Don Quixote (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

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

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593080464
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 928
  • Sales rank: 22,505
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Read an Excerpt

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 243 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(109)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 244 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended.

    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.

    17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    A Look Into The Mind of The Mad- A Must Read

    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.

    11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Solid edition of an excellent book!

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    Worthy of its reputation

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Libro magnifico

    Hilarious. Nook version comes with really informative footnotes too.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Total Rip Off

    I bought this book via nook and all I got was the title page and over 1000 blank pages

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Thank you B&N

    This is one of my favorit books...read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    Highly recommended

    It is just as good as it was the first time I read it many years ago!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    An author full of spectacular imagination and potential!!!:) (Angelina Bausworth ,age 11)

    It was very imaginative and yet realistic. People of all ages would enjoy it and read it over and over again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    A must for every one. Young or old.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Love it!!

    I was in the musical. So i wanted to read the story and fell in love with it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Pretty funny :)

    I am on page 83 and its just so funny! He is such an idiot haha claiming to be a night, calling prostitutes beautiful women, an a cardboard helmet! This is a pretty entertainin book so far but i want to know, is the original book much different?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Don Quixote

    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...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Recommend

    Love this classic, Don Quixote! One of my favorites stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Very good

    This is a timesleas classic. I def. Recomend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    Wonderful book, but iPhone/iPod Touch Problems

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    I loved it!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2014

    What a wonderful story about perseverance in the face of the imp

    What a wonderful story about perseverance in the face of the impossible. Makes me consider the futility of material existence and chasing after phantoms of wealth or prestige. Like all classics, this book speaks to our time (and all times).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Entertaining read

    Entertaining read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Slight formatting

    I love this book, but there are some formatting issues here and there (a new paragraph starts in the middle of a sentence, but continues just as if nothing happened.)

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