With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. The book has been enormously influential on a host of writers, from Fielding and Sterne to Flaubert, Dickens, Melville, and Faulkner, who reread it once a year, "just as some people read the Bible." This Penguin Classics edition includes John Rutherford's masterly new translation, which does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes's prose, as well as a brilliant new critical introduction by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria.
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About the Author
Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote. He died on April 23, 1616.
Edith Grossman is the award-winning translator of major works by many of Latin America's most important writers. Born in Philadelphia, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley before receiving her PhD from New York University. She lives in New York City.
Read an Excerpt
Part One of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Which describes the condition and profession of the famous gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. An occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes squab as a treat on Sundays -- these consumed three-fourths of his income. The rest went for a light woolen tunic and velvet breeches and hose of the same material for feast days, while weekdays were honored with dun-colored coarse cloth. He had a housekeeper past forty, a niece not yet twenty, and a man-of-all-work who did everything from saddling the horse to pruning the trees. Our gentleman was approximately fifty years old; his complexion was weathered, his flesh scrawny, his face gaunt, and he was a very early riser and a great lover of the hunt. Some claim that his family name was Quixada, or Quexada, for there is a certain amount of disagreement among the authors who write of this matter, although reliable conjecture seems to indicate that his name was Quexana. But this does not matter very much to our story; in its telling there is absolutely no deviation from the truth.
And so, let it be said that this aforementioned gentleman spent his times of leisure -- which meant most of the year -- reading books of chivalry with so much devotion and enthusiasm that he forgot almost completelyabout the hunt and even about the administration of his estate; and in his rash curiosity and folly he went so far as to sell acres of arable land in order to buy books of chivalry to read, and he brought as many of them as he could into his house; and he thought none was as fine as those composed by the worthy Feliciano de Silva, because the clarity of his prose and complexity of his language seemed to him more valuable than pearls, in particular when he read the declarations and missives of love, where he would often find written: The reason for the unreason to which my reason turns so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of thy beauty. And also when he read: ... the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.
With these words and phrases the poor gentleman lost his mind, and he spent sleepless nights trying to understand them and extract their meaning, which Aristotle himself, if he came back to life for only that purpose, would not have been able to decipher or understand. Our gentleman was not very happy with the wounds that Don Belianís gave and received, because he imagined that no matter how great the physicians and surgeons who cured him, he would still have his face and entire body covered with scars and marks. But, even so, he praised the author for having concluded his book with the promise of unending adventure, and he often felt the desire to take up his pen and give it the conclusion promised there; and no doubt he would have done so, and even published it, if other greater and more persistent thoughts had not prevented him from doing so. He often had discussions with the village priest -- who was a learned man, a graduate of Sigüenza -- regarding who had been the greater knight, Palmerín of England or Amadís of Gaul; but Master Nicolás, the village barber, said that none was the equal of the Knight of Phoebus, and if any could be compared to him, it was Don Galaor, the brother of Amadís of Gaul, because he was moderate in everything: a knight who was not affected, not as weepy as his brother, and incomparable in questions of courage.
In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind. His fantasy filled with everything he had read in his books, enchantments as well as combats, battles, challenges, wounds, courtings, loves, torments, and other impossible foolishness, and he became so convinced in his imagination of the truth of all the countless grandiloquent and false inventions he read that for him no history in the world was truer. He would say that El Cid Ruy Díaz4 had been a very good knight but could not compare to Amadís, the Knight of the Blazing Sword, who with a single backstroke cut two ferocious and colossal giants in half. He was fonder of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he had killed the enchanted Roland by availing himself of the tactic of Hercules when he crushed Antaeus, the son of Earth, in his arms. He spoke highly of the giant Morgante because, although he belonged to the race of giants, all of them haughty and lacking in courtesy, he alone was amiable and well-behaved. But, more than any of the others, he admired Reinaldos de Montalbán, above all when he saw him emerge from his castle and rob anyone he met, and when he crossed the sea and stole the idol of Mohammed made all of gold, as recounted in his history. He would have traded his housekeeper, and even his niece, for the chance to strike a blow at the traitor Guenelon.
The truth is that when his mind was completely gone, he had the strangest thought any lunatic in the world ever had, which was that it seemed reasonable and necessary to him, both for the sake of his honor and as a service to the nation ...Don Quixote. Copyright © by Miguel Cervantes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
|Translator's Note to the Reader||xvii|
|Introduction: Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra||xxi|
|First Part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha|
|To the Book of Don Quixote of La Mancha||11|
|Part One of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha||19|
|Chapter I||Which describes the condition and profession of the famous gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha||19|
|Chapter II||Which tells of the first sally that the ingenious Don Quixote made from his native land||24|
|Chapter III||Which recounts the amusing manner in which Don Quixote was dubbed a knight||29|
|Chapter IV||Concerning what happened to our knight when he left the inn||35|
|Chapter V||In which the account of our knight's misfortune continues||41|
|Chapter VI||Regarding the beguiling and careful examination carried out by the priest and the barber of the library of our ingenious gentleman||45|
|Chapter VII||Regarding the second sally of our good knight Don Quixote of La Mancha||53|
|Chapter VIII||Regarding the good fortune of the valorous Don Quixote in the fearful and never imagined adventure of the windmills, along with other events worthy of joyful remembrance||58|
|Part Two of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha|
|Chapter IX||In which the stupendous battle between the gallant Basque and the valiant Manchegan is concluded and comes to an end||65|
|Chapter X||Concerning what further befell Don Quixote with the Basque and the danger in which he found himself with a band of Galicians from Yanguas||70|
|Chapter XI||Regarding what befell Don Quixote with some goatherds||75|
|Chapter XII||Regarding what a goatherd recounted to those who were with Don Quixote||81|
|Chapter XIII||In which the tale of the shepherdess Marcela is concluded, and other events are related||86|
|Chapter XIV||In which are found the desperate verses of the deceased shepherd, along with other unexpected occurrences||94|
|Part Three of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha|
|Chapter XV||In which is recounted the unfortunate adventure that Don Quixote happened upon when he happened upon some heartless Yanguesans||102|
|Chapter XVI||Regarding what befell the ingenious gentleman in the inn that he imagined to be a castle||109|
|Chapter XVII||Which continues the account of the innumerable difficulties that the brave Don Quixote and his good squire, Sancho Panza, experienced in the inn that, to his misfortune, he thought was a castle||116|
|Chapter XVIII||Which relates the words that passed between Sancho Panza and his master, Don Quixote, and other adventures that deserve to be recounted||124|
|Chapter XIX||Regarding the discerning words that Sancho exchanged with his master, and the adventure he had with a dead body, as well as other famous events||134|
|Chapter XX||Regarding the most incomparable and singular adventure ever concluded with less danger by a famous knight, and which was concluded by the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha||141|
|Chapter XXI||Which relates the high adventure and rich prize of the helmet of Mambrino, as well as other things that befell our invincible knight||152|
|Chapter XXII||Regarding the liberty that Don Quixote gave to many unfortunate men who, against their wills, were being taken where they did not wish to go||163|
|Chapter XXIII||Regarding what befell the famous Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena, which was one of the strangest adventures recounted in this true history||173|
|Chapter XXIV||In which the adventure of the Sierra Morena continues||182|
|Chapter XXV||Which tells of the strange events that befell the valiant knight of La Mancha in the Sierra Morena, and of his imitation of the penance of Beltenebros||190|
|Chapter XXVI||In which the elegant deeds performed by an enamored Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena continue||205|
|Chapter XXVII||Concerning how the priest and the barber carried out their plan, along with other matters worthy of being recounted in this great history||212|
|Part Four of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha|
|Chapter XXVIII||Which recounts the novel and agreeable adventure that befell the priest and the barber in the Sierra Morena||227|
|Chapter XXIX||Which recounts the amusing artifice and arrangement that was devised for freeing our enamored knight from the harsh penance he had imposed on himself||239|
|Chapter XXX||Which recounts the good judgment of the beautiful Dorotea, along with other highly diverting and amusing matters||249|
|Chapter XXXI||Regarding the delectable words that passed between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, his squire, as well as other events||258|
|Chapter XXXII||Which recounts what occurred in the inn to the companions of Don Quixote||266|
|Chapter XXXIII||Which recounts the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious||272|
|Chapter XXXIV||In which the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious continues||289|
|Chapter XXXV||In which the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious is concluded||305|
|Chapter XXXVI||Which recounts the fierce and uncommon battle that Don Quixote had with some skins of red wine, along with other unusual events that occurred in the inn||313|
|Chapter XXXVII||In which the history of the famous Princess Micomicona continues, along with other diverting adventures||321|
|Chapter XXXVIII||Which tells of the curious discourse on arms and letters given by Don Quixote||330|
|Chapter XXXIX||In which the captive recounts his life and adventures||334|
|Chapter XL||In which the history of the captive continues||341|
|Chapter XLI||In which the captive continues his tale||352|
|Chapter XLII||Which recounts further events at the inn as well as many other things worth knowing||368|
|Chapter XLIII||Which recounts the pleasing tale of the muledriver's boy, along with other strange events that occurred at the inn||374|
|Chapter XLIV||In which the remarkable events at the inn continue||383|
|Chapter XLV||In which questions regarding the helmet of Mambrino and the packsaddle are finally resolved, as well as other entirely true adventures||391|
|Chapter XLVI||Regarding the notable adventure of the officers of the Holy Brotherhood, and the great ferocity of our good knight Don Quixote||398|
|Chapter XLVII||Regarding the strange manner in which Don Quixote of La Mancha was enchanted, and other notable events||405|
|Chapter XLVIII||In which the canon continues to discuss books of chivalry, as well as other matters worthy of his ingenuity||414|
|Chapter XLIX||Which recounts the clever conversation that Sancho Panza had with his master, Don Quixote||421|
|Chapter L||Regarding the astute arguments that Don Quixote had with the canon, as well as other matters||428|
|Chapter LI||Which recounts what the goatherd told to all those who were taking Don Quixote home||433|
|Chapter LII||Regarding the quarrel that Don Quixote had with the goatherd, as well as the strange adventure of the penitents, which he brought to a successful conclusion by the sweat of his brow||438|
|Second Part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha|
|Prologue to the Reader||455|
|Chapter I||Regarding what transpired when the priest and the barber discussed his illness with Don Quixote||459|
|Chapter II||Which deals with the notable dispute that Sancho Panza had with Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper, as well as other amusing topics||469|
|Chapter III||Regarding the comical discussion held by Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and Bachelor Sanson Carrasco||473|
|Chapter IV||In which Sancho Panza satisfies Bachelor Sanson Carrasco with regard to his doubts and questions, with other events worthy of being known and recounted||480|
|Chapter V||Concerning the clever and amusing talk that passed between Sancho Panza and his wife, Teresa Panza, and other events worthy of happy memory||485|
|Chapter VI||Regarding what transpired between Don Quixote and his niece and housekeeper, which is one of the most important chapters in the entire history||491|
|Chapter VII||Regarding the conversation that Don Quixote had with his squire, as well as other exceptionally famous events||496|
|Chapter VIII||Which recounts what befell Don Quixote as he was going to see his lady Dulcinea of Toboso||502|
|Chapter IX||Which recounts what will soon be seen||509|
|Chapter X||Which recounts Sancho's ingenuity in enchanting the lady Dulcinea, and other events as ridiculous as they are true||513|
|Chapter XI||Regarding the strange adventure that befell the valiant Don Quixote with the cart or wagon of The Assembly of Death||521|
|Chapter XII||Regarding the strange adventure that befell the valiant Don Quixote and the courageous Knight of the Mirrors||526|
|Chapter XIII||In which the adventure of the Knight of the Wood continues, along with the perceptive, unprecedented, and amiable conversation between the two squires||533|
|Chapter XIV||In which the adventure of the Knight of the Wood continues||538|
|Chapter XV||Which recounts and relates the identity of the Knight of the Mirrors and his squire||548|
|Chapter XVI||Regarding what befell Don Quixote with a prudent knight of La Mancha||550|
|Chapter XVII||In which the heights and extremes to which the remarkable courage of Don Quixote could and did go is revealed, along with the happily concluded adventure of the lions||558|
|Chapter XVIII||Regarding what befell Don Quixote in the castle or house of the Knight of the Green Coat, along with other bizarre matters||567|
|Chapter XIX||Which recounts the adventure of the enamored shepherd, and other truly pleasing matters||576|
|Chapter XX||Which recounts the wedding of rich Camacho, as well as what befell poor Basilio||582|
|Chapter XXI||Which continues the account of the wedding of Camacho, along with other agreeable events||591|
|Chapter XXII||Which recounts the great adventure of the Cave of Montesinos that lies in the heart of La Mancha, which was successfully concluded by the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha||597|
|Chapter XXIII||Regarding the remarkable things that the great Don Quixote said he saw in the depths of the Cave of Montesinos, so impossible and extraordinary that this adventure has been considered apocryphal||604|
|Chapter XXIV||In which a thousand trifles are recounted, as irrelevant as they are necessary to a true understanding of this great history||614|
|Chapter XXV||In which note is made of the braying adventure and the diverting adventure of the puppet master, along with the memorable divinations of the soothsaying monkey||620|
|Chapter XXVI||In which the diverting adventure of the puppet master continues, along with other things that are really very worthwhile||628|
|Chapter XXVII||In which the identities of Master Pedro and his monkey are revealed, as well as the unhappy outcome of the braying adventure, which Don Quixote did not conclude as he had wished and intended||636|
|Chapter XXVIII||Regarding matters that Benengeli says will be known to the reader if he reads with attention||642|
|Chapter XXIX||Regarding the famous adventure of the enchanted boat||647|
|Chapter XXX||Regarding what befell Don Quixote with a beautiful huntress||653|
|Chapter XXXI||Which deals with many great things||657|
|Chapter XXXII||Regarding the response that Don Quixote gave to his rebuker, along with other events both grave and comical||665|
|Chapter XXXIII||Regarding the delightful conversation that the duchess and her ladies had with Sancho Panza, one that is worthy of being read and remembered||677|
|Chapter XXXIV||Which recounts the information that was received regarding how the peerless Dulcinea of Toboso was to be disenchanted, which is one of the most famous adventures in this book||683|
|Chapter XXXV||In which the information that Don Quixote received regarding the disenchantment of Dulcinea continues, along with other remarkable events||690|
|Chapter XXXVI||Which recounts the strange and unimaginable adventure of the Dolorous Duenna, also known as the Countess Trifaldi, as well as a letter that Sancho Panza wrote to his wife, Teresa Panza||697|
|Chapter XXXVII||In which the famous adventure of the Dolorous Duenna continues||702|
|Chapter XXXVIII||Which recounts the tale of misfortune told by the Dolorous Duenna||704|
|Chapter XXXIX||In which the Countess Trifaldi continues her stupendous and memorable history||710|
|Chapter XL||Regarding matters that concern and pertain to this adventure and this memorable history||713|
|Chapter XLI||Regarding the arrival of Clavileno, and the conclusion of this lengthy adventure||718|
|Chapter XLII||Regarding the advice Don Quixote gave to Sancho Panza before he went to govern the insula, along with other matters of consequence||727|
|Chapter XLIII||Regarding the second set of precepts that Don Quixote gave to Sancho Panza||732|
|Chapter XLIV||How Sancho Panza was taken to his governorship, and the strange adventure that befell Don Quixote in the castle||737|
|Chapter XLV||Regarding how the great Sancho Panza took possession of his insula, and the manner in which he began to govern||746|
|Chapter XLVI||Regarding the dreadful belline and feline fright received by Don Quixote in the course of his wooing by the enamored Altisidora||753|
|Chapter XLVII||In which the account of how Sancho Panza behaved in his governorship continues||757|
|Chapter XLVIII||Regarding what transpired between Don Quixote and Dona Rodriguez, duenna to the duchess, as well as other events worthy of being recorded and remembered forever||765|
|Chapter XLIX||Regarding what befell Sancho Panza as he patrolled his insula||772|
|Chapter L||Which declares the identities of the enchanters and tormentors who beat the duenna and pinched and scratched Don Quixote, and recounts what befell the page who carried the letter to Teresa Sancha, the wife of Sancho Panza||782|
|Chapter LI||Regarding the progress of Sancho Panza's governorship, and other matters of comparable interest||790|
|Chapter LII||Which recounts the adventure of the second Dolorous, or Anguished, Duenna, also called Dona Rodriguez||798|
|Chapter LIII||Regarding the troubled end and conclusion of the governorship of Sancho Panza||804|
|Chapter LIV||Which deals with matters related to this history and to no other||809|
|Chapter LV||Regarding certain things that befell Sancho on the road, and others that are really quite remarkable||817|
|Chapter LVI||Regarding the extraordinary and unprecedented battle that Don Quixote of La Mancha had with the footman Tosilos in defense of the daughter of the duenna Dona Rodriguez||823|
|Chapter LVII||Which recounts how Don Quixote took his leave of the duke, and what befell him with the clever and bold Altisidora, the duchess's maiden||828|
|Chapter LVIII||Which recounts how so many adventures rained down on Don Quixote that there was hardly room for all of them||832|
|Chapter LIX||Which recounts an extraordinary incident that befell Don Quixote and can be considered an adventure||842|
|Chapter LX||Concerning what befell Don Quixote on his way to Barcelona||849|
|Chapter LXI||Regarding what befell Don Quixote when he entered Barcelona, along with other matters that have more truth in them than wit||861|
|Chapter LXII||Which relates the adventure of the enchanted head, as well as other foolishness that must be recounted||864|
|Chapter LXIII||Regarding the evil that befell Sancho Panza on his visit to the galleys, and the remarkable adventure of the beautiful Morisca||875|
|Chapter LXIV||Which deals with the adventure that caused Don Quixote more sorrow than any others that had befallen him so far||884|
|Chapter LXV||Which reveals the identity of the Knight of the White Moon, and recounts the release of Don Gregorio, as well as other matters||888|
|Chapter LXVI||Which recounts what will be seen by whoever reads it, or heard by whoever listens to it being read||893|
|Chapter LXVII||Regarding the decision Don Quixote made to become a shepherd and lead a pastoral life until the year of his promise had passed, along with other incidents that are truly pleasurable and entertaining||898|
|Chapter LXVIII||Regarding the porcine adventure that befell Don Quixote||902|
|Chapter LXIX||Concerning the strangest and most remarkable event to befall Don Quixote in the entire course of this great history||907|
|Chapter LXX||Which follows chapter LXIX, and deals with matters necessary to the clarity of this history||912|
|Chapter LXXI||What befell Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho, as they were traveling to their village||919|
|Chapter LXXII||Concerning how Don Quixote and Sancho arrived in their village||924|
|Chapter LXXIII||Regarding the omens Don Quixote encountered as he entered his village, along with other events that adorn and lend credit to this great history||929|
|Chapter LXXIV||Which deals with how Don Quixote fell ill, and the will he made, and his death||934|
What People are Saying About This
One of the best adventure stories in the world.
“A major literary achievement.”
The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world of a question.
Reading Group Guide
"Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being," said novelist Milan Kundera. "And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?"
Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. This Modern Library edition presents the acclaimed Samuel Putnam translation of the epic tale, complete with notes, variant readings, and an Introduction by the translator.
The debt owed to Cervantes by literature is immense. From Milan Kundera: "Cervantes is the founder of the Modern Era. . . . The novelist need answer to no one but Cervantes." Lionel Trilling observed: "It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote." Vladmir Nabokov wrote: "Don Quixote is greater today than he was in Cervantes's womb. [He] looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through [his] sheer vitality. . . . He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon." And V. S. Pritchett observed: "Don Quixote begins as a province, turns into Spain, and ends as a universe. . . . The true spell of Cervantes is that he is a natural magician in pure story-telling."
Grossman might be called the Glenn Gould of translators, because she, too, articulates every note. Reading her amazing mode of finding equivalents in English for Cervantes's darkening vision is an entrance into a further understanding of why this great book contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read Don Quixote before through l0 chapters and left depressed. Grossman' version is not only refreshing, it gives you a real feel for the spanish and the art of Cervantes. I recommend it highly for those who love Man of LaManche like I do.
I can see why Cervantes's Don Quixote has left its mark through out the ages. It is the purely the definition of a classic."For what I want of Dulcinea del Toboso she is as good as the greatest princess in the land.For not all those poets who praise ladies under names which they choose so freely, really have such mistresses. . . .I am quite satisfied. . . to imagine and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is so lovely and virtuous(Chapter xxv)."This is probably one of my most favorite quotes from the novel Don Quixote which I truley enjoyed. The way he shapes his lines and the almost perfect word choice makes it new to me every time I read it. This quote also brings up a good point about the novel. His love for Dulcinea. We never really even meet her in the book but to him he is the reason for most of his acts. He tries to show chivalry but usually fails terribly. In these parts of the novel I found it almost funny. Sometimes I think he was trying to put a little satire into it which made it an interesting read. On the other hand it showed his seriousness and morals because he wanted to prove his love for her to everyone he met. As well, I like the fact that it was generally easy to read. I had my doubts about reading it in the first place because of its age and how it had been translated into Spanish beforehand. When I began reading it I realized it was very enjoyable and flowed nicely. I would definitely reccomend it to anyone who likes a good classic read with great word choice. A book that from the looks of it wouldnt really make you think that much until you look inside the things he is trying to imply. Adults and teenagers alike could really enjoy this book for the same aspects of different ones but either way it was a great book. I loved it!
This truely is the best novel ever written. I read some reviews complaining that Edith Grossman's translation was too wordy for a less than mature reader. Well, if you can read Dickens then this book is not too wordy for you. Get it, read it, love it.
Edith Grossman's excellent translation is superb...brings this story to life in ways unequaled before! Bravo! Bravo!
This is the best classic spanish book
good writer, but terrible story. I'm not one for those comedies that are about idiots who are completely oblivious to their surroundings though, so it was a rather painful read for me. If you like that kind of comedy, you may enjoy this, otherwise it's a long and drawn out mess.
Because I am not going to add to the literary criticism on this book, a few notes:1. It really is an enormously enjoyable read. If you haven't read it before you should. It is laugh-out-loud funny. A miracle in its construction of theme and variations, fascinating as a literary experiment, a description of madness and wisdom and overall a really fresh novel not some musty "classic".2. There's an argument for reading the two parts separately. They were written a decade a apart, there is nothing in the Second Part that requires remembering anything but the basics of the first -- and even these are repeated for the reader, they are different in important ways (everyone in the Second Part has read the First Part and thus knows Don Quixote, some of them have even read a false Second Part that gives them a false impression of him), and notwithstanding the comments above there is a certain repetition to the book.3. The Edith Grossman translation was outstanding. I also thought the Burton Raffel translation was great, but it was over a decade ago and the book is now in storage so I can't compare the two.bottom line: read it. Really.
17th centurycervantesfictionspanish literature
As you stare at the 940-page mass that is Edith Grossman's translation of Don Quixote, you might wonder if reading this Literary Classic (TM) warrants several weeks of your readerly devotion. The answer depends upon what you value in a text. If you require a story with a set group of characters who move in a straight line from plot points A to Z, then you should reconsider spending your hours on the famous "knight errant," for as he wanders into various adventures, so does Cervantes, who rarely allows a chapter to pass without another side story featuring pairs of starcrossed lovers composed unfailingly of beautiful ladies and brave but unfortunate gentlemen. However repetitive, this storytelling device highlights the surprisingly modern metafictive elements of the novel. Although Don Quixote the man lacks the capacity for honest self-examination, the text achieves another superior level of existence via its self-awareness. Beginning with an Aristotelian book burning and proceeding to warp the distinction between fiction and reality, Don Quixote the novel embodies those characteristics that we have so simply reduced to the word 'quixotic'. It is this brilliant trick, over which I suspect Cervantes is still laughing somewhere in the ethereal land of deceased authors, that delighted my twenty-first century palate.
A brilliant translation! Turns what has been one of the most convoluated translated pieces into something easily digestible.
This is by far the translation of Don Quixote I have enjoyed the most.I do not know if Ms. Grossman's translation does justice to the original Spanish version because I haven't read it but I enjoyed this book tremendously.I enjoyed that Ms. Grossman tried to capture not only the story, but also the prose, rhythm and style of writing of the era even it was long winded and somewhat tedious. Even Cervantes' self deprecating and self glamorizing humor is intact. The foot notes also help the non-Spanish speaker understand more of background to the stories, the prose and inside jokes.Even though this book was written centuries ago I found it contemporary, charming, hilarious and accessible. I believe that it is a great disservice to Cervantes that Don Quixote is being thought of as a drama only to disregard the story's comedic aspects.Among the 1,000 pages of the book, Cervantes weaves unrelated background stories of characters which the duo meets on their adventures. I found that to be an advantage in such a long book because I could put the book down for a few weeks, read another book, and come back without missing a beat.I believe that if you would take away the "classic literature" label from this book, which so many people find terrifying, you'll find a funny story, sometimes sad yet very modern even by today's standards.If you are not familiar with the story of Don Quixote then here is a very short summary: Alonso Quixano is a retired country gentleman in his fifties who lives in La Mancha with his niece and housekeeper. Quixano has become obsessed with books about knights and chivalry (very popular at the time the story was written) and believes that they are true to their words despite the fact that many of the events are clearly unrealistic. Quixano's friends think that he has lost his mind from too much reading, too little sleep and food depravation.From here the delusional Quixano sets out in search of adventure and takes on his nom de'guerre "Don Quixote de la Mancha" while announcing his love to a neighbor's daughter (unbeknown to her) renaming her "Dulcinea del Toboso".What follows are adventure of mishap occasionally occurring because Don Quixote has a habit for sticking his nose in matters which are none of his business, using chivalry as an excuse to pick a fight wherever he can - only to be defeated, injured and humiliated. However to be fair, Sancho Panza receives the brunt of those punishments.That is the end of part one.Part two, which was written ten years later, reintroduces us to the now famous Don Quixote and Sancho Panza which are the victims of cruel jokes by rich neighbors. Don Quixote gains back his sanity and proves a capable ruler only to be met, again, with disastrous results.He dies sane and sad instead of delusionary and happy.While part one is whimsical, part two seemed to me very melancholy and more philosophical
If you take this at face value, it is still a rather good novel. The adventures of Quixote and Sancho are quite hilarious to this day. However, looking beyond the antics of the two this story directly adresses the question of "What is the self and how is it defined?". Is Quixote mad or is he attempting to create a self that is far better than his current situation? Was he justified in forging his "self"? These are the questions that he novel raises but they can be applied to our lives as well. Were we born who we are or have we crafted it? I highly suggest that if you have not started questioning the identity of your "self" you start by reading this book.
Everyone knows about Don Q's adventures. Thoroughly enjoyed this (35 discs) audiobook based on the edition translated by Edith Grossman. Wonderful companion on 3000 mile road trip. In awe of Cervantes language and knowledge (in circa 1500).
This is the best translation of one of the two or three greatest books ever. Everyone who puts some effort into reading it seems to come back with a deeper understanding of himself; yet everyone comes away with something slightly different. It is like a mirror in which each person sees himself more completely.What is Quixote's quest? What makes it so compelling? I am amazed at the answers that people give to these questions---they get answered in as many ways as there are readers. But for me, the quest is the drive to recreate ones' self and live one's life in a meaningful way. The excitement of the journey and the good companionship along the way make it seem significant. What does Cervantes have to say about Quixote? I don't know---the quest is ultimately doomed. It is a funny, yet sad trip.The brilliant translation by Grossman doesn't feel like a translation at all, and the dialogue between the characters makes them feel fully human. I look forward to reading it again when I'm five years older.
BRILLIANT. I went to see the windmills in Spain after I read the book and stayed in Cervantes place of birth for a month. The Spanish are very proud of Cervantes. Spanish children know quite a lot about this author and book and can critique the novel's concepts in an intelligent way.
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I read the first two sentences and had to set the book down because i knew that if i read another word then i would keep reading. I am currentky resding anither book and i havr to finish that one before i read this. Spain is so freaking amazing. I luv u bug brother!!!! ~Deep (Malta)