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Don Quixote (ballet) - Wikipedia

Even if you have never picked up a copy of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha , you’re doubtlessly familiar with the story: one of delusional noblemen, portly squires, and windmill monsters. Nevertheless, there Don Quixote: The Original Classics - Illustrated
Don Quixote (ballet) - Wikipedia

Don quixote: the original classics - illustrated



Even if you have never picked up a copy of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha , you’re doubtlessly familiar with the story: one of delusional noblemen, portly squires, and windmill monsters. Nevertheless, there could be a few little-known facts you haven’t heard about the two-volume 17th-century masterpiece. 

Such esteemed thinkers as award-winning literary critic Harold Bloom and decorated novelist and essayist Carlos Fuentes have declared that Don Quixote is the very first true example of the modern novel. Bloom identifies the arcs of change bracing the story’s titular character and his companion Sancho Panza as the primary marker that distinguishes it as the first of its breed, and Fuentes suggested that the nuance in the dialogue and characterization is chief in separating Don Quixote from all preceding texts. 

Though he’d eventually go on to pen one of the most famous novels in world history, a young Miguel de Cervantes suffered from a plight familiar to any aspiring writer: working a day job to pay the bills. Among the varied gigs Cervantes kept in the years before his literary breakout was a job as a tax collector for the Spanish government. However, frequent “mathematic irregularities” landed Cervantes in the Crown Jail of Seville twice between 1597 and 1602. It was during this time in the slammer that Cervantes is believed to have first thought up the story that would become Don Quixote . 

Near the conclusion of the second volume of Don Quixote , Cervantes reveals the real name of his hero to be Alonso Quixano (alternatively spelled “Quijano”). He borrowed this name from Alonso de Quesada y Salazar, the great uncle of Catalina de Salazar y Palacios, whom Cervantes married in 1584. Alonso is believed to have inspired not only the name but also the general characterization of the novel’s hero. And, the name Quixote came from the word for " thigh armor ." 

Cervantes released the 12-part novella collection Novelas ejemplares in 1613 after having penned the series incrementally over the eight-year span that followed the publication of the original volume of Don Quixote . A foreword to the collection not only introduced the new work, but also promised readers that Cervantes was planning a continuation of the incomplete Gentleman of La Mancha fable. (His advertisement for an upcoming book ahead of an entirely independent work could be seen as an ancestor to the modern day movie trailer.) This second volume was published two years later, in 1615.

Just one year after Cervantes’ Novelas ejemplares foreword plug, however, a volume of mysterious origin wormed its way into the Don Quixote canon. Written by an author who used the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda , the unofficial sequel was infamous for the feeble quality of writing and the numerous potshots it took at Cervantes and the source material.

What can anyone say about Don Quixote that hasn't been said? The book's been around for four hundred years has inspired literary movements from the eighteenth-century picaresque to the most obscure works of twenty-first-century post-modernism and has provided the impetus for critical works by everyone from Thackeray to Ortega y Gasset.

Shakespeare paid Cervantes (his contemporary) the rare compliment of using Quixote as source material for one of his later plays, Cardenio (the play was unfortunately lost.) The novel has been viewed as an allegory for numerous things like Christianity, the Romantic cult of the artist, extreme materialism, and the infinite referentiality of texts.

There are rough patches, yet: the mini-novels that interrupt the narrative of the first part for about a hundred pages would have been easy targets for some modern publisher's blue pencil. The long essays on arms or piety can ring strangely to reader sensibilities while the descriptions are sometimes a vague mess. Sancho Panza's brief solo adventures read like the winners of a "Find-The-Best-Tired-Fable" competition and are best forgotten.

The first few scenes involve Quixote alone against the contemporary world, but before a hundred pages have elapsed Cervantes introduces Sancho Panza, Quixote's gullible, bloated and homily-spouting squire.

Once joined together, it's very difficult to imagine Don Quixote and Sancho ever being split apart: the two are the original comic duo, locked into perpetually and mutually exclusive views of the world. Whether Sancho is being asked to give himself hundreds of lashes in order to disenchant Quixote's swineherd love interest, Dulcinea, or whether Quixote is mixing a potion based on olive oil and bitter herbs that will, in theory, cure all of Sancho's Quixote-caused earthly wounds--the Knight and the Squire personifies the thematic conflict that propels the work.

Quixote's insistence on his own reality in the face of innumerable arguments to the contrary, many of which take the form of cat scratches, cracked bones, and missing teeth, makes him an interesting character because we know--or we think we know--that Quixote is just wrong.

Even if you have never picked up a copy of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha , you’re doubtlessly familiar with the story: one of delusional noblemen, portly squires, and windmill monsters. Nevertheless, there could be a few little-known facts you haven’t heard about the two-volume 17th-century masterpiece. 

Such esteemed thinkers as award-winning literary critic Harold Bloom and decorated novelist and essayist Carlos Fuentes have declared that Don Quixote is the very first true example of the modern novel. Bloom identifies the arcs of change bracing the story’s titular character and his companion Sancho Panza as the primary marker that distinguishes it as the first of its breed, and Fuentes suggested that the nuance in the dialogue and characterization is chief in separating Don Quixote from all preceding texts. 

Though he’d eventually go on to pen one of the most famous novels in world history, a young Miguel de Cervantes suffered from a plight familiar to any aspiring writer: working a day job to pay the bills. Among the varied gigs Cervantes kept in the years before his literary breakout was a job as a tax collector for the Spanish government. However, frequent “mathematic irregularities” landed Cervantes in the Crown Jail of Seville twice between 1597 and 1602. It was during this time in the slammer that Cervantes is believed to have first thought up the story that would become Don Quixote . 

Near the conclusion of the second volume of Don Quixote , Cervantes reveals the real name of his hero to be Alonso Quixano (alternatively spelled “Quijano”). He borrowed this name from Alonso de Quesada y Salazar, the great uncle of Catalina de Salazar y Palacios, whom Cervantes married in 1584. Alonso is believed to have inspired not only the name but also the general characterization of the novel’s hero. And, the name Quixote came from the word for " thigh armor ." 

Cervantes released the 12-part novella collection Novelas ejemplares in 1613 after having penned the series incrementally over the eight-year span that followed the publication of the original volume of Don Quixote . A foreword to the collection not only introduced the new work, but also promised readers that Cervantes was planning a continuation of the incomplete Gentleman of La Mancha fable. (His advertisement for an upcoming book ahead of an entirely independent work could be seen as an ancestor to the modern day movie trailer.) This second volume was published two years later, in 1615.

Just one year after Cervantes’ Novelas ejemplares foreword plug, however, a volume of mysterious origin wormed its way into the Don Quixote canon. Written by an author who used the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda , the unofficial sequel was infamous for the feeble quality of writing and the numerous potshots it took at Cervantes and the source material.



 
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