Professor González Echevarría resumes his commentary on the galley slaves episode by talking about Ginés' cross-eyedness as a metaphor for congenital internal perspectivism. This is a new model of conflictive being, capable of seeing simultaneously in two ways. The character among the galley slaves that he calls "the prisoner of sex" follows. Professor González Echevarría shows how Cervantes can create a complex character in just one paragraph while portraying the historical and legal background of Cervantes' time. The Sierra Morena episodes, the core of part one of the Quixote, take the second half of the lecture. They consist of a set of narrative strands tightly woven around two of the principal drives in the book: Don Quixote's love quest for Dulcinea, and the series of crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by the hidalgo and his squire. All the interpolated stories have common elements with the central plot, with the Marcela and Grisóstomo interlude, and with each other: the perpetration of offenses due to passion, honor, body and property, and with the resulting need for restitution, recompense, requital, pardon or revenge. In all of them, marriage looms as the inevitable and most appropriate form of reparation as well as the most effective kind of narrative closure.
- González Echevarría, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, pp. 125-161
- Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, chapter 3
The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes' Exemplary Stories, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott's Imperial Spain. Cervantes' work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.