Eric's Reviews > Don Quijote

Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
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's review
Aug 16, 11

Recommended to Eric by: Dr. Klara Lutsky
Recommended for: Those studying the novel
Read from May 10 to August 16, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

The first true novel... long, somewhat repetitious, but entertaining. If long. Cervantes' classic Spanish work (in two parts) gets a contemporary translation into English from Burton Raffel, making for some appropriately humorous moments for modern audiences. A lot of interesting foreshadowing of the coming novels can be found in the story of Don Quijote de la Mancha, a gentleman who goes insane from reading the classic tales of chivalry and decides he is a knight errant sworn to uphold these outdated codes. Together with his squire, the comic Sancho Panza, he seeks out "adventures" and amazes all who encounter him. The downside is these adventures - the key to a "picaresque" work - become someone tedious over the course of 700-some pages. The upside is you see not just a parody of chivalric romances, but techniques such as meta-writing (Cervantes has his characters in Part 2 refer frequently to a spurious Part 2 written by another author some years earlier). Worth the investment of time. Just be prepared to invest a lot. Did I mention it's long?
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