Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Overview
(ˌdɒn kiːˈhoʊtiː, 'doŋ ki'xote), fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha , is a novel written by Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

. Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise and decline of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is usually considered to have lasted longer than an actual century...

 and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published.
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Encyclopedia
(ˌdɒn kiːˈhoʊtiː, 'doŋ ki'xote), fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha , is a novel written by Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

. Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise and decline of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is usually considered to have lasted longer than an actual century...

 and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In one such list
The 100 Best Books of All Time
The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by 100 writers from 54 different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavours to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods...

, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written".

Spelling and pronunciation


Quixote
is the original spelling in Old Castilian
Old Spanish language
Old Spanish, also known as Old Castilian or Mediaeval Spanish , is an early form of the Spanish language that was spoken on the Iberian Peninsula from the tenth century until roughly the beginning of the fifteenth century, before a consonantic readjustment gave rise to the evolution of modern...

, and is used in English. However, modern Spanish has since gone through spelling reform
Spelling reform
Many languages have undergone spelling reform, where a deliberate, often officially sanctioned or mandated, change to spelling takes place. Proposals for such reform are also common....

s and phonetic changes
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

 which have turned the x into j. The x was pronounced like an English sh sound in medieval times—[kiˈʃote]—and this is reflected in the Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

 and Astur-Leonese name Don Quixote, the Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 Don Quixot [ˈdɔŋ kiˈʃɔt], the Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 Dom Quixote [ˈdõ kiˈʃɔtɨ], in the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 name Don Quichotte [dɔ̃ kiˈʃɔt], the Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 Don Quichot (or Don Quichote), as well as in the Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 name Don Chisciotte. However, in Spanish such words (now virtually all spelled with a j) are now pronounced with a voiceless velar fricative
Voiceless velar fricative
The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The sound was part of the consonant inventory of Old English and can still be found in some dialects of English, most notably in Scottish English....

 sound like the Scottish
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

 or German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 ch [kiˈxote]. English speakers generally attempt something close to the modern Spanish pronunciation when saying Quixote (Quijote), as [dɒŋ kiːˈhoʊteɪ], although the traditional English pronunciation /ˈkwɪksət/ or /ˈkwɪksoʊt/ is still sometimes used.

The traditional English rendering is preserved in the pronunciation of the adjectival form quixotic
Quixotism
Quixotism is impracticality in pursuit of ideals, especially those ideals manifested by rash, lofty and romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action. It also serves to describe an idealism without regard to practicality...

, i.e., /kwɪkˈsoʊtɨk/ or /kwɪkˈsɒtɪk/, the foolishly impractical pursuit of ideals, typically marked with rash and lofty romantic ideals.

Plot summary


Don Quixote, the protagonist of the novel, is a retired country gentleman nearing fifty years of age, living in an unnamed section of La Mancha
La Mancha
La Mancha is a natural and historical region or greater comarca located on an arid, fertile, elevated plateau of central Spain, south of Madrid, stretching between the Montes de Toledo and the western spurs of the Serrania de Cuenca. It is bounded on the south by the Sierra Morena and on the north...

 with his niece and housekeeper. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading Romances in excess, or books of chivalry, has had a profound effect on Don Quixote, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties. In essence, he believes every word of these books of chivalry to be true, though for the most part, the content of these books is clearly false. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than chivalry, are intact.

First quest


He decides to go out as a knight-errant
Knight-errant
A knight-errant is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. "Errant," meaning wandering or roving, indicates how the knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures to prove himself as a knight, such as in a pas d'armes.The first known appearance of the term...

 in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armour, renames himself "Don Quixote de la Mancha," and names his skinny horse "Rocinante
Rocinante
Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote's horse, in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.-Etymology: in Spanish means work-horse or low-quality horse , but also illiterate or rough man. There are similar words in French , Portuguese and Italian . The etymology is uncertain. The name is,...

". He designates a neighboring farm girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, as his lady love, renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso
Dulcinea
"Dulcinea del Toboso" is a fictional character who is referred to in Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote. Seeking the traditions of the knights-errant of old, Don Quixote finds a true love whom he calls Dulcinea. She is a simple peasant in his home town, but Quixote imagines her to be the most...

, while she knows nothing about this.

He sets out in the early morning and ends up at an inn, which he believes to be a castle. He asks the innkeeper, whom he thinks to be the lord of the castle, to dub him a knight. He spends the night holding vigil over his armor, where he becomes involved in a fight with muleteers
Arriero
thumb|250px|right|An arriero loading a [[pack horse]] in [[Zona Sur|southern Chile]]An arriero is a person who transports goods using pack animals.In South America, arrieros transport coffee, maize, cork, wheat, and myriad other items...

 who try to remove his armor from the horse trough so that they can water their mules. The innkeeper then dubs him a knight, and sends him on his way. He frees a young boy who is tied to a tree by his master, because the boy had the audacity to ask his master for the wages the boy had earned but had not yet been paid (who is promptly beaten as soon as Quixote leaves). Don Quixote has a run-in with traders from Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, who "insult" the imaginary Dulcinea, one of whom severely beats Don Quixote and leaves him on the side of the road. Don Quixote is found and returned to his home by a neighboring peasant, Pedro Crespo.

Second quest


Don Quixote plots an escape. Meanwhile, his niece, the housekeeper, the parish curate
Curate
A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure of souls of a parish. In this sense "curate" correctly means a parish priest but in English-speaking countries a curate is an assistant to the parish priest...

, and the local barber secretly burn most of the books of chivalry, and seal up his library pretending that a magician has carried it off. Don Quixote approaches another neighbor, Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza is a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Sancho acts as squire to Don Quixote, and provides comments throughout the novel, known as sanchismos, that are a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs,...

, and asks him to be his squire, promising him governorship of an island. The uneducated Sancho agrees, and the pair sneak off in the early dawn. It is here that their series of famous adventures begin, starting with Don Quixote's attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants
Tilting at windmills
Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. The word “tilt”, in this context, comes from jousting....

.

In the course of their travels, the protagonists meet innkeepers, prostitutes, goatherds, soldiers, priests, escaped convicts, and scorned lovers. These encounters are magnified by Don Quixote’s imagination into chivalrous quests. Don Quixote’s tendency to intervene violently in matters which do not concern him, and his habit of not paying his debts, result in many privations, injuries, and humiliations (with Sancho often getting the worst of it). Finally, Don Quixote is persuaded to return to his home village. The author hints that there was a third quest, but says that records of it have been lost.

Part Two

Although the two parts are now normally published as a single work, Don Quixote, Part Two was a sequel published ten years after the original novel. While Part One was mostly farcical
Farce
In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases,...

, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception.

As Part Two begins, it is assumed that the literate classes of Spain have all read the first part of the history of Don Quixote and his squire. When they encounter the duo in person, a Duke and Duchess, and others, deceive Don Quixote for entertainment, setting forth a string of imagined adventures resulting in a series of practical jokes that put Don Quixote's sense of chivalry and his devotion to Dulcinea through many tests.

Even Sancho deceives him at one point. Pressured into finding Dulcinea, Sancho brings back three dirty and ragged peasant girls, and tells Don Quixote that they are Dulcinea and her ladies-in-waiting. When Don Quixote only sees the peasant girls, Sancho pretends that their derelict appearance results from an enchantment. Sancho later gets his comeuppance for this when, as part of one of the duke and duchess's pranks, the two are led to believe that the only method to release Dulcinea from her spell is for Sancho to give himself a surplus of three thousand lashes. Sancho naturally resists this course of action, leading to friction with his master. Under the duke's patronage, Sancho eventually gets a governorship, though it be false, and proves to be a wise and practical ruler; though this, too, ends in humiliation.

Near the end, Don Quixote reluctantly sways towards sanity: an inn is just an inn, not a castle.

Obviously there is much more that occurs in the "history" than can be related here, but Don Quixote's adventures in knight-errantry come to a close after his battle with the Knight of the White Moon, in which we the readers find him conquered. Bound by the rules of chivalry, Don Quixote submits to prearranged terms that the vanquished is to obey the will of the conqueror, which in this case, is that Don Quixote is to lay down his arms and cease his acts of chivalry for the period of one year (a duration in which he may be cured of his madness). Defeated and dejected, he and Sancho start their journey home.

Part Two of Don Quixote is often regarded as the birth of modern literature, as it explores the concept of a character understanding that he is being written about. This is a theme much explored in writings of the 20th Century
20th century
Many people define the 20th century as running from January 1, 1901 to December 31, 2000, others would rather define it as beginning on January 1, 1900....

.

Conclusion


Upon returning to his village, Don Quixote announces his plan to retire to the countryside and live the pastoral existence of shepherd, although his housekeeper, who has a more realistic view of the hard life of a shepherd, urges him to stay home and tend to his own affairs. Soon after, he retires to his bed with a deathly illness, possibly brought on by melancholy over his defeats and humiliations. One day, he awakes from a dream having fully recovered his sanity. Sancho tries to restore his faith, but Alonso Quixano, for that is his true name, can only renounce his previous existence and apologize for the harm he has caused. He dictates his will, which includes a provision that his niece will be disinherited if she marries a man who reads books of chivalry. After Alonso Quixano dies, the author emphasizes that there are no more adventures to relate, and that any further books about Don Quixote would be spurious.

Spurious Avellaneda Segunda Parte (part two)


It is not certain when Cervantes began writing Part Two of Don Quixote, but he had probably not gotten much further than Chapter LIX by late July of 1614. About September, however, a spurious Part Two, entitled Second Volume of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha: by the Licenciado (doctorate) Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
In 1614 a sequel to Cervantes' Don Quixote was published under the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda. The identity of Fernández de Avellaneda has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus on who he was...

, of Tordesillas
Tordesillas
Tordesillas is a town and municipality in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, central Spain.It is located 25 km southwest of the provincial capital, Valladolid at an elevation of 704 meters. The population was c. 9,000 in 2009....

, was published in Tarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

 by an unidentified Aragonese
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

  who was an admirer of Lope de Vega, rival of Cervantes. Avellaneda's identity has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus as to who he was. In its prologue, the author gratuitously insulted Cervantes, who not surprisingly took offense and responded; the last half of Chapter LIX and most of the following chapters of Cervantes' Segunda Parte lend some insight into the effects upon him; Cervantes manages to work in some subtle digs at Avellaneda's own work, and in his preface to Part II, comes very near to criticizing Avellaneda directly.

In his introduction to The Portable Cervantes, Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam was an American translator and scholar of Romance languages.His most famous work is his 1949 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote...

, a noted translator of Cervantes' novel, calls Avellaneda's version "one of the most disgraceful performances in history".

The second part of Cervantes' Don Quixote, finished as a direct result of the Avellaneda book, has come to be regarded by some literary critics as superior to the first part, because of its greater depth of characterization, its discussions, mostly between Quixote and Sancho, on diverse subjects, and its philosophical insights.

Other stories



Don Quixote, Part One contains a number of stories which do not directly involve the two main characters, but which are narrated by some of the picaresque figures encountered by the Don and Sancho during their travels. The longest and best known of these is "El Curioso Impertinente" (the impertinently curious man), found in Part One, Book Four. This story, read to a group of travelers at an inn, tells of a Florentine
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 nobleman, Anselmo, who becomes obsessed with testing his wife's fidelity, and talks his close friend Lothario
Lothario
Lothario is a male first name which came to connote an unscrupulous seducer of women.In The Impertinent Curiosity, a story-within-the-story in Don Quixote , by Miguel de Cervantes, a man named Anselmo coerces Lothario, his faithful friend, to test the virtue of Anselmo's wife, Camila...

 into attempting to seduce her, with disastrous results for all. In Part Two, the author acknowledges the criticism of his digressions in Part One and promises to concentrate the narrative on the central characters (although at one point he laments that his narrative muse has been constrained in this manner). Nevertheless, "Part Two" contains several back narratives related by peripheral characters.

Several abridged editions have been published which delete some or all of the extra tales in order to concentrate on the central narrative.

Sources


Sources for Don Quixote include the Valencian novel Tirant lo Blanch, one of the first chivalric epics, which Cervantes describes in Chapter VI of Quixote as "the best book in the world."
The scene of the book burning gives us an excellent list of Cervantes's likes and dislikes about literature.

Cervantes makes a number of references to the Italian poem Orlando furioso
Orlando Furioso
Orlando Furioso is an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532...

. In chapter 10 of the first part of the novel, Don Quixote says he must take the magical helmet of Mambrino, an episode from Canto I of Orlando, and itself a reference to Matteo Maria Boiardo
Matteo Maria Boiardo
Matteo Maria Boiardo was an Italian Renaissance poet.Boiardo was born at, or near, Scandiano ; the son of Giovanni di Feltrino and Lucia Strozzi, he was of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, with seignorial power over Arceto, Casalgrande, Gesso, and Torricella...

's Orlando innamorato
Orlando Innamorato
Orlando Innamorato is an epic poem written by the Italian Renaissance author Matteo Maria Boiardo. The poem is a romance concerning the heroic knight Orlando .-Composition and publication:...

. The interpolated story in chapter 33 of Part four of the First Part is a retelling of a tale from Canto 43 of Orlando, regarding a man who tests the fidelity of his wife.

Another important source appears to have been Apuleius's The Golden Ass
The Golden Ass
The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass , is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety....

, one of the earliest known novels, a picaresque from late classical antiquity. The wineskins episode near the end of the interpolated tale "The Curious Impertinent" in chapter 35 of the first part of Don Quixote is a clear reference to Apuleius, and recent scholarship suggests that the moral philosophy and the basic trajectory of Apuleius's novel are fundamental to Cervantes's program.

Setting


Cervantes' story takes place on the plains of La Mancha
La Mancha
La Mancha is a natural and historical region or greater comarca located on an arid, fertile, elevated plateau of central Spain, south of Madrid, stretching between the Montes de Toledo and the western spurs of the Serrania de Cuenca. It is bounded on the south by the Sierra Morena and on the north...

, specifically the comarca
Comarca
A comarca is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co- meaning "together, jointly".The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada and...

of Campo de Montiel
Campo de Montiel
Campo de Montiel is a comarca in Castile-La Mancha, Spain....

.
The location of the village to which Cervantes alludes in the opening sentence of Don Quixote has been the subject of debate since its publication over four centuries ago. Indeed, Cervantes deliberately omits the name of the village, giving an explanation in the final chapter:
In 2004, a multidisciplinary team of academics from Complutense University, led by Francisco Parra Luna, Manuel Fernández Nieto and Santiago Petschen Verdaguer, deduced that the village was that of Villanueva de los Infantes
Villanueva de los Infantes
Villanueva de los Infantes is a municipality in the province of Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. It has a population of c. 5,800.This is also the capital of the comarca Campo de Montiel. It has been signed by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as "El Lugar de La Mancha" called at start...

. Their findings were published in a paper titled "'El Quijote' como un sistema de distancias/tiempos: hacia la localización del lugar de la Mancha", which was later published as a book: El enigma resuelto del Quijote. The result was replicated in two subsequent investigations: "La determinación del lugar de la Mancha como problema estadístico" and "The Kinematics of the Quixote and the Identity of the 'Place in La Mancha'".

Publication



In July of 1604, Cervantes sold the rights of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (known as Don Quixote, Part I) to the publisher-bookseller Francisco de Robles for an unknown sum. License to publish was granted in September, the printing was finished in December, and the book came out on January 16, 1605.J. Ormsby, "About Cervantes and Don Quixote" The novel was an immediate success. The majority of the 400 copies of the first edition
Edition (book)
The bibliographical definition of an edition includes all copies of a book printed “from substantially the same setting of type,” including all minor typographical variants.- First edition :...

 were sent to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, with the publisher hoping to get a better price in the Americas. Although most of them disappeared in a shipwreck near La Havana, approximately 70 copies reached Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, from where they were sent to Cuzco in the heart of the defunct Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

.

There is some evidence of its contents having been known before publication to, among others, Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega
Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature...

. There is also a tradition that Cervantes reread some portions of his work to a select audience at the court of the Duke of Bejar
Béjar
Béjar is a town and municipality in the province of Salamanca, western Spain, part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It lies had a population of 15,016 .-History:...

, which may have helped in making the book known. Don Quixote, Part One remained in Cervantes' hands for some time before he could find a willing publisher. The compositors at Juan de la Cuesta's press in Madrid are now known to have been responsible for errors in the text, many of which were attributed to the author.

No sooner was it in the hands of the public than preparations were made to issue derivative (pirated) editions. "Don Quixote" had been growing in favour, and its author's name was now known beyond the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

. By August 1605 there were two Madrid editions, two published in Lisbon, and one in Valencia. A second edition was produced with additional copyrights for Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, which publisher Francisco de Robles secured. Sale of these publishing rights deprived Cervantes of further financial profit on Part One. In 1607, an edition was printed in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

. Robles, the Madrid publisher, found it necessary to meet demand with a third edition, a seventh publication in all, in 1608. Popularity of the book in Italy was such that a Milan bookseller issued an Italian edition in 1610. Yet another Brussels edition was called for in 1611.

In 1613, Cervantes published the Novelas Ejemplares, dedicated to the Maecenas of the day, the Conde de Lemos. Eight and a half years after Part One had appeared, we get the first hint of a forthcoming Segunda Parte (Part Two). "You shall see shortly," Cervantes says, "the further exploits of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza." Don Quixote, Part Two, published by the same press as its predecessor, appeared late in 1615, and quickly reprinted in Brussels and Valencia (1616) and Lisbon (1617). Part two capitalizes on the potential of the first while developing and diversifying the material without sacrificing familiarity. Many people agree that it is richer and more profound. Parts One and Two were published as one edition in Barcelona in 1617. Historically, Cervantes's work has been said to have “smiled Spain’s chivalry
Spanish Chivalry
During the Middle Ages, Medieval Europe was engaged in almost constant warfare and conflict. European warfare during the Middle Ages was marked by a transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery...

 away”, suggesting that Don Quixote as a chivalric satire contributed to the demise of Spanish Chivalry.

English editions in translation



There are many translations of the book, and it has been adapted many times in shortened versions. Many derivative editions were also being written at the time, as was the custom of envious or unscrupulous writers. Seven years after the Parte Primera appeared, Don Quixote had been translated into French, German, Italian, and English, with the first French translation of 'Part II' appearing in 1618, and the first English translation in 1620. One abridged adaptation is authored by Agustín Sánchez, which runs slightly over 150 pages, cutting away about 750 pages.

Thomas Shelton's English translation of the First Part appeared in 1612. Shelton is a somewhat elusive figure: some claim Shelton was actually a friend of Cervantes, although there is no credible evidence to support this claim. Although Shelton's version is cherished by some, according to John Ormsby
John Ormsby
John Ormsby was a nineteenth-century British translator. He is most famous for his 1885 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha, perhaps the most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time...

 and Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam was an American translator and scholar of Romance languages.His most famous work is his 1949 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote...

, it was far from satisfactory as a carrying over of Cervantes's text. Shelton's translation of the novel's Second Part appeared in 1620.

Near the end of the 17th century, John Phillips
John Phillips (author)
John Phillips was an English author, the brother of Edward Phillips, and a nephew of John Milton.Anne Phillips, mother of John and Edward, was the sister of John Milton, the poet. In 1652, John Phillips published a Latin reply to the anonymous attack on Milton entitled Pro Rege et populo anglicano...

, a nephew of poet John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, published what is considered by Putnam the worst English translated version. The translation, as literary critics claim, was not based on Cervantes' text but mostly upon a French work by Filleau de Saint-Martin and upon notes which Thomas Shelton had written previously. Around 1700, a version by Pierre Antoine Motteux  appeared. Ormsby considered this version "worse than worthless". What future translator Samuel Putnam called "the prevailing slapstick quality of this work, especially where Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza is a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Sancho acts as squire to Don Quixote, and provides comments throughout the novel, known as sanchismos, that are a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs,...

 is involved, the obtrusion of the obscene where it is found in the original, and the slurring of difficulties through omissions or expanding upon the text" all made the Motteux version irresponsible. In 1742, the Charles Jervas
Charles Jervas
Charles Jervas [Jarvis] was an Irish portrait painter, translator, and art collector of the early 18th century.-Early life:...

 translation appeared, posthumously. Through a printer's error, it came to be known, and is still known, as "the Jarvis translation". The most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time, it has been criticized by some as being too stiff. Nevertheless, it became the most frequently reprinted translation of the novel until about 1885. Another 18th century translation into English was that of Tobias Smollett
Tobias Smollett
Tobias George Smollett was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle , which influenced later novelists such as Charles Dickens.-Life:Smollett was born at Dalquhurn, now part of Renton,...

, himself a novelist. Like the Jarvis translation, it continues to be reprinted today.

Most modern translators take as their model the 1885 translation by John Ormsby
John Ormsby
John Ormsby was a nineteenth-century British translator. He is most famous for his 1885 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha, perhaps the most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time...

. It is said that his translation was the most honest of all translations, without expansions upon the text or changing of the proverbs.

In 1922, Arvid Paulson and Clayton Edwards published a now-forgotten expurgated children's version printed under the title The Story of Don Quixote which has nevertheless recently been published on Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...

. It retains as much of the text as it could while leaving out the risque sections as well as those chapters that young readers might consider dull, and embellishes a great deal on Cervantes's original text (the title page actually gives credit to the two translators as if they were the authors, and leaves out any mention of Cervantes).

The most widely read English-language translations of the mid-20th century are by Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam
Samuel Putnam was an American translator and scholar of Romance languages.His most famous work is his 1949 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote...

 (1949), J. M. Cohen
J. M. Cohen
J. M. Cohen was a prolific translator of European literature. Born in London, he was a graduate of Cambridge University. After working in his father's manufacturing business from 1925 until 1940, he was moved by a wartime shortage of teachers to become a schoolmaster...

 (1950; Penguin Classics), and Walter Starkie
Walter Starkie
Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie CMG, CBE, Litt.D was an Irish scholar, Hispanist, author and musician.Born in Killiney, County Dublin, he was the eldest son of the noted Greek scholar and translator of Aristophanes, William Joseph Myles Starkie and May Caroline Walsh. Starkie grew up surrounded by...

 (1957). The last English translation of the novel in the 20th century was by Burton Raffel
Burton Raffel
Burton Raffel is a translator, a poet and a teacher. He has translated many poems, including the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, poems by Horace, and Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais. In 1964, Raffel recorded an album along with Robert P...

, published in 1996. The 21st century has already seen two new translations of the novel into English—by John D. Rutherford
John D. Rutherford
John David Rutherford MA, D.Phil is an Emeritus Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford, a Hispanist and an award-winning novelist and translator from Spanish to English.- Studies :Rutherford started his Spanish studies at Wadham College before going on to St Antony's College in 1969, although...

 and by Edith Grossman
Edith Grossman
Edith Grossman is an award-winning American translator specializing in English versions of Spanish language books. She is one of the most important translators of Latin American fiction in the past century, translating the works of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate Gabriel García...

. One New York Times reviewer called Grossman's translation a "major literary achievement" and another called it the "most transparent and least impeded among more than a dozen English translations going back to the 17th century."

In 2005, the year of the novel's 400th anniversary, Tom Lathrop published a new edition of the novel, based on a lifetime of specialized study of the novel and its history. Lathrop's edition includes a slightly modernized Spanish text of Cervantes' work with English annotations.

Themes


The novel's structure is in episodic form. It is written in the picaresco
Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel is a popular sub-genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society...

 style of the late sixteenth century. The full title is indicative of the tale's object, as ingenioso (Spanish) means "quick with inventiveness". Although the novel is farcical
Farce
In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases,...

 on the surface, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception. Quixote has served as an important thematic source not only in literature but in much of art and music, inspiring works by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

. The contrasts between the tall, thin, fancy-struck, and idealistic Quixote and the fat, squat, world-weary Panza is a motif echoed ever since the book’s publication, and Don Quixote's imaginings are the butt of outrageous and cruel practical jokes in the novel. Even faithful and simple Sancho is unintentionally forced to deceive him at certain points. The novel is considered a satire of orthodoxy, veracity, and even nationalism. In going beyond mere storytelling to exploring the individualism of his characters, Cervantes helped move beyond the narrow literary conventions of the chivalric romance literature that he spoofed
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

, which consists of straightforward retelling of a series of acts that redound to the knightly virtues
Knightly Virtues
Knightly Virtues were part of a medieval chivalric code of honor. The virtues were a set of 'standards' that Knights of the High Middle Ages tried to adhere to in their daily living and interactions with others. Today, this term still carries similar meanings.Some organizations attempt to continue...

 of the hero.

Farce makes use of punning and similar verbal playfulness. Character-naming in Don Quixote makes ample figural use of contradiction, inversion, and irony, such as the names Rocinante
Rocinante
Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote's horse, in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.-Etymology: in Spanish means work-horse or low-quality horse , but also illiterate or rough man. There are similar words in French , Portuguese and Italian . The etymology is uncertain. The name is,...

(a reversal) and Dulcinea
Dulcinea
"Dulcinea del Toboso" is a fictional character who is referred to in Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote. Seeking the traditions of the knights-errant of old, Don Quixote finds a true love whom he calls Dulcinea. She is a simple peasant in his home town, but Quixote imagines her to be the most...

(an allusion to illusion), and the word itself, possibly a pun on (jaw) but certainly (Catalan: thighs), a reference to a horse's rump
Rump (animal)
The rump or croup, in the external morphology of an animal, is the portion of the posterior dorsum that is posterior to the loins and anterior to the tail. Anatomically, the rump corresponds to the sacrum....

. As a military term, the word quijote refers to cuisses
Cuisses
Cuisses are a form of medieval armor worn to protect the thigh. The word is the plural of the French word cuisse meaning 'thigh'. While the skirt of a maille shirt or tassets of a cuirass could protect the upper legs from above, a thrust from below could avoid these defenses. Thus, cuisses were...

, part of a full suit of plate armour
Plate armour
Plate armour is a historical type of personal armour made from iron or steel plates.While there are early predecessors such the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages, especially in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of...

 protecting the thighs. The Spanish suffix -ote denotes the augmentative—for example, grande means large, but grandote means extra large. Following this example, Quixote would suggest 'The Great Quijano', a play on words that makes much sense in light of the character's delusions of grandeur.

The world of ordinary people, from shepherds to tavern-owners and inn-keepers, which figures in Don Quixote, was groundbreaking. The character of Don Quixote became so well known in its time that the word quixotic
Quixotism
Quixotism is impracticality in pursuit of ideals, especially those ideals manifested by rash, lofty and romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action. It also serves to describe an idealism without regard to practicality...

was quickly adopted by many languages. Characters such as Sancho Panza and Don Quixote’s steed, Rocinante
Rocinante
Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote's horse, in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.-Etymology: in Spanish means work-horse or low-quality horse , but also illiterate or rough man. There are similar words in French , Portuguese and Italian . The etymology is uncertain. The name is,...

, are emblems of Western literary culture. The phrase "tilting at windmills
Tilting at windmills
Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. The word “tilt”, in this context, comes from jousting....

" to describe an act of attacking imaginary enemies derives from an iconic scene in the book.

Because of its widespread influence, Don Quixote also helped cement the modern Spanish language. The opening sentence of the book created a classic Spanish cliché with the phrase ("whose name I do not wish to recall"): ("In a village of La Mancha, whose name I do not wish to recall, there lived, not very long ago, one of those gentlemen with a lance in the lance-rack, an ancient shield, a skinny old horse, and a fast greyhound.")

It stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance
Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

 and the modern novel. The former consist of disconnected stories with little exploration of the inner life of even the main character. The latter are usually focused on the psychological evolution of their characters. In Part I, Quixote imposes himself on his environment. By Part II, people know about him through "having read his adventures," and so, he needs to do less to maintain his image. By his deathbed, he has regained his sanity, and is once more "Alonso Quixano the Good".

When it was first published, Don Quixote was usually interpreted as a comic novel. After the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 it was popular in part due to its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong and seen as disenchanting—not comic at all. In the 19th century it was seen as a social commentary, but no one could easily tell "whose side Cervantes was on." By the 20th century it had come to occupy a canonical space as one of the foundations of modern literature.

See also



  • Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
    Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
    In 1614 a sequel to Cervantes' Don Quixote was published under the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda. The identity of Fernández de Avellaneda has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus on who he was...

     – sequel to Don Quixote
  • Amadis de Gaula
    Amadis de Gaula
    Amadis de Gaula is a landmark work among the knight-errantry tales which were in vogue in 16th century Iberian Peninsula, and formed the earliest reading of many Renaissance and Baroque writers, although it was written at the onset of the 14th century.The first known printed edition was published...

     – precursor to Don Quixote
  • António José da Silva
    António José da Silva
    António José da Silva was a Portuguese-Brazilian dramatist, known as "the Jew" . The Brazilian spelling of his first name is Antônio.-Life:...

     – writer of Vida do Grande Dom Quixote de la Mancha e do Gordo Sancho Pança (1733)
  • Belianis
    Belianis
    Belianis of Greece is the eponymous hero of a Castilian chivalric romance novel, following in the footsteps of the influential Amadis de Gaul. An English abridgement of this novel was published in 1673....

     – precursor to Don Quixote
  • List of Don Quixote characters
  • List of works influenced by Don Quixote – including a gallery of paintings and illustrations
  • The 100 Best Books of All Time
    The 100 Best Books of All Time
    The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by 100 writers from 54 different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavours to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods...

  • Tirant lo Blanc
    Tirant lo Blanc
    Tirant lo Blanch or Tirant lo Blanc is a romance written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell and published in Valencia in 1490. The title means "Tirant the White" and is the name of the main character in the romance...

     – precursor to Don Quixote

Further reading

  • Bloom, Harold (Ed.) (2000) Cervantes's Don Quixote (Modern Critical Interpretations). Chelsea House Publishers ISBN 0791059227
  • D' Haen, Theo (Ed.) (2009) International Don Quixote. Editions Rodopi B.V. ISBN 9042025832
  • Echevarría, Roberto González (Ed.) (2005) Cervantes' Don Quixote: a casebook Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

     USA ISBN 0195169387
  • Duran, Manuel and Rogg, Fay R. (2006) "Fighting Windmills: Encounters with Don Quixote". Yale University Press ISBN 9780300110227
  • Johnson, Carroll B (Ed.) (2006) Don Quijote Across Four Centuries: 1605–2005. Juan de la Cuesta-Hispanic Monographs ISBN 1588710882
  • Graf, E. C. (2007) Cervantes and Modernity: Four Essays on Don Quijote. Bucknell University Press ISBN 0-8387-5655-7

External links



  • Don Quixote, Volume 1 (volunteer-read audiobook) from LibriVox
    LibriVox
    LibriVox is an online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers and is probably, since 2007, the world's most prolific audiobook publisher...

     at Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

    .
  • "One Master, Many Cervantes", by Ilan Stavans
    Ilan Stavans
    Ilan Stavans is a Mexican-American, essayist, lexicographer, cultural commentator, translator, short-story author, TV personality, and teacher known for his insights into American, Hispanic, and Jewish cultures.- Life :Ilan Stavans was born in Mexico to a middle-class Jewish family from the Pale...

    . A history of English translations. Humanities, September/October 2008. Volume 29, Number 5. Accessed 2010-08-04
  • The full text of Don Quijote in the original Spanish.
  • Background information about Don Quijote and Cervantes