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Cervantes on «Don Quixote»

Translation from Spanish by Clark Colahan- Foreword by Anthony Close

Series:

Emilio Martinez Mata

Commentary on Don Quixote is as universal as affirmations of the novel’s importance, yet until now no study has examined what Cervantes said about it. In the prologue to the first half of the work (1605) the self-conscious author, in a tongue-in-cheek dialogue with the reader and an unconventional friend, makes a good number of comments on his own book. In the opening chapters of Part 2 (1615), the same sort of witty evaluation continues with remarks by Sancho Panza, Sansón Carrasco and Don Quixote in a lively and extended conversation focused on what has been said about Part 1 since its publication and how the characters feel about those readings. The present study carefully examines and compares these and other self-reflective passages to clarify the work’s successes and failures as interpreted by a privileged reader – the author himself.

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Table of Contents

Extract

Foreword by Anthony Close ..................................................................... 9 Introduction .............................................................................................. 11 PART I THE EARLIEST COMMENTARY ON DON QUIXOTE............................... 13 The Uncertainties of an Unprecedented Work .................................... 15 Fictitious Authorship ............................................................................... 23 Ridicule of Literary Affectation .............................................................. 43 The ‘Attack on Chivalric Romance’ ....................................................... 49 Don Quixote as an Alternative .................................................................. 67 A Poetics of Clarity .................................................................................. 85 Diverse Readings ...................................................................................... 93 PART II DON QUIXOTE IN DON QUIXOTE ......................................................... 105 ‘There is no Human History in the World which has not got its Ups and Downs.’ Seen from Both Sides ................... 127 The ‘True History’ .................................................................................. 151 Don Quixote as Entertainment ............................................................... 161 Don Quixote and Sancho confront their Image ................................ 169 The Interpolated Tales ........................................................................... 181 The Invitation to the Second Part ........................................................ 191 Works cited .............................................................................................. 197

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