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Forms of Modernity: Don Quixoteand Modern Theories of the Novel
     

Forms of Modernity: Don Quixoteand Modern Theories of the Novel

by Rachel Schmidt
 

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It's a critical cliché that Cervantes' Don Quixote is the first modern novel, but this distinction raises two fundamental questions. First, how does one define a novel? And second, what is the relationship between this genre and understandings of modernity? In Forms of Modernity, Rachel Schmidt examines how seminal theorists and philosophers have

Overview

It's a critical cliché that Cervantes' Don Quixote is the first modern novel, but this distinction raises two fundamental questions. First, how does one define a novel? And second, what is the relationship between this genre and understandings of modernity? In Forms of Modernity, Rachel Schmidt examines how seminal theorists and philosophers have wrestled with the status of Cervantes' masterpiece as an 'exemplary novel', in turn contributing to the emergence of key concepts within genre theory.

Schmidt's discussion covers the views of well-known thinkers such as Friedrich Schlegel, José Ortega y Gasset, and Mikhail Bakhtin, but also the pivotal contributions of philosophers such as Hermann Cohen and Miguel de Unamuno. These theorists' examinations of Cervantes's fictional knight errant character point to an ever-shifting boundary between the real and the virtual. Drawing from both intellectual and literary history, Forms of Modernity richly explores the development of the categories and theories that we use today to analyze and understand novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442642515
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
03/30/2011
Series:
University of Toronto Romance Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Howard Mancing
Forms of Modernity will have a major influence on how we read Cervantes, the idea of modernity, and the genre of the novel. This major scholarly accomplishment provides understandings of theorists such as Bakhtin and Cohen that are often brilliant, and includes the best presentation of Schlegel's theory of the novel I have ever seen. Rachel Schmidt's rich knowledge of the literature on Don Quixote makes this a serious advance in state-of-the-art research.
Anthony Cascardi
Highly significant and original, Forms of Modernity presents a wide-ranging synthesis of philosophical and theoretical receptions of Cervantes' Don Quixote. Rachel Schmidt impressively sheds new light on the book as a touchstone that has defined both the idea of the novel and the problem of modernity. Readers will find that Forms of Modernity holds their attention and interest extremely well while teaching them a tremendous amount.

Meet the Author

Rachel Schmidt is a professor in the Department of French, Italian and Spanish at the University of Calgary.

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