RIZAL’S NOVELS AS LITERATURE. Beatriz Álvarez Tardío.
3His works respond to the European tradition of the novel through a dialogue whereinthe novels re-write that tradition, for Rizal was a writer with a theory about the novel,and he had mastered the strategies of the genre in order to make his own creation
.Thus Rizal revises and renovates that literary tradition.During the courses, we documented our literary study of the novels searching throughRizal’s readings and quotations
. We read several works, as we did a parallel reading of Rizal’s novels, thus we could discuss, observe and notice crossing points – interestingelements to deepen our literary knowledge of the novels. Some of the course readingsincluded Cervantes, Jean de La Bruyère, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Jean Paul, Schiller,Larra, Manzoni, Pushkin, Galdós, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola. In this paper, we will focuson a less known theme, Jean de La Bruyére and his work
, the 17
centuryFrench Classicism, and the Moralist writers.***“
Between good sense and good taste there lies the difference between a causeand its effect.”
“Of Opinions” (56) Jean de La Bruyère,
of La Bruyère (1645-1696)
is a masterpiece of social criticism in Frenchliterature in a period when it was unthinkable that a writer would engage in suchcriticism of the established order, the absolute rule of Louis XIV, portrayed as a figureof classical antiquity: he was Apollo, or the Sun King
.La Bruyère together with Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, and La Fontaine is one of thewriters known as the "Moralist Writers.” Their writing extended through a periodknown as French Classicism whose aesthetics “prescribed the conjoining of the usefulwith the pleasant”
.Moralist writers studied 'morals' in the sense of customs and manners. Their aim wasto analyze and portray the human condition and psychology in their most universaland timeless aspects. They applied Descartes' method: a 'geometric method' of discovering truth by progressive and rational deduction, to the area of human ethics,psychology and morals.
Currently, I am preparing a collection of essays where I discuss the outputs of my research of Rizal'snovels from a literary perspective. This paper is the first and still a work in progress, so comments andsuggestions are welcome.
I would like to thank the students who helped me with this documentation process.
References to La Bruyère
translated by Henri Van Laun with an introduction by Denys. C.Potts (Oxford UP, 1963).
Hollier, Denis. (1989)
A New History of French Literature
. Harvard University Press. p. 327