Don Quixote

Don Quixote

4.0 298
by Miguel de Cervantes
     
 

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"        Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being," said novelist Milan Kundera. "And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?"
——Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. This Modern Library edition presents the acclaimed Samuel Putnam translation of the epic tale, complete with notes, variant readings, and an Introduction by the translator.
——The debt owed to Cervantes by literature is immense. From Milan Kundera: "Cervan-
tes is the founder of the Modern Era. . . . The novelist need answer to no one but
Cervantes." Lionel Trilling observed: "It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote." Vladmir Nabo-kov wrote: "Don Quixote is greater today than he was in Cervantes's womb. [He] looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through [his] sheer vitality. . . . He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon." And V. S. Pritchett observed: "Don Quixote begins as a province, turns into Spain, and ends as a universe. . . . The true spell of Cervantes is that he is a natural magician in pure story-telling."

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-
dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.…  See more details below

Overview

                                                            

"        Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being," said novelist Milan Kundera. "And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?"
——Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. This Modern Library edition presents the acclaimed Samuel Putnam translation of the epic tale, complete with notes, variant readings, and an Introduction by the translator.
——The debt owed to Cervantes by literature is immense. From Milan Kundera: "Cervan-
tes is the founder of the Modern Era. . . . The novelist need answer to no one but
Cervantes." Lionel Trilling observed: "It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote." Vladmir Nabo-kov wrote: "Don Quixote is greater today than he was in Cervantes's womb. [He] looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through [his] sheer vitality. . . . He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon." And V. S. Pritchett observed: "Don Quixote begins as a province, turns into Spain, and ends as a universe. . . . The true spell of Cervantes is that he is a natural magician in pure story-telling."

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-
dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cervantes's masterpiece is lucky to have found so perfect a translator as the flamboyant Smollett. The rambunctious personalities of author and translator are ideally matched."
Thomas Mann
What a monument is this book! How its creative genius, critical, free, and human, soars above its age!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A more profound and powerful work than this is not to be met with...The final and greatest utterance of the human mind.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The highest creation of genius has been achieved by Shakespeare and Cervantes, almost alone.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As in Williams's Greek Myths for Young Children and Joseph and His Magnificent Coat of Many Colors , engagingly busy, ornately bordered, comic strip-style artwork gives new and buoyant life to a familiar story. The characteristic understatement of her text, juxtaposed with the humorous mutterings of a quirky cast (delivered in cartoon balloons), breezily chronicles Quixote's hapless quest to ``right all wrongs and protect all damsels.'' (Though Williams's rendition seems appropriate for the intended audience, literary purists may object on principle to the abridgement of such a venerable classic.) Here the would-be knight is rendered as quite the buffoon, as he prepares to tilt at windmills he mistakes for ``giants'' and battle two ``armies'' that are actually flocks of sheep. Time after time, Quixote and sidekick Sancho Panza are badly battered (the former is shown losing his ear and some teeth), but always brush themselves off and continue ``on their way in search of new adventure worthy of so famous a knight and his faithful squire.'' A fun way to become acquainted with this masterpiece. Ages 7-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Tolle
A shortened version of the original, this retold story is much easier for children to read. It still captures the great spirit of Don Quixote's adventures and his dream of being a knight. In each chapter, readers discover how our hero sets out to save a princess or continues on his quest to defeat evil. His fearsome conviction will amaze and even bring a chuckle to the reader. The black-and-white illustrations are full of action and really complement this spirited story.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Brits Martin Jenkins and Chris Riddell have obviously had a marvelous time with this "retelling" of Cervantes' classic, early seventeenth century picaresque novel. Still, it cannot have been easy condensing the original nine hundred-odd pages into the fast paced three-hundred-plus here offered. Riddell's exquisite page-by-page illustrations (very fine pen-and-ink sketches that literally fly off the pages, interspersed with occasional full-page and double-spread color paintings) must have been tough calls, too, given the popular impressions of the story's major characters and events inscribed in the contemporary brain by recent years of touring productions of the musical Man of la Mancha. The end result gives one the feeling of a graphic novel wrapped around an especially lucid batch of copy—all beautifully designed and produced. That said, the volume is also a pretty nifty way to introduce a fresh generation or two of young readers to knight errants and squires and the chivalric code Cervantes so brilliantly satirized. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
Library Journal
In 2002, 100 major writers from 54 countries rated Don Quixote the world's best work of fiction. Any new translation of Cervantes's immortal classic is thus a major publishing event, and when that translator is Grossman-the prize-winning interpreter of such contemporary Latin American giants as Garc a Marquez and Vargas Llosa-it is a major event indeed. Grossman's goal was to make the 400-year-old book sound as if it were penned by one of her modern specialties. Using Martin de Riquer's scholarly edition, itself based on the princeps, she translates the text exactly, including the numerous gaps, such as the unexplained theft of Sancho's donkey. Grossman retains the original Latin, of course, but also such Spanish words as nsula that convey a particular meaning. She modifies the famous opening line of the novel by inserting the word somewhere before "in La Mancha," thereby reinforcing the vagueness of the location. Unlike earlier versions, this Don Quixote doesn't use the antiquated speech of the novels of chivalry that Cervantes is spoofing, thus providing a more readable text. Footnotes, many derived from de Riquer, are kept to a minimum and are included only when an explanation is indispensable; Grossman wants the novel to be read first and revered through the clogging of scholarly apparatus second. The end result of Grossman's two-year labor of love is a Don Quixote that is contemporary without being irreverent, a status Raffel's 1995 effort approached. The older, more faithful standard translations, like those of Putnam (1949), Starkie (1964), and Jarvis (revised 1992) will remain in the canon and in print, as much for their reliability as their quaintness. Where Grossman succeeds is in being faithful to Cervantes's comic spirit and natural style; it is indeed a sign of freshness and spontaneity that this reviewer laughed as if for the first time at passages that he's read many times before. As the literary world prepares for the quadricentennial in 2005 of the publication of Don Quixote's first part and in light of other competing versions, now and possibly to come by then, this is the one to beat. Recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/03.]-Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-- Cervantes's Don Quixote, the moniker and persona adopted by the addled Senor Quijada , who has read a few too many chivalric romances, hardly needs introduction to adults. However, most young people will have hardly heard him mentioned, much less had any firsthand contact with this larger-than-life literary creation. Bogin has taken some of the more involving, outrageous, and well-known adventures of the knight errant and his squire, Sancho Panza, and put them together into a relatively brief narrative that nonetheless is strikingly true to the tone and style of the Spanish original. Her prose, lively and at times employing modern vernacular to good effect, does full justice to Cervantes's mad Knight of the Sad Countenance. It begs reading aloud, and may well start discussion and contemplation. Boix's illustrations are delicate, detailed, gold-washed watercolors that create a kind of fairy-tale ambience. They will grab readers' attention and imaginations and direct anyone picking the book up to delve into it and to find out what's going on. Taken as a whole, this is a lovely job of bookmaking, providing an examplary introduction to a classic work. --Ann Welton, Thomas Academy, Kent, WA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679602866
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Series:
Modern Library Series
Edition description:
1998 Edition
Pages:
1280
Sales rank:
233,657
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 2.07(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Life of Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was at once the glory and reproach of Spain; for, if his admirable genius and heroic spirit conduced to the honour of his country, the distress and obscurity which attended his old age, as effectually redounded to her disgrace. Had he lived amidst Gothic darkness and barbarity, where no records were used, and letters altogether unknown, we might have expected to derive from tradition, a number of particulars relating to the family and fortune of a man so remarkably admired even in his own time. But, one would imagine pains had been taken to throw a veil of oblivion over the personal concerns of this excellent author. No inquiry hath, as yet, been able to ascertain the place of his nativity;1 and, although in his works he has declared himself a gentleman by birth, no house has hitherto laid claim to such an illustrious descendant.

One author* says he was born at Esquivias; but, offers no argument in support of his assertion: and probably the conjecture was founded upon the encomiums which Cervantes himself bestows on that place, to which he gives the epithet of Renowned, in his preface to Persiles and Sigismunda.2 Others affirm he first drew breath in Lucena, grounding their opinion upon a vague tradition which there prevails: and a third* set take it for granted that he was a native of Seville, because there are families in that city known by the names of Cervantes and Saavedra; and our author mentions his having, in his early youth, seen plays acted by Lope Rueda, who was a Sevilian. These, indeed, are presumptions that deserve some regard, tho', far from implying certain information, they scarce even amount to probable conjecture: nay, these very circumstances seem to disprove the supposition; for, had he been actually descended from those families, they would, in all likelihood, have preserved some memorials of his birth, which Don Nicholas Antonio would have recorded, in speaking of his fellow-citizen. All these pretensions are now generally set aside in favour of Madrid, which claims the honour of having produced Cervantes, and builds her title on an expression? in his Voyage to Parnassus, which, in my opinion, is altogether equivocal and inconclusive.

In the midst of such undecided contention, if I may be allowed to hazard a conjecture, I would suppose that there was something mysterious in his extraction, which he had no inclination to explain, and that his family had domestic reasons for maintaining the like reserve. Without admitting some such motive, we can hardly account for his silence on a subject that would have afforded him an opportunity to indulge that self-respect which he so honestly displays in the course of his writings. Unless we conclude that he was instigated to renounce all connexion with his kindred and allies, by some contempt'ous flight, mortifying repulse, or real injury he had sustained; a supposition which, I own, is not at all improbable, considering the jealous sensibility of the Spaniards in general, and the warmth of resentment peculiar to our author, which glows through his productions, unrestrained by all the fears of poverty, and all the maxims of old age and experience.

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What People are saying about this

J. M. Cohen
One of the best adventure stories in the world.
Thomas Mann
What a unique monument is this book!... How its creative genius, critical, free, and human, soars above its age!
Carlos Fuentes
Don Quixote is the first modern novel, perhaps the most eternal novel ever written and certainly the fountainhead of European and American fiction: here we have Gogol and Dostoevsky, Dickens and Nabokov, Borges and Bellow, Sterne and Diderot in their genetic nakedness, once more taking to the road with the gentleman and the squire, believing the world is what we read and discovering that the world reads us.
Milan Kundera
The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world of a question.
—(Milan Kundera

Meet the Author

Carlos Fuentes is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Years with Laura Dìaz, The Old Gringo, and The Death of Artemio Cruz.

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Don Quixote [ By: Miguel de Cervantes ] 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 298 reviews.
the_curious_reader More than 1 year ago
Don Quixote belongs in the top 10 of all book lists. My only quibble with the Barnes & Noble Classics Nook version is that, while most beautifully done, it uses over 30 Mb of memory, so I will search for another version that uses less to keep on my Nook since I have a large and rapidlly growing e-book library.
Literary_Escape_Artist More than 1 year ago
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, (this edition published in 2004) is a literary masterpiece. This is the story of a man driven mad by stories of knights in shining armor and their conquests and codes of ethics. The man in the story is Don Quixote de La Mancha. He is an older nobleman with a small manor, a vast collection of books and more time on his hands then is healthy. He spends all of his time locked in his library reading stories of knights, damsels in distress, and heroic battles. As he sits and reads his mind begins to grow feeble and soon he creates a delusion in which he places himself as a central figure and takes upon himself the visage of a valiant knight whose sole duty is to secure the world from evil in all of its forms. As story progresses his madness begins to manifest and he falls deeper into his insanity exponentially every time you turn a page. Early on, he makes for himself, a suit of makeshift armor and helm so that he can do battle with the evils that lay in wait for him to slay and earn himself the title of Knight. I greatly enjoyed this book. It brought me many, many, laughs and a fair amount of stupid looking grins from my peers when they saw me reading a book this size and laughing hysterically. The downside to this story is it is written in a much older style of language and can be confusing at times. Many passages require you to read and reread them to get the meaning, and having the patients to read foot notes is a must. But, if you're like me and enjoy that kind of thing this book will suck you in and spit you out a much happier person. You will learn of madness and how it can affect the mind of man and the many forms it can take. It is a lesson on how surrounding yourself with a life that you can't stand and a reality that drives you mad, will make it much easier for your mind to slip into a world of its own making to bring some much needed excitement and joy into your life. In the end I would recommend this book, but with a catch. This is certainly not a book for a casual reader or someone who doesn't share my love of reading, mainly due to its size. It is a very large book and can look imposing to some taking away from the experience. Also once you get into and the language used is not remotely familiar it can kill the mood if you are not reading it because you enjoy that. So all and all, if you love reading and enjoy being made to think about what you read then this is a must have for your shelf. If that doesn't describe you then stay away.
TruantZ More than 1 year ago
Fantastic adventure story - epic in scope, rich in detail and description, alternately hilarious, melancholic, and exciting. Both the translation and the design/layout of this ebook are excellent. Pick this up *for free!* and experience this absolutely mesmerizing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious. Nook version comes with really informative footnotes too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Worthy of its reputation A pleasurable book to read,this translation of DON QUIXOTE made the story easy to understand, and for every reason it stands up to its reputaion as the best-loved novel. Confronting the conventions of Spanish society at his time some four hundred years ago, the author wittily and funnily exposes the folies of the time through the adventures , stories and misfortunes of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.In a broader sense it is the forerunner off other situations where individuals, communities or systems live a complete lie.This is truely an amazing book, one that you won't want to put down once you have started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book via nook and all I got was the title page and over 1000 blank pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very imaginative and yet realistic. People of all ages would enjoy it and read it over and over again!
CorkyGW More than 1 year ago
Royalty of the time would observe laughter and say: Either they have lost their minds or have just read Don Quixote. I intend re-reading at least once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. It takes some getting used to though, the diction isnt exactly modern. At over a thousand pages, it takes some dedication to finish...
katt4077 More than 1 year ago
Love this classic, Don Quixote! One of my favorites stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorit books...read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a timesleas classic. I def. Recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent translation, but the footnotes don't work reliably on the iPhone or iPod Touch. I'm using my print version for the footnotes. Customer service was not helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cervantes is difficult to read without some helpful notations. Both from a translation difference and a time period difference. Fortunately, this B&N version has the notations you need to both read and enjoy the story to its fullest. Before now, I tried reading Don Quixote and was never was able to finish it. Yes, it is a long read. But with the notations in this version, it is a good read.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Trey, are you the one who told me to go to 'see' with you? Im there and im waiting.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Omg is that you? (((( Im the flash remember?)))
Anonymous 7 months ago
Hey
Anonymous 7 months ago
Lacey? You here?
Anonymous 8 months ago
Walks in for the first time
Anonymous 8 months ago
I love your name! Ees so cool! Its just like a pile of pancakes with marshmallow fudge on top!!!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Walks in room dancing. Heeey everyone!!! Hits the whip.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Wanders in slowly, then looks out the door for his adoptive sister.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Whether it be love, friends, family, school, bullies or whatever, come to 'sailing alone' all results!
Anonymous 8 months ago
*sighs*
Anonymous 8 months ago
She travels up to the school and walks inside the hallway. "Hm." She rubs her chin before proceeding forward.