Don Quixote (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Don Quixote (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Don Quixote (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Don Quixote (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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by Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics&

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Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.


Widely acknowledged as the first modern novel, Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote features two of the most famous characters ever created: Don Quixote, the tall, bewildered, and half-crazy knight, and Sancho Panza, his rotund and incorrigibly loyal squire. The comic and unforgettable dynamic between these two legendary figures has served as the blueprint for countless novels written since Cervantes’s time.

An immediate success when first published in 1604, Don Quixote tells the story of a middle-aged Spanish gentleman who, obsessed with the chivalrous ideals found in romantic books, decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked. Seated upon his lean nag of a horse, and accompanied by the pragmatic Sancho Panza, Don Quixote rides the roads of Spain seeking glory and grand adventure. Along the way the duo meet a dazzling assortment of characters whose diverse beliefs and perspectives reveal how reality and imagination are frequently indistinguishable.

Profound, powerful, and hilarious, Don Quixote continues to capture the imaginations of audiences all over the world.

Features illustrations by Gustave Doré.

Carole Slade specializes in late medieval and early modern European literature.Her publications include St. Teresa of Avila: Author of a Heroic Life and Approaches to Teaching Dante’s "Divine Comedy”. She teaches Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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Barnes & Noble
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Barnes & Noble Classics Series
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5.20(w) x 7.95(h) x 2.00(d)

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From Carole Slade's Introduction to Don Quixote

In the first few pages of Don Quixote, Cervantes had his contemporaries laughing. King Philip III remarked of a student he spotted from his balcony bursting into fits of laughter while reading a book, "That student has either lost his wits or he is reading Don Quixote." A courtier who went to investigate found that the young man was indeed reading Don Quixote. Even if apocryphal, the remark conveys the contagious hilarity with which Don Quixote infected seventeenth-century Spanish readers. What did they find so amusing? Understanding the continuing power of Don Quixote to entertain as well as to instruct begins with answering that question.

Cervantes's contemporaries would have immediately recognized Don Quixote as a low-level member of the nobility struggling to keep up appearances, always a comical endeavor. His rusty lance and rotted shield, relics of the means by which his grandparents and their forebears had acquired land, wealth, and power, now serve only as ornaments on his walls. Far from living with the ease of a gentleman, the status to which he pretends, he is tightening his belt to the point of constriction. His skimpy diet, which consumes three-quarters of his income, his "skeleton of a horse," and "starved greyhound" suggest that he lives right on the edge of his financial means. In taking the title of don, which he does not merit because he does not own enough land, he follows a widespread practice of inflating rank with nothing more substantial than assertions. His fragile ego, which he always protects from admission of failure, suggests that he would have needed a way to avoid facing his financial bind and prospective social ruin. Like many Spaniards of his time, he finds an escape in books of chivalry.

To buy his books of chivalry, Don Quixote has raised money in a way that a seventeenth-century audience would have found ludicrous: selling off good, potentially income-producing farmland. Engrossed in reading the books, he has let his house and holdings go to ruin, and he has given up hunting, a perennial pastime of Spanish aristocrats. On these points he is laughably imprudent; but soon it becomes clear that on the subject of chivalry, he has not merely gorged himself on books, but perhaps has lost his sanity. Over the course of the novel, readers slowly begin to reckon with the sobering idea that they could be laughing not at a clown or a fool, but at a lunatic, and what's more, that Don Quixote quite possibly reflects their own image back to them. In choosing not to anchor the novel in a specific time and place, Cervantes signals that his satire will be directed not only at Don Quixote but also at his contemporary Spaniards. Don Quixote is not the only one, Cervantes suggests, who lives in a laughable, and dangerous, fantasy world. Don Quixote was as topical in its time as the most recent broadcast of Saturday Night Live is today, and it has proved as timeless as Shakespeare's King Lear and Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Seventeenth-century Spaniards are not the only ones who cannot reconcile themselves to change and decline.

In most of part I, especially in the first foray, the humor of Don Quixote remains relatively benign and broad. Consider, for example, Don Quixote's appearance. On the morning he rides out of his village on Rocinante, Don Quixote wears a full suit of rusted armor and a medieval helmet outfitted with a cardboard faceguard. In addition to being more than a century out of date, obviously jerry-rigged, and completely inappropriate for the intense July heat on the high plains of Castile, this outfit confines him to stiff, clumsy gestures reminiscent of the inflexible gait of the Tin Woodsman in The Wizard of Oz. Henri Bergson explains in his treatise on comedy, Laughter (1900), that "the artificial mechanization of the human body," the transformation of a human body into a "thing" by whatever means, costume or gesture, constitutes the stuff of physical comedy.

Like the ungainly movements of the Tin Woodsman, which exhibit his lack of a heart, Don Quixote's armor, particularly his corroded helmet, represents the rigidity of his mind and spirit. He has created a self-image from books of chivalry, the accounts of heroic deeds of medieval knights, and he proceeds to treat the world as if it were the scene of such a romance. Spotting a very ordinary inn just at sunset, Don Quixote conjures up a castle.

As our hero's imagination converted whatsoever he saw, heard or considered, into something of which he had read in books of chivalry; he no sooner perceived the inn, than his fancy represented it, as a stately castle with its four towers and pinnacles of shining silver, accommodated with a draw-bridge, deep moat, and all other conveniences, that are described as belonging to buildings of that kind.

He hears the swineherd's horn call to round up his pigs as a trumpet salute to his arrival; he greets two women immediately recognizable as "ladies of the game," or prostitutes, as "high-born damsels"; and he addresses the innkeeper as "Castellano" (governor of the castle).

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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.
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.
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.
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
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 16 days ago
Omg is that you? (((( Im the flash remember?)))
Anonymous 17 days ago
Anonymous 18 days ago
Lacey? You here?
Anonymous 19 days ago
Walks in for the first time
Anonymous 22 days ago
I love your name! Ees so cool! Its just like a pile of pancakes with marshmallow fudge on top!!!
Anonymous 23 days ago
Walks in room dancing. Heeey everyone!!! Hits the whip.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Wanders in slowly, then looks out the door for his adoptive sister.
Anonymous 25 days ago
Whether it be love, friends, family, school, bullies or whatever, come to 'sailing alone' all results!
Anonymous 25 days ago
Anonymous 25 days ago
Rowyn about? Lookin for some people to chat to.
Anonymous 25 days ago
She travels up to the school and walks inside the hallway. "Hm." She rubs her chin before proceeding forward.