Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha - by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha, a novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (US Edition)  (UK Edition)

The translation is by Motteux, but I want to know who wrote the preface, which is a history of the author.   How can I help but tell you about a book with this in the preface.

Thus did the avarice of a renegade save the future author of Don Quixote from being strangled with the bowstring.

Did I mention that Cervantes had been captured and was being held as a slave at the time? 

Well, on to the book proper – which in this Kindle edition has nicely linked footnotes.

Don Quixote is a product of fancy, provoked in part by the protagonist’s reading:

In fine, he gave himself up so wholly to the reading of romances, that at night he would pore on until it was day, and would read on all day until it was night; and thus a world of extraordinary notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination; now his head was full of nothing but enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, complaints, love-passages, torments, and abundance of absurd impossibilities; insomuch that all the fables and fantastical tales which he read seemed to him now as true as the most authentic histories.

Primed by his reading, he imagines that he is a knight and ventures into the world, secure in that notion.

Don Quixote's mind being disturbed with that thought, he abridged even his short supper; and as soon as he had done, he called his host, then shut him and himself up in the stable, and falling at his feet, "I will never rise from this place," cried he, "most valorous knight, till you have graciously vouchsafed to grant me a boon, which I will now beg of you, and which will redound to your honour and the good of mankind." The innkeeper, strangely at a loss to find his guest at his feet, and talking at this rate, endeavoured to make him rise; but all in vain, till he had promised to grant him what he asked. "I expected no less from your great magnificence, noble sir," replied Don Quixote; "and therefore I make bold to tell you, that the boon which I beg, and you generously condescend to grant me, is, that to-morrow you will be pleased to bestow the honour of knighthood upon me. This night I will watch my armour in the chapel of your castle, and then in the morning you shall gratify me, that I may be duly qualified to seek out adventures in every corner of the universe, to relieve the distressed, according to the laws of chivalry and the inclinations of knights-errant like myself." The innkeeper, who, as I said, was a sharp fellow, and had already a shrewd suspicion of his guest's disorder, was fully convinced of it when he heard him talk in this manner; and, to make sport he resolved to humour him, telling him he was much to be commended for his choice of such an employment, which was altogether worthy a knight of the first order,

Today we think we are above finding “sport” in someone suffering from dementia; but Cervantes wrote Don Quixote with such care as to make him one of the most memorable, sympathetic and beloved knights in all of literature.

This blog is a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the US & UK Kindle. If you enjoy my suggestions, please tell your friends who read to give my blog a try. 
Join me on Twitter, FaceBook, or Pinterest.


For a nominal fee of 99 cents/pence, you can subscribe to this blog and have it automatically download on your Kindle. This gives you the convenience of being able to download the books directly to your Kindle, instead of downloading them to your computer and then transferring them to your Kindle. It also helps support my blog.

UK readers may go to this Amazon link to subscribe.  (Slightly more than half my readers are from the UK)

US readers may go to this Amazon link

Thank to all my readers, whether you subscribe on your Kindle or whether you read it online.  I love to get good reviews!  Who wouldn't?  Should you care to leave a review, follow these links for UK readers or US readers.
I'm reading: The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha - by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraTweet this!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.