An Early Bourgeois Literature in Golden Age Spain

Lazarillo de Tormes, Guzmán de Alfarache and Baltasar Gracián

By Francisco J. Sánchez

An Early Bourgeois Literature in Golden Age Spain

164 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9280-0
    Published: December 2003

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

Tracing the beginnings of a bourgeois literature in Golden Age Spain, Francisco Sánchez examines works by Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658), major picaresque texts--particularly Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) and Mateo Alemán's Guzmán de Alfarache (1599-1604)--and contemporary writings in which political economists and jurists look at new economic and political circumstances.

Using the term república to describe an economic sphere of social life under the constrictions of both the monarchy and the privileges of the seignorial system, Sánchez investigates notions of person, culture, and life in these texts. He also analyzes the formation of a private sphere of social action and the emergence of a literary sphere to represent early bourgeois values and sensibilities. Sánchez argues that this literature represents culture as intellectual and verbal skills for the social and economic advancement of a Christian but secularized person.

About the Author

Francisco J. Sánchez is associate professor of Spanish literature at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

For more information about Francisco J. Sánchez, visit the Author Page.


"Sanchez challenges the reader to consider new 'economic' readings of old texts from Spain's Golden Age. . . . [A] thought-provoking style."--South Atlantic Review