He must have acquired experiences which would form abundant material for a picaresque
novel of modern Paris, but he remained aloof, and judging from his conversation there was nothing in those years that had made a particular impression on him.
This was the famous picaresque novel, 'Lazarillo de Tormes,' by Hurtado de Mendoza, whose name then so familiarized itself to my fondness that now as I write it I feel as if it were that of an old personal friend whom I had known in the flesh.
I do not know that I should counsel others to do so, or that the general reader would find his account in it, but I am sure that the intending author of American fiction would do well to study the Spanish picaresque novels; for in their simplicity of design he will find one of the best forms for an American story.
They belonged mostly to that class of realistic fiction which is called picaresque
, from the Spanish word 'picaro,' a rogue, because it began in Spain with the 'Lazarillo de Tormes' of Diego de Mendoza, in 1553, and because its heroes are knavish serving-boys or similar characters whose unprincipled tricks and exploits formed the substance of the stories.
As in his previous work--The Wire looked at Baltimore's failed drug war through the eyes of both cops and criminals, and Treme was a sprawling picaresque
about life in post-Katrina New Orleans--Simon remains deeply interested in the complex interplay between politics, policy, and bureaucracy.
The book is as much a picaresque
as it is a western since Donny is a wanderer by necessity, skirting among more and less savory members of the working class, exposing adult hypocrisies, and bending the truth to survive--and because, like Doig, he's a natural storyteller who likes a good yarn.
From that point on, the reader follows Marrone down a picaresque
rabbit hole as he makes himself a feigned labor leader, explores the dilapidated shacks of lower-class Buenos Aires, and comes to identify Evita herself as the shining light that will lead his quest to its hopefully triumphant conclusion.
The trouble with the "Glasgow Version" is that it tries to re-write an epic as a picaresque
historical adventure ranging across the exotic landscapes of 14th century Europe.
On one level, this is a standard picaresque
tale of a con man, but beneath the farce is a profound examination of immigration, and the lengths people go to for a better life.
That John Meisel views his life and times in picaresque
terms is made clear by the quotation from Chaucer on the front page of his autobiographical volume: "And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
Her wanderlust fuels a strong, high-adventure story and, much in the vein of classic travel literature, Jones's picaresque
tale of personal evolution informs her own transitions, rites of passage, and understandings of her place as a citizen of the world.