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Don Quixote: A New Translation by Edith Grossman [NOOK Book]

Overview

Edith Grossman's definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece. Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. Unless you read Spanish, you've never read Don Quixote.

"Though there have been many valuable English translations of Don Quixote, I ...
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Don Quixote: A New Translation by Edith Grossman

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Overview

Edith Grossman's definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece. Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. Unless you read Spanish, you've never read Don Quixote.

"Though there have been many valuable English translations of Don Quixote, I would commend Edith Grossman's version for the extraordinarily high quality of her prose. The Knight and Sancho are so eloquently rendered by Grossman that the vitality of their characterization is more clearly conveyed than ever before. There is also an astonishing contextualization of Don Quixote and Sancho in Grossman's translation that I believe has not been achieved before. The spiritual atmosphere of a Spain already in steep decline can be felt throughout, thanks to her heightened quality of diction.

Grossman might be called the Glenn Gould of translators, because she, too, articulates every note. Reading her amazing mode of finding equivalents in English for Cervantes's darkening vision is an entrance into a further understanding of why this great book contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake."

From the Introduction by Harold Bloom

Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote. He died on April 23, 1616.

Retells Cervantes' story of the adventures of an eccentric Spanish country gentleman and his companion who set out as a knight and squire of old to right wrongs and punish evil.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1605, Miguel de Cervantes published El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (The History of the Valorous and Witty Knight Errant Don Quixote of La Mancha), which he pretended to have translated from a Moorish manuscript. Since that time, this richly imaginative work has become regarded as the first novel and, in the eyes of many, remains the finest ever written. William Faulkner read it every year; novelist Paul Auster described it as "one book that I keep going back to and keep thinking about," and a recent Spanish prime minister perused it every day. In 2002, a panel of 100 renowned writers adjudged it the greatest book of all time. Whether you are approaching Don Quixote for the first time or regaining its pleasures, there's no more readable version than Edith Grossman's new translation. Carlos Fuentes hailed it as "a major literary achievement" and Harold Bloom canonized Grossman as "the Glenn Gould" of translators.
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
There would seem to be little reason for yet another translation of Don Quixote. Translated into English some 20 times since the novel appeared in two parts in 1605 and 1615, and at least five times in the last half-century, it is currently available in multiple editions (the most recent is the 1999 Norton Critical Edition translated by Burton Raffel). Yet Grossman bravely attempts a fresh rendition of the adventures of the intrepid knight Don Quixote and his humble squire Sancho Panza. As the respected translator of many of Latin America's finest writers (among them Gabriel Garc a M rquez, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa), she is well suited to the task, and her translation is admirably readable and consistent while managing to retain the vigor, sly humor and colloquial playfulness of the Spanish. Erring on the side of the literal, she isn't afraid to turn out clunky sentences; what she loses in smoothness and elegance she gains in vitality. The text is free of archaisms the contemporary reader will rarely stumble over a word and the footnotes (though rather erratically supplied) are generally helpful. Her version easily bests Raffel's ambitious but eccentric and uneven effort, and though it may not immediately supplant standard translations by J.M. Cohen, Samuel Putnam and Walter Starkie, it should give them a run for their money. Against the odds, Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times. (Nov.) Forecast: A somber, graceless jacket won't do this edition any favors, but the packaging of the paperback will be most important in determining future sales. In any case, this will be an essential backlist title. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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.
Carlos Fuentes
“A major literary achievement.”
From Barnes & Noble
This classic book, published in 1605, is the first and greatest of all modern novels & an adventure tale that brings to life two of literature's most beloved characters, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza. A timeless and rewarding reading experience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061957888
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 992
  • Sales rank: 27,701
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote. He died on April 23, 1616.


Edith Grossman is the distinguished prize-winning translator of major works by leading contemporary Hispanic writers, including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alvaro Mutis, and Mayra Montero. Her new translation of Don Quixote is Edith Grossman's excursion into the classic literature of an earlier time, a natural kind of progression in reverse. Now she employs her many years' experience translating modern classics to bring us an elegantly contemporary translation of Don Quixote.

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Read an Excerpt

Don Quixote

Part One of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Chapter One

Which describes the condition and profession of the famous gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. An occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes squab as a treat on Sundays -- these consumed three-fourths of his income. The rest went for a light woolen tunic and velvet breeches and hose of the same material for feast days, while weekdays were honored with dun-colored coarse cloth. He had a housekeeper past forty, a niece not yet twenty, and a man-of-all-work who did everything from saddling the horse to pruning the trees. Our gentleman was approximately fifty years old; his complexion was weathered, his flesh scrawny, his face gaunt, and he was a very early riser and a great lover of the hunt. Some claim that his family name was Quixada, or Quexada, for there is a certain amount of disagreement among the authors who write of this matter, although reliable conjecture seems to indicate that his name was Quexana. But this does not matter very much to our story; in its telling there is absolutely no deviation from the truth.

And so, let it be said that this aforementioned gentleman spent his times of leisure -- which meant most of the year -- reading books of chivalry with so much devotion and enthusiasm that he forgot almost completelyabout the hunt and even about the administration of his estate; and in his rash curiosity and folly he went so far as to sell acres of arable land in order to buy books of chivalry to read, and he brought as many of them as he could into his house; and he thought none was as fine as those composed by the worthy Feliciano de Silva, because the clarity of his prose and complexity of his language seemed to him more valuable than pearls, in particular when he read the declarations and missives of love, where he would often find written: The reason for the unreason to which my reason turns so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of thy beauty. And also when he read: ... the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.

With these words and phrases the poor gentleman lost his mind, and he spent sleepless nights trying to understand them and extract their meaning, which Aristotle himself, if he came back to life for only that purpose, would not have been able to decipher or understand. Our gentleman was not very happy with the wounds that Don Belianís gave and received, because he imagined that no matter how great the physicians and surgeons who cured him, he would still have his face and entire body covered with scars and marks. But, even so, he praised the author for having concluded his book with the promise of unending adventure, and he often felt the desire to take up his pen and give it the conclusion promised there; and no doubt he would have done so, and even published it, if other greater and more persistent thoughts had not prevented him from doing so. He often had discussions with the village priest -- who was a learned man, a graduate of Sigüenza -- regarding who had been the greater knight, Palmerín of England or Amadís of Gaul; but Master Nicolás, the village barber, said that none was the equal of the Knight of Phoebus, and if any could be compared to him, it was Don Galaor, the brother of Amadís of Gaul, because he was moderate in everything: a knight who was not affected, not as weepy as his brother, and incomparable in questions of courage.

In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind. His fantasy filled with everything he had read in his books, enchantments as well as combats, battles, challenges, wounds, courtings, loves, torments, and other impossible foolishness, and he became so convinced in his imagination of the truth of all the countless grandiloquent and false inventions he read that for him no history in the world was truer. He would say that El Cid Ruy Díaz4 had been a very good knight but could not compare to Amadís, the Knight of the Blazing Sword, who with a single backstroke cut two ferocious and colossal giants in half. He was fonder of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he had killed the enchanted Roland by availing himself of the tactic of Hercules when he crushed Antaeus, the son of Earth, in his arms. He spoke highly of the giant Morgante because, although he belonged to the race of giants, all of them haughty and lacking in courtesy, he alone was amiable and well-behaved. But, more than any of the others, he admired Reinaldos de Montalbán, above all when he saw him emerge from his castle and rob anyone he met, and when he crossed the sea and stole the idol of Mohammed made all of gold, as recounted in his history. He would have traded his housekeeper, and even his niece, for the chance to strike a blow at the traitor Guenelon.

The truth is that when his mind was completely gone, he had the strangest thought any lunatic in the world ever had, which was that it seemed reasonable and necessary to him, both for the sake of his honor and as a service to the nation ...

Don Quixote. Copyright © by Miguel Cervantes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Translator's Note to the Reader xvii
Introduction: Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra xxi
First Part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Prologue 3
To the Book of Don Quixote of La Mancha 11
Part One of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha 19
Chapter I Which describes the condition and profession of the famous gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha 19
Chapter II Which tells of the first sally that the ingenious Don Quixote made from his native land 24
Chapter III Which recounts the amusing manner in which Don Quixote was dubbed a knight 29
Chapter IV Concerning what happened to our knight when he left the inn 35
Chapter V In which the account of our knight's misfortune continues 41
Chapter VI Regarding the beguiling and careful examination carried out by the priest and the barber of the library of our ingenious gentleman 45
Chapter VII Regarding the second sally of our good knight Don Quixote of La Mancha 53
Chapter VIII Regarding the good fortune of the valorous Don Quixote in the fearful and never imagined adventure of the windmills, along with other events worthy of joyful remembrance 58
Part Two of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Chapter IX In which the stupendous battle between the gallant Basque and the valiant Manchegan is concluded and comes to an end 65
Chapter X Concerning what further befell Don Quixote with the Basque and the danger in which he found himself with a band of Galicians from Yanguas 70
Chapter XI Regarding what befell Don Quixote with some goatherds 75
Chapter XII Regarding what a goatherd recounted to those who were with Don Quixote 81
Chapter XIII In which the tale of the shepherdess Marcela is concluded, and other events are related 86
Chapter XIV In which are found the desperate verses of the deceased shepherd, along with other unexpected occurrences 94
Part Three of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Chapter XV In which is recounted the unfortunate adventure that Don Quixote happened upon when he happened upon some heartless Yanguesans 102
Chapter XVI Regarding what befell the ingenious gentleman in the inn that he imagined to be a castle 109
Chapter XVII Which continues the account of the innumerable difficulties that the brave Don Quixote and his good squire, Sancho Panza, experienced in the inn that, to his misfortune, he thought was a castle 116
Chapter XVIII Which relates the words that passed between Sancho Panza and his master, Don Quixote, and other adventures that deserve to be recounted 124
Chapter XIX Regarding the discerning words that Sancho exchanged with his master, and the adventure he had with a dead body, as well as other famous events 134
Chapter XX Regarding the most incomparable and singular adventure ever concluded with less danger by a famous knight, and which was concluded by the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha 141
Chapter XXI Which relates the high adventure and rich prize of the helmet of Mambrino, as well as other things that befell our invincible knight 152
Chapter XXII Regarding the liberty that Don Quixote gave to many unfortunate men who, against their wills, were being taken where they did not wish to go 163
Chapter XXIII Regarding what befell the famous Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena, which was one of the strangest adventures recounted in this true history 173
Chapter XXIV In which the adventure of the Sierra Morena continues 182
Chapter XXV Which tells of the strange events that befell the valiant knight of La Mancha in the Sierra Morena, and of his imitation of the penance of Beltenebros 190
Chapter XXVI In which the elegant deeds performed by an enamored Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena continue 205
Chapter XXVII Concerning how the priest and the barber carried out their plan, along with other matters worthy of being recounted in this great history 212
Part Four of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Chapter XXVIII Which recounts the novel and agreeable adventure that befell the priest and the barber in the Sierra Morena 227
Chapter XXIX Which recounts the amusing artifice and arrangement that was devised for freeing our enamored knight from the harsh penance he had imposed on himself 239
Chapter XXX Which recounts the good judgment of the beautiful Dorotea, along with other highly diverting and amusing matters 249
Chapter XXXI Regarding the delectable words that passed between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, his squire, as well as other events 258
Chapter XXXII Which recounts what occurred in the inn to the companions of Don Quixote 266
Chapter XXXIII Which recounts the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious 272
Chapter XXXIV In which the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious continues 289
Chapter XXXV In which the novel of The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious is concluded 305
Chapter XXXVI Which recounts the fierce and uncommon battle that Don Quixote had with some skins of red wine, along with other unusual events that occurred in the inn 313
Chapter XXXVII In which the history of the famous Princess Micomicona continues, along with other diverting adventures 321
Chapter XXXVIII Which tells of the curious discourse on arms and letters given by Don Quixote 330
Chapter XXXIX In which the captive recounts his life and adventures 334
Chapter XL In which the history of the captive continues 341
Chapter XLI In which the captive continues his tale 352
Chapter XLII Which recounts further events at the inn as well as many other things worth knowing 368
Chapter XLIII Which recounts the pleasing tale of the muledriver's boy, along with other strange events that occurred at the inn 374
Chapter XLIV In which the remarkable events at the inn continue 383
Chapter XLV In which questions regarding the helmet of Mambrino and the packsaddle are finally resolved, as well as other entirely true adventures 391
Chapter XLVI Regarding the notable adventure of the officers of the Holy Brotherhood, and the great ferocity of our good knight Don Quixote 398
Chapter XLVII Regarding the strange manner in which Don Quixote of La Mancha was enchanted, and other notable events 405
Chapter XLVIII In which the canon continues to discuss books of chivalry, as well as other matters worthy of his ingenuity 414
Chapter XLIX Which recounts the clever conversation that Sancho Panza had with his master, Don Quixote 421
Chapter L Regarding the astute arguments that Don Quixote had with the canon, as well as other matters 428
Chapter LI Which recounts what the goatherd told to all those who were taking Don Quixote home 433
Chapter LII Regarding the quarrel that Don Quixote had with the goatherd, as well as the strange adventure of the penitents, which he brought to a successful conclusion by the sweat of his brow 438
Second Part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Dedication 451
Prologue to the Reader 455
Chapter I Regarding what transpired when the priest and the barber discussed his illness with Don Quixote 459
Chapter II Which deals with the notable dispute that Sancho Panza had with Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper, as well as other amusing topics 469
Chapter III Regarding the comical discussion held by Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and Bachelor Sanson Carrasco 473
Chapter IV In which Sancho Panza satisfies Bachelor Sanson Carrasco with regard to his doubts and questions, with other events worthy of being known and recounted 480
Chapter V Concerning the clever and amusing talk that passed between Sancho Panza and his wife, Teresa Panza, and other events worthy of happy memory 485
Chapter VI Regarding what transpired between Don Quixote and his niece and housekeeper, which is one of the most important chapters in the entire history 491
Chapter VII Regarding the conversation that Don Quixote had with his squire, as well as other exceptionally famous events 496
Chapter VIII Which recounts what befell Don Quixote as he was going to see his lady Dulcinea of Toboso 502
Chapter IX Which recounts what will soon be seen 509
Chapter X Which recounts Sancho's ingenuity in enchanting the lady Dulcinea, and other events as ridiculous as they are true 513
Chapter XI Regarding the strange adventure that befell the valiant Don Quixote with the cart or wagon of The Assembly of Death 521
Chapter XII Regarding the strange adventure that befell the valiant Don Quixote and the courageous Knight of the Mirrors 526
Chapter XIII In which the adventure of the Knight of the Wood continues, along with the perceptive, unprecedented, and amiable conversation between the two squires 533
Chapter XIV In which the adventure of the Knight of the Wood continues 538
Chapter XV Which recounts and relates the identity of the Knight of the Mirrors and his squire 548
Chapter XVI Regarding what befell Don Quixote with a prudent knight of La Mancha 550
Chapter XVII In which the heights and extremes to which the remarkable courage of Don Quixote could and did go is revealed, along with the happily concluded adventure of the lions 558
Chapter XVIII Regarding what befell Don Quixote in the castle or house of the Knight of the Green Coat, along with other bizarre matters 567
Chapter XIX Which recounts the adventure of the enamored shepherd, and other truly pleasing matters 576
Chapter XX Which recounts the wedding of rich Camacho, as well as what befell poor Basilio 582
Chapter XXI Which continues the account of the wedding of Camacho, along with other agreeable events 591
Chapter XXII Which recounts the great adventure of the Cave of Montesinos that lies in the heart of La Mancha, which was successfully concluded by the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha 597
Chapter XXIII Regarding the remarkable things that the great Don Quixote said he saw in the depths of the Cave of Montesinos, so impossible and extraordinary that this adventure has been considered apocryphal 604
Chapter XXIV In which a thousand trifles are recounted, as irrelevant as they are necessary to a true understanding of this great history 614
Chapter XXV In which note is made of the braying adventure and the diverting adventure of the puppet master, along with the memorable divinations of the soothsaying monkey 620
Chapter XXVI In which the diverting adventure of the puppet master continues, along with other things that are really very worthwhile 628
Chapter XXVII In which the identities of Master Pedro and his monkey are revealed, as well as the unhappy outcome of the braying adventure, which Don Quixote did not conclude as he had wished and intended 636
Chapter XXVIII Regarding matters that Benengeli says will be known to the reader if he reads with attention 642
Chapter XXIX Regarding the famous adventure of the enchanted boat 647
Chapter XXX Regarding what befell Don Quixote with a beautiful huntress 653
Chapter XXXI Which deals with many great things 657
Chapter XXXII Regarding the response that Don Quixote gave to his rebuker, along with other events both grave and comical 665
Chapter XXXIII Regarding the delightful conversation that the duchess and her ladies had with Sancho Panza, one that is worthy of being read and remembered 677
Chapter XXXIV Which recounts the information that was received regarding how the peerless Dulcinea of Toboso was to be disenchanted, which is one of the most famous adventures in this book 683
Chapter XXXV In which the information that Don Quixote received regarding the disenchantment of Dulcinea continues, along with other remarkable events 690
Chapter XXXVI Which recounts the strange and unimaginable adventure of the Dolorous Duenna, also known as the Countess Trifaldi, as well as a letter that Sancho Panza wrote to his wife, Teresa Panza 697
Chapter XXXVII In which the famous adventure of the Dolorous Duenna continues 702
Chapter XXXVIII Which recounts the tale of misfortune told by the Dolorous Duenna 704
Chapter XXXIX In which the Countess Trifaldi continues her stupendous and memorable history 710
Chapter XL Regarding matters that concern and pertain to this adventure and this memorable history 713
Chapter XLI Regarding the arrival of Clavileno, and the conclusion of this lengthy adventure 718
Chapter XLII Regarding the advice Don Quixote gave to Sancho Panza before he went to govern the insula, along with other matters of consequence 727
Chapter XLIII Regarding the second set of precepts that Don Quixote gave to Sancho Panza 732
Chapter XLIV How Sancho Panza was taken to his governorship, and the strange adventure that befell Don Quixote in the castle 737
Chapter XLV Regarding how the great Sancho Panza took possession of his insula, and the manner in which he began to govern 746
Chapter XLVI Regarding the dreadful belline and feline fright received by Don Quixote in the course of his wooing by the enamored Altisidora 753
Chapter XLVII In which the account of how Sancho Panza behaved in his governorship continues 757
Chapter XLVIII Regarding what transpired between Don Quixote and Dona Rodriguez, duenna to the duchess, as well as other events worthy of being recorded and remembered forever 765
Chapter XLIX Regarding what befell Sancho Panza as he patrolled his insula 772
Chapter L Which declares the identities of the enchanters and tormentors who beat the duenna and pinched and scratched Don Quixote, and recounts what befell the page who carried the letter to Teresa Sancha, the wife of Sancho Panza 782
Chapter LI Regarding the progress of Sancho Panza's governorship, and other matters of comparable interest 790
Chapter LII Which recounts the adventure of the second Dolorous, or Anguished, Duenna, also called Dona Rodriguez 798
Chapter LIII Regarding the troubled end and conclusion of the governorship of Sancho Panza 804
Chapter LIV Which deals with matters related to this history and to no other 809
Chapter LV Regarding certain things that befell Sancho on the road, and others that are really quite remarkable 817
Chapter LVI Regarding the extraordinary and unprecedented battle that Don Quixote of La Mancha had with the footman Tosilos in defense of the daughter of the duenna Dona Rodriguez 823
Chapter LVII Which recounts how Don Quixote took his leave of the duke, and what befell him with the clever and bold Altisidora, the duchess's maiden 828
Chapter LVIII Which recounts how so many adventures rained down on Don Quixote that there was hardly room for all of them 832
Chapter LIX Which recounts an extraordinary incident that befell Don Quixote and can be considered an adventure 842
Chapter LX Concerning what befell Don Quixote on his way to Barcelona 849
Chapter LXI Regarding what befell Don Quixote when he entered Barcelona, along with other matters that have more truth in them than wit 861
Chapter LXII Which relates the adventure of the enchanted head, as well as other foolishness that must be recounted 864
Chapter LXIII Regarding the evil that befell Sancho Panza on his visit to the galleys, and the remarkable adventure of the beautiful Morisca 875
Chapter LXIV Which deals with the adventure that caused Don Quixote more sorrow than any others that had befallen him so far 884
Chapter LXV Which reveals the identity of the Knight of the White Moon, and recounts the release of Don Gregorio, as well as other matters 888
Chapter LXVI Which recounts what will be seen by whoever reads it, or heard by whoever listens to it being read 893
Chapter LXVII Regarding the decision Don Quixote made to become a shepherd and lead a pastoral life until the year of his promise had passed, along with other incidents that are truly pleasurable and entertaining 898
Chapter LXVIII Regarding the porcine adventure that befell Don Quixote 902
Chapter LXIX Concerning the strangest and most remarkable event to befall Don Quixote in the entire course of this great history 907
Chapter LXX Which follows chapter LXIX, and deals with matters necessary to the clarity of this history 912
Chapter LXXI What befell Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho, as they were traveling to their village 919
Chapter LXXII Concerning how Don Quixote and Sancho arrived in their village 924
Chapter LXXIII Regarding the omens Don Quixote encountered as he entered his village, along with other events that adorn and lend credit to this great history 929
Chapter LXXIV Which deals with how Don Quixote fell ill, and the will he made, and his death 934
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First Chapter

Don Quixote

Part One of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Chapter One

Which describes the condition and profession of the famous gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. An occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes squab as a treat on Sundays -- these consumed three-fourths of his income. The rest went for a light woolen tunic and velvet breeches and hose of the same material for feast days, while weekdays were honored with dun-colored coarse cloth. He had a housekeeper past forty, a niece not yet twenty, and a man-of-all-work who did everything from saddling the horse to pruning the trees. Our gentleman was approximately fifty years old; his complexion was weathered, his flesh scrawny, his face gaunt, and he was a very early riser and a great lover of the hunt. Some claim that his family name was Quixada, or Quexada, for there is a certain amount of disagreement among the authors who write of this matter, although reliable conjecture seems to indicate that his name was Quexana. But this does not matter very much to our story; in its telling there is absolutely no deviation from the truth.

And so, let it be said that this aforementioned gentleman spent his times of leisure -- which meant most of the year -- reading books of chivalry with so much devotion and enthusiasm that he forgot almost completely about the hunt and even about the administration of his estate; and in his rash curiosity and folly he went so far as to sell acres of arable land in order to buy books of chivalry to read, and he brought as many of them as he could into his house; and he thought none was as fine as those composed by the worthy Feliciano de Silva, because the clarity of his prose and complexity of his language seemed to him more valuable than pearls, in particular when he read the declarations and missives of love, where he would often find written: The reason for the unreason to which my reason turns so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of thy beauty. And also when he read: ... the heavens on high divinely heighten thy divinity with the stars and make thee deserving of the deserts thy greatness deserves.

With these words and phrases the poor gentleman lost his mind, and he spent sleepless nights trying to understand them and extract their meaning, which Aristotle himself, if he came back to life for only that purpose, would not have been able to decipher or understand. Our gentleman was not very happy with the wounds that Don Belianís gave and received, because he imagined that no matter how great the physicians and surgeons who cured him, he would still have his face and entire body covered with scars and marks. But, even so, he praised the author for having concluded his book with the promise of unending adventure, and he often felt the desire to take up his pen and give it the conclusion promised there; and no doubt he would have done so, and even published it, if other greater and more persistent thoughts had not prevented him from doing so. He often had discussions with the village priest -- who was a learned man, a graduate of Sigüenza -- regarding who had been the greater knight, Palmerín of England or Amadís of Gaul; but Master Nicolás, the village barber, said that none was the equal of the Knight of Phoebus, and if any could be compared to him, it was Don Galaor, the brother of Amadís of Gaul, because he was moderate in everything: a knight who was not affected, not as weepy as his brother, and incomparable in questions of courage.

In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind. His fantasy filled with everything he had read in his books, enchantments as well as combats, battles, challenges, wounds, courtings, loves, torments, and other impossible foolishness, and he became so convinced in his imagination of the truth of all the countless grandiloquent and false inventions he read that for him no history in the world was truer. He would say that El Cid Ruy Díaz4 had been a very good knight but could not compare to Amadís, the Knight of the Blazing Sword, who with a single backstroke cut two ferocious and colossal giants in half. He was fonder of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he had killed the enchanted Roland by availing himself of the tactic of Hercules when he crushed Antaeus, the son of Earth, in his arms. He spoke highly of the giant Morgante because, although he belonged to the race of giants, all of them haughty and lacking in courtesy, he alone was amiable and well-behaved. But, more than any of the others, he admired Reinaldos de Montalbán, above all when he saw him emerge from his castle and rob anyone he met, and when he crossed the sea and stole the idol of Mohammed made all of gold, as recounted in his history. He would have traded his housekeeper, and even his niece, for the chance to strike a blow at the traitor Guenelon.

The truth is that when his mind was completely gone, he had the strangest thought any lunatic in the world ever had, which was that it seemed reasonable and necessary to him, both for the sake of his honor and as a service to the nation ...

Don Quixote. Copyright © by Miguel Cervantes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Introduction

"Though there have been many valuable English translations of Don Quixote, I would commend Edith Grossman's version for the extraordinarily high quality of her prose. The Knight and Sancho are so eloquently rendered by Grossman that the vitality of their characterization is more clearly conveyed than ever before. There is also an astonishing contextualization of Don Quixote and Sancho in Grossman's translation that I believe has not been achieved before. The spiritual atmosphere of a Spain already in steep decline can be felt throughout, thanks to her heightened quality of diction.

Grossman might be called the Glenn Gould of translators, because she, too, articulates every note. Reading her amazing mode of finding equivalents in English for Cervantes's darkening vision is an entrance into a further understanding of why this great book contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake

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Reading Group Guide

"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: "Cervantes 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 Nabokov 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."
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2009

    A Classic Tale

    I can see why Cervantes's Don Quixote has left its mark through out the ages. It is the purely the definition of a classic."For what I want of Dulcinea del Toboso she is as good as the greatest princess in the land.For not all those poets who praise ladies under names which they choose so freely, really have such mistresses. . . .I am quite satisfied. . . to imagine and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is so lovely and virtuous(Chapter xxv)."This is probably one of my most favorite quotes from the novel Don Quixote which I truley enjoyed. The way he shapes his lines and the almost perfect word choice makes it new to me every time I read it. This quote also brings up a good point about the novel. His love for Dulcinea. We never really even meet her in the book but to him he is the reason for most of his acts. He tries to show chivalry but usually fails terribly. In these parts of the novel I found it almost funny. Sometimes I think he was trying to put a little satire into it which made it an interesting read. On the other hand it showed his seriousness and morals because he wanted to prove his love for her to everyone he met.
    As well, I like the fact that it was generally easy to read. I had my doubts about reading it in the first place because of its age and how it had been translated into Spanish beforehand. When I began reading it I realized it was very enjoyable and flowed nicely. I would definitely reccomend it to anyone who likes a good classic read with great word choice. A book that from the looks of it wouldnt really make you think that much until you look inside the things he is trying to imply. Adults and teenagers alike could really enjoy this book for the same aspects of different ones but either way it was a great book. I loved it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    Grossman gives Don Quixote a face lift

    I have read Don Quixote before through l0 chapters and left depressed. Grossman' version is not only refreshing, it gives you a real feel for the spanish and the art of Cervantes. I recommend it highly for those who love Man of LaManche like I do.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    Easy Read, Great Book

    This truely is the best novel ever written. I read some reviews complaining that Edith Grossman's translation was too wordy for a less than mature reader. Well, if you can read Dickens then this book is not too wordy for you. Get it, read it, love it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    Amazing...

    Edith Grossman's excellent translation is superb...brings this story to life in ways unequaled before! Bravo! Bravo!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    The amazingness of spain

    I read the first two sentences and had to set the book down because i knew that if i read another word then i would keep reading. I am currentky resding anither book and i havr to finish that one before i read this. Spain is so freaking amazing. I luv u bug brother!!!! ~Deep (Malta)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2005

    I need some help

    Grossman rules, BUT, after reaching page 250, I decided that I could not plow through another 650+ pages of misadventures in the countryside. I feel guilty. Scholars declare this is the greatest novel ever, but I stop after rounding first base. I need someone to help make this book more meaningful for me. This is not an isolated problem. I just 'plowed' through Moby Dick for the first time in 40 years and said at the end, 'So what?' So you can see that I am in need. Next on my list of classics is Martin Chuzzlewit, another 900-pager. But if it is anything like Pickwick Papers (and not Bleak House), it could be fun.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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