The Novel about the Novel
By way of a comparative context for the achievement of Cervantes, this chapter surveys his status in both Continental and Anglo-American criticism. It documents how the Wattian rise of the novel – a critical construct responsible for marginalizing Cervantes while canonizing Defoe – has been fiercely contested by scholars of the ancient novel. In addition to questioning the usefulness of the term ‘romance’, these scholars of antiquity are enriching the notions of Cervantes's Graeco-Latin subtexts, concealed or avowed.
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