Cervantes - Don Quixote
About the Book
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes, was originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. A founding work of Western literature, it is often labeled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest ever written. Don Quixote is also one of the most-translated books in the world.
The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, a hidalgo (Son of Someone) from La Mancha named Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he either loses or pretends to have lost his mind in order to become a knight-errant (caballero andante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical monologues on knighthood - already considered old-fashioned at the time - and representing the most vivid realism in contrast to his master's idealism. For this version of Don Quixote our graphic designer combined both Volume I and II from the Gutenberg edition—produced by David Widger—and added the illustrations by the French artist Gustave Doré from the 1863 editon of Don Quixote, published by Hachette and Co. in Paris, and Cassell and Co. in London.
The book had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897).
Notes by Harold Bloom, Puchau de Lecea, Chrisafis Angelique, Liz Meneo, and Mikesch Muecke
Meet the Author
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 29 September 1547 (assumed) - 22 April 1616, was a Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. He is best known for his novel Don Quixote, a work often cited as both the first modern novel and one of the pinnacles of world literature.
Much of his life was spent in poverty and obscurity, while the bulk of his surviving work was produced in the three years preceding his death, when he was supported by the Count of Lemos and did not have to work. Despite this, his influence and literary contribution are reflected by the fact that Spanish is often referred to as "the language of Cervantes."
In 1569 Cervantes was forced to leave Spain and move to Rome, where he worked in the household of a cardinal. In 1570 he enlisted in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment, and was badly wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in October 1571. He served as a soldier until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates; after five years in captivity, he was ransomed, and returned to Madrid.
His first significant novel, titled La Galatea, was published in 1585, but he continued to work as a purchasing agent, and later as government tax collector. Volume I of Don Quixote was published in 1605, and Volume II in 1615. Other works include the twelve Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels); a long poem, the Viaje del Parnaso (Journey to Parnassus); and Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses (Eight Plays and Eight Interludes). Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda), was published posthumously in 1616.