Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda's (1547-1616) life was occupied with a struggle to earn a livelihood from literature and humble government employment. As well as Don Quixote, he wrote a number of plays and a collection of highly accomplished short stories, Exemplary Tales (1613). Translated with an introduction by C. A. Jones
Exemplary Storiesby Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, C. A. Jones (Translator)
Composed throughout Cervantes's writing life and mentioned in Don Quixote, his Exemplary Stories are among the first and finest Spanish short stories: ranging from traditional tales of love to incisive moral fables. In The Little Gipsy Girl, an Italianate romance, the nomadic life is idealised through a love affair between the beautiful Preciosa and a nobleman who agrees to live as a gipsy to win her heart. Elsewhere, the intricacies of love are further explored in tales such as The Jealous Extremaduran, while the picaresque Rinconette and Cortadillo, depicting the friendship between a card-sharper and a pickpocket, presents a very different insight into the lower classes of seventeenth-century Spain. Widely regarded as one of Cervantes's greatest stories, The Dogs' Colloquy brilliantly captures Spanish conversation and society in its depiction of a discussion between two dogs mysteriously granted the gift of speech.
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