Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LIV-LXX (cont.) 
Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LIV-LXX (cont.)
by Yale / Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
Video Lecture 22 of 24
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Date Added: July 5, 2011

Lecture Description

As we approach the end of the novel, Cervantes compresses and combines elements from different types of romances (morisco, Greek, pastoral) in what seems to be an attempt to create a new literary genre; the modern novel. In the episodes in Barcelona, the prank with the talking head makes literal the figure of prosopopeia; Don Quixote's visit to the printing shop explores the very origin of the book; the sign the boys hang on Don Quixote's back also reduces him to language. Avellaneda's misreading of the Quixote coincides with that of the dueñas who punish Sancho, and is also ironically represented in Altisidora's dream. By taking literature to its limits, by incorporating Avellaneda's book into the Quixote, by rejecting bookish knowledge in favor of experience, Cervantes seems to point to the idea that there is no position from which to stand outside of the world of fiction. The only way out would be through a voluntary act of the will, equivalent to the one Don Quixote makes after being defeated by the Knight of the White Moon.

Reading assignment:
Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, chapter 10

Course Index

Course Description

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.

Course Structure:
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.

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