. Rey Hazas, Antonio. «Novelas ejemplares». Cervantes. Anthony Close et al. Alcalá de Henares: Centro de Estudios Cervantinos. 173-209.
- mundo ideal: LG, AL, RC, EI
- pecado original: LV, FS
- virtud y libertad: ZE, IF
- mundo social: DD, SC, CE, CP
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