Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1500 to 1599. Institutes of the Christian Religion to La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes

John Calvin. French. 1536. Religion. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Reply to attacks on Protestantism. Guide to Scripture.

Joachim DuBellay. French. 1549. Nonfiction. Defense et illustration de la langue francaise. Defends the French language as a mode of poetic expression against those who wrote in Latin. Embellishes by borrowing from Greek and Latin. Advocates use of archaic, dialectical, technical words and the adoption of poetic forms like the classical ode and the Italian sonnet.

Wu Ch’eng-en. Chinese. 1550. Novel. Journey to the West. Fictionalized adventures of a historical Buddhist priest on quest to India to search for scriptures. He is accompanied by three magical helpers. Monkey is the most famous comic creation in Chinese fiction.

Nicholas Udall. British. 1553. Play. Ralph Roister Doister. Earliest English comedy. Swaggering fellow tries to win rich widow.

Anonymous. Spanish. 1554. Novel. La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes. Autobiography of wily Lazarillo. Experiences with various masters. Ends as town crier of Toledo. Realism and irony.

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