Don Quixote

Don Quixote

by Miguel de Cervantes

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Overview

Reproduction of the original: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783734013263
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 09/22/2018
Pages: 1026
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 2.02(d)

About the Author

Miguel de Cervantes (September 29, 1547 – April 22, 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His novel, Don Quixote, was considered the first modern European novel and is a classic of Western literature.

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The Life of Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was at once the glory and reproach of Spain; for, if his admirable genius and heroic spirit conduced to the honour of his country, the distress and obscurity which attended his old age, as effectually redounded to her disgrace. Had he lived amidst Gothic darkness and barbarity, where no records were used, and letters altogether unknown, we might have expected to derive from tradition, a number of particulars relating to the family and fortune of a man so remarkably admired even in his own time. But, one would imagine pains had been taken to throw a veil of oblivion over the personal concerns of this excellent author. No inquiry hath, as yet, been able to ascertain the place of his nativity;1 and, although in his works he has declared himself a gentleman by birth, no house has hitherto laid claim to such an illustrious descendant.

One author* says he was born at Esquivias; but, offers no argument in support of his assertion: and probably the conjecture was founded upon the encomiums which Cervantes himself bestows on that place, to which he gives the epithet of Renowned, in his preface to Persiles and Sigismunda.2 Others affirm he first drew breath in Lucena, grounding their opinion upon a vague tradition which there prevails: and a third* set take it for granted that he was a native of Seville, because there are families in that city known by the names of Cervantes and Saavedra; and our author mentions his having, in his early youth, seen plays acted by Lope Rueda, who was a Sevilian. These, indeed, are presumptions that deserve some regard, tho', far from implying certain information, they scarce even amount to probable conjecture: nay, these very circumstances seem to disprove the supposition; for, had he been actually descended from those families, they would, in all likelihood, have preserved some memorials of his birth, which Don Nicholas Antonio would have recorded, in speaking of his fellow-citizen. All these pretensions are now generally set aside in favour of Madrid, which claims the honour of having produced Cervantes, and builds her title on an expression? in his Voyage to Parnassus, which, in my opinion, is altogether equivocal and inconclusive.

In the midst of such undecided contention, if I may be allowed to hazard a conjecture, I would suppose that there was something mysterious in his extraction, which he had no inclination to explain, and that his family had domestic reasons for maintaining the like reserve. Without admitting some such motive, we can hardly account for his silence on a subject that would have afforded him an opportunity to indulge that self-respect which he so honestly displays in the course of his writings. Unless we conclude that he was instigated to renounce all connexion with his kindred and allies, by some contempt'ous flight, mortifying repulse, or real injury he had sustained; a supposition which, I own, is not at all improbable, considering the jealous sensibility of the Spaniards in general, and the warmth of resentment peculiar to our author, which glows through his productions, unrestrained by all the fears of poverty, and all the maxims of old age and experience.

Reading Group Guide

1. Don Quixote is often called the first modern novel. Do you agree? Why or why not?

2. Many critics have interpreted Don Quixote as a sustained exploration of madness. How is madness represented in the novel?

3. Italian literary critic Giovanni Papini famously argued in the early 1920s that "by virtue of [the power of Cervantes's genius] the shade of Don Quixote has succeeded in deceiving us. We have been led to think that his life was full of deception in the sense that he was himself deceived by carnivorous men, decadent times, and impossible books. His life was indeed full of deception, but he was himself the deceiver, and we of the succeeding generations have been the ones deceived." Papini suggests that generations of critics have idolized Quixote, held him up as a "martyr of pure, militant, and derided Christianity," when in fact the character is vain and proud, thinks only of earthly glory, and aspires to material conquests. He was not, Papini claims, mad at all, but merely pretended to be. What is your opinion of this argument?

4. Critics have debated the question of whether Cervantes's intention in Don Quixote was to ridicule the chivalric romances-which typically featured knights accomplishing the most impossible things-that were so popular in the Middle Ages. Northrop Frye, for instance, writes that "with every beating he gets, [Don Quixote's] dignity grows on us, and we realize how genuinely faithful he is to the code of chivalry. He is courteous, gentle, chaste, generous (except that he has no money), intelligent and cultured within the limits of his obsession, and, of course, courageous. Not only was the code of chivalry a real code that helped to hold a real civilization together, but these are real virtues, and would be if chivalry had never existed." Do you think the book repudiates chivalry?

5. In his 1935 book Don Quixote: An Introduction to Psychology, leading Spanish literary expert Salvador de Madariaga refers to what he calls the "sanchification" of Don Quixote and the "quixotification" of Sancho. How does each character affect the other?

6. Lionel Trilling once claimed that "All prose fiction is a variation of the theme of Don Quixote: . . . the problem of appearance and reality." Discuss.

7. The names of the main characters in the novel are not stable: for example, Don Quixote is variously called Quixada, Quesana, Quixana, Quixote, Jigote, Knight of the Mournful Countenance, and Knight of the Lions; Sancho's wife is known as Juana Guti?rrez, Mari Guti?rrez, Teresa Cascajo, Teresa Panza or Teresa Sancho, Teresaina, and Teresona. What is the significance of the change of name and why are the characters so concerned with coming up with etymologies (most of which are wrong) for explaining how another character has come to have a particular name?

8. Many readers have been disturbed by the fact that Don Quixote recovers his sanity before dying, instead of venturing forth again, as Sancho would have him do. How do you feel about his regaining his sanity? What do you think is the significance of it?




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Don Quixote [ By: Miguel de Cervantes ] 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 310 reviews.
the_curious_reader More than 1 year ago
Don Quixote belongs in the top 10 of all book lists. My only quibble with the Barnes & Noble Classics Nook version is that, while most beautifully done, it uses over 30 Mb of memory, so I will search for another version that uses less to keep on my Nook since I have a large and rapidlly growing e-book library.
ConnorB More than 1 year ago
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is an outstanding novel that engages the reader in ways no other novel has accomplished. The Story is centered on a Middle aged man named Alonzo Quixano, from the region of La Mancha, who enjoys reading books of chivalry. He eventually becomes so obsessed with these stories that he reads so many until he puts it upon himself to become a Knight-errant to defeat the wicked and defend the helpless. He names himself Don Quixote de la Mancha (Sir Thighpiece) and finds himself a nag and names it Rocinante (Hackafore) and swears an oath to Dulcinea del Toboso, a peasant women that he labels as a princess. He convinces his local Sancho Panza to follow him as a faithful Squire, promising to make him a wealthy governor of an isle. The book is divided into two separate parts, with Part I being published first and Cervantes later publishing Part II. In the story many of the characters have read Part I, making the story even more interesting and entertaining. Throughout the novel the reader follows Don Quixote and Sancho as they go on many adventures throughout Spain, creating mischief as they run around in their fantasy world. Don Quixote and Sancho go around Spain attacking random citizens for insulting Don Quixote, stealing and committing acts in the name Dulcinea. For every wrong Don Quixote does he makes an excuse that he was blinded by an enchanter and as Sancho takes the heat for his actions. Don Quixote has many famous recognizable adventures such as Don Quixote's attack upon the windmills, mistaking them for giants, or when he is tricked and frees a devious galley slave. Or the time when he sees a herd of sheep moving down the desert, and he mistakes them for an army as he charges and ensures carnage upon the sheep. I think this was a outstanding book that kept the reader interested all the way through. Cervantes writing style helps enhance the story as it engages the reader with an different writing style. Personally, I like Part I better than Part II, because throughout Part I Don Quixote is reckless and basically does whatever he wants stating that because he's a knight-errant he can basically do what he wants. While in the Second Part he becomes wiser not striking out when he becomes angry or insulted; not being as crazy and reckless. I would recommend this book to anyone even though it is a long book; it is completely worth it as you read about the comical and enchanting tales of Don Quixote de La Mancha.
Literary_Escape_Artist More than 1 year ago
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, (this edition published in 2004) is a literary masterpiece. This is the story of a man driven mad by stories of knights in shining armor and their conquests and codes of ethics. The man in the story is Don Quixote de La Mancha. He is an older nobleman with a small manor, a vast collection of books and more time on his hands then is healthy. He spends all of his time locked in his library reading stories of knights, damsels in distress, and heroic battles. As he sits and reads his mind begins to grow feeble and soon he creates a delusion in which he places himself as a central figure and takes upon himself the visage of a valiant knight whose sole duty is to secure the world from evil in all of its forms. As story progresses his madness begins to manifest and he falls deeper into his insanity exponentially every time you turn a page. Early on, he makes for himself, a suit of makeshift armor and helm so that he can do battle with the evils that lay in wait for him to slay and earn himself the title of Knight. I greatly enjoyed this book. It brought me many, many, laughs and a fair amount of stupid looking grins from my peers when they saw me reading a book this size and laughing hysterically. The downside to this story is it is written in a much older style of language and can be confusing at times. Many passages require you to read and reread them to get the meaning, and having the patients to read foot notes is a must. But, if you're like me and enjoy that kind of thing this book will suck you in and spit you out a much happier person. You will learn of madness and how it can affect the mind of man and the many forms it can take. It is a lesson on how surrounding yourself with a life that you can't stand and a reality that drives you mad, will make it much easier for your mind to slip into a world of its own making to bring some much needed excitement and joy into your life. In the end I would recommend this book, but with a catch. This is certainly not a book for a casual reader or someone who doesn't share my love of reading, mainly due to its size. It is a very large book and can look imposing to some taking away from the experience. Also once you get into and the language used is not remotely familiar it can kill the mood if you are not reading it because you enjoy that. So all and all, if you love reading and enjoy being made to think about what you read then this is a must have for your shelf. If that doesn't describe you then stay away.
TruantZ More than 1 year ago
Fantastic adventure story - epic in scope, rich in detail and description, alternately hilarious, melancholic, and exciting. Both the translation and the design/layout of this ebook are excellent. Pick this up *for free!* and experience this absolutely mesmerizing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very fortunate to have randomly chosen what I consider to be the best translation, by John Rutherford. Alas, I cannot read Spanish, least of all the 17th-century variety, but I believe that Mr. Rutherford may be capturing the enchantment of the writing itself better than any other. Unfortunately, through a technical glitch B&N readers are not able to compare translations (I would have been so interested to see the one by Tobias Smollett), since only the Edith Grossman one is featured on the web site, regardless of whichever edition the prospective buyer clicks on. The Grossman may be the most accurate, but it's also rather dry, more modern, more utilitarian, while the Rutherford is more poetic and a whole lot more fun, though much more archaic in style. Compare just the first paragraph of Chapter I. In Grossman's description of the Don's lifestyle, "He had a housekeeper past forty, a niece not yet twenty." Well, here is Rutherford's version: "He maintained a housekeeper on the wrong side of forty, a niece the right side of twenty..." And on it goes. I find that the best way to enjoy this classic is not to look for a gripping plot or high drama, which you are not likely to find -- wasn't that just what drove the old guy crazy in the first place? -- but to pick a translation (or, of course, to read the original, if you are so fortunate) that will captivate you, and let it sail you right through this huge work on a magic carpet of comedic lyricism. In any case, this book is a real beauty, a wonderful place to spend your time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious. Nook version comes with really informative footnotes too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Worthy of its reputation A pleasurable book to read,this translation of DON QUIXOTE made the story easy to understand, and for every reason it stands up to its reputaion as the best-loved novel. Confronting the conventions of Spanish society at his time some four hundred years ago, the author wittily and funnily exposes the folies of the time through the adventures , stories and misfortunes of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.In a broader sense it is the forerunner off other situations where individuals, communities or systems live a complete lie.This is truely an amazing book, one that you won't want to put down once you have started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book via nook and all I got was the title page and over 1000 blank pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very imaginative and yet realistic. People of all ages would enjoy it and read it over and over again!
CorkyGW More than 1 year ago
Royalty of the time would observe laughter and say: Either they have lost their minds or have just read Don Quixote. I intend re-reading at least once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. It takes some getting used to though, the diction isnt exactly modern. At over a thousand pages, it takes some dedication to finish...
katt4077 More than 1 year ago
Love this classic, Don Quixote! One of my favorites stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorit books...read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a timesleas classic. I def. Recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent translation, but the footnotes don't work reliably on the iPhone or iPod Touch. I'm using my print version for the footnotes. Customer service was not helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cervantes is difficult to read without some helpful notations. Both from a translation difference and a time period difference. Fortunately, this B&N version has the notations you need to both read and enjoy the story to its fullest. Before now, I tried reading Don Quixote and was never was able to finish it. Yes, it is a long read. But with the notations in this version, it is a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful novel, took long to read but well worth the effort. Many valuable life lessons! Enjoyed the many adventures of Don Quixote and San hope panda
jerrynewman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What to say about the greatest novel ever written? Wonderful, funny, sad and oh so human! Two of the greatest characters in fiction. You have to love them. The pace is not modern, but the time invested is so worthwhile. Is there another pair in literature like them?
miriamparker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Can you believe this was written in the 15th century? It is one of the most contemporary books you can read. Sally forth!
screwcap on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I tried to like Don Quixote, it reminded me too much of the slap-stick humor of Gilbert & Sullivan or the 3 Stooges. Worth reading once to understand references found in other material, but definitely not one of my favorites.
DowntownLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this back in the early seventies in my Great Books of the Western World class at UF, and I remember writing a pretty good paper about it. Sadly, I have no idea which edition or translation, but it is truly one of the great archetypal works.
Zommbie1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really didn't enjoy the book. The chapters were to short. It wasn't my sense of humour. I didn't finish it. I just couldn't. I just felt sorry for Don Quixote. He was clearly mad and Sancho was just annoying
soylentgreen23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
10 weeks. That's how long it took me to read Don Quixote - 10 weeks. And I don't regret a single minute of that time.Granted, once I really started getting into it, and became more accustomed to Cervantes's style, the pages flew by at a rate of, oh, one every four minutes, and then it was only a matter of time until I turned the very last page.The intertextuality of the piece always makes me smile when I think back to it. Here is a book purported to have been written by Cid Hamet Benengeli, and only translated by Cervantes; between books one and two another is supposed to have been published (and was), and a great deal of time is spent discrediting the imposter; so how then could it be that book one ends with an account of Don Quixote's eventual death?The most famous of the good Don's adventures come early on - the warring flocks of sheep, the giants/windmills - and so I have a sneaking suspicion that most people claiming to have read this legendary volume actually haven't done so. However, those who believe Sancho Panza to be one of the finest creations in literary history - they are certainly correct. The Don's adventures are fine and interesting, but Panza is enormously charismatic, and his every outburst worth savouring.
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Remains one of the best (if not the best) novel ever written.
pickwick817 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I trudged through the first part of the book which focused on Don Quixote and his "adventures" without any enjoyment. I liked the second part better, but it featured other characters. I own but have not yet read Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte d'Arthur. I think a comparison of the two, having read Malory first would have been better. We'll see.