GENERIC INSTABILITY AND THE "SENTIMENTAL ROMANCES" Emily C. Francomano Georgetown University The recent debate over the generic unity of the group of works commonly referred to as the 'sentimental romances' by scholars working in English and as the 'novelas' or 'ficciones sentimentales' by those working in Spanish, raises questions about medieval genres themselves in addition to the individual and shared characteristics of this group of works, which has acquired a defacto generic status through modern scholarly perspectives and practice. Following Menéndez y Pelayo's Orígenes de la novela and Keith Whinnom's later Critical Biography, many hispanomedievalists accept the group as a relatively cohesive genre. Recently, Regula Rohland de Langbehn has reasserted their definite and definable generic unity. On the other hand, in his preface to the essay collection, Studies on the Spanish Sentimental Romance, Joseph Gwara remarks that the collaborators' contributions prove that 'a uni- fied sentimental genre is a chimera' (vii). In a similar vein, Antonio Cortijo Ocaña's introduction to La coronicéis critical cluster on the sentimental romance asks whether la ficción sentimental is an impossible genre, while also calling for the continued study of the group's expanding and experimental limits and boundaries. What these varied approaches all
La corónica: A Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures – La corónica: Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures & Culture
Published: Apr 4, 2003
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