Cervantes'Novelas ejemplares have provents to classify, as they challenge, both their genre and their declared exemplariness. This study argues that the key to the Novelas' generic invations, as well as their ultimate lesson, is Cervantes' development of a social ideology of marriage based on ideal love. By leading his idealized young protagonists away from families threatened or shattered by the violence of desire and inexorably toward the formation of a new family by means of a marriage endorsed by parental, caste and Church authorities, Cervantes proposes a cure both social and literary for the disorder and disintegration of his uncertain age. The study concludes that the Novelas contain a vision that is both conservative and radical in its insight.
The Author: Theresa Ann Sears is an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and Classics at the University of Maine (Orono). She received her B.A. from Northern Illinois University, her M.A. from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has published articles on Medieval and Golden Age literature, as well as Medievalism in Spain.