tales and novels
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Story motifs from all of the thirty major picaresque novels of Spain's Golden Age present the picaro as a nomadic rogue who survived by cleverness and deception. Though his tricks constitute the main interest in the novels, the picaro's satirical comments give a wealth of information on the social, political and religious background of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain. This motif-index, based on the classification system of Stith Thompson, includes an informative and analytical Introduction and a Summary which precisely categorizes the appearance of various motifs.
Laurence Talairach-Vielmas explores Victorian representations of femininity in narratives that depart from mainstream realism, from fairy tales by George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, Christina Rossetti, Juliana Horatia Ewing, and Jean Ingelow, to sensation novels by Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, and Charles Dickens. Feminine representation, Talairach-Vielmas argues, is actually presented in a hyper-realistic way in such anti-realistic genres as children's literature and sensation fiction. In fact, it is precisely the clash between fantasy and reality that enables the narratives to interrogate the real and re-create a new type of realism that exposes the normative constraints imposed to contain the female body. In her exploration of the female body and its representations, Talairach-Vielmas examines how Victorian fantasies and sensation novels deconstruct and reconstruct femininity; she focuses in particular on the links between the female characters and consumerism, and shows how these serve to illuminate the tensions underlying the representation of the Victorian ideal.