From Best-Seller to Oblivion

Nov 8, 00:55 by IROSF
Comment below!
Nov 8, 13:22 by Nader Elhefnawy
Thanks for the piece-this is a really important bit of genre history. The discussion of Quixote is especially appropriate, since in that book, one big running joke is Quixote's wondering "What would Amadis do in this situation?" (and indeed, it's probably hard to get that classic completely without some feel for the Peninsular genre it parodied).
Incidentally, the English language also had a then-famous (now obscure) critique of the genre and its impact from roughly the same time, and similarly comedic, Francis Beaumont's play "The Knight of the Burning Pestle."
Nov 9, 18:17 by Justin Howe
Thanks for this article and your work on a translation. This sounds like it would be a great read. If I remember correctly, Michael Moorcock also mentions "Amadis" in "Wizardry & Wild Romance" his book on the Fantasy genre.
Nov 9, 19:45 by Nader Elhefnawy
Moorcock has long made a point of highlighting older fiction's influence on fantasy (his and that of other writers), Peninsular Romance included.
Nov 10, 13:46 by Sue Burke
Thanks for your comments. I'll check into what Michael Moorcock wrote, and "The Knight of the Burning Pestle" has me laughing just at the title.
Nov 11, 02:25 by Lois Tilton
The more things don't change! Thanks for this look at the roots of novels, fantasy and especially Gothic romance.
Nov 12, 16:32 by Brian Dolton
"the Knight of the Woeful Continence (Quixote)" - I knew the poor fellow had his problems, but that was one I wasn't aware of!

I'm sorry, but "Fashion, set by men since they controlled the printing presses, had its effect." sruck me as a bit of a non sequitur in the context of the article. Literature (and art) do go in and out of fashion, and women have been an important component of readership for a long time, as you rightly recognise here. To make a vague gesture that some kind of anti-feminism was at the root of the dismissal of chivalric romances from the canon of acceptable literature seems unsubstantiated in what is otherwise a well-researched and interesting article - plenty of other works and even genres have come and gone with the tides of changing tastes.
Nov 14, 15:38 by Sue Burke
Sorry, I didn't mean to be vague. I meant to make it clear that the books did not disappear because they were unpopular, because they were popular. They disappeared because they were banned. If I didn't provide enough substantiation to show that the ban trumped popularity, and that "fashion" was set by politics, which at the time was controlled by men, I apologize.

As for the canon, I didn't mean to suggest that the "Amadises" were forgotten just because women liked them. I meant to state that they were forgotten because they were deemed "popular" rather than "serious." Rather like the fate of science fiction today.

"The Knight of the Woeful Countenance." Ouch. Sorry.

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