Picaro and Cortesa have been traditionally viewed as antithetical figures representing a strict spatial metaphor between center and periphery. This book challenges that view by positing a relationship between these two significant figures and their respective books, picaresque narrative and courtesy manual. The handbook of conduct tacitly engages the question of identity by offering a model for fashioning the self, while picaresque narrative explicitly reflects on how identity is constituted and sustained. The book argues that picaro and cortesa rely upon a range of shared cultural, social and symbolic resources to fashion, maintain and enhance their identity and position.
Felipe E. Ruan is associate professor of Spanish at Brock University, Canada.