González Echevarría starts by reviewing the Spanish baroque concept of desengaño. He proposes that the plot of the Quixote and some of the stories in part two unfold from deceit (engaño) to disillusionment (desengaño). He then turns his attention to Auerbach and Spitzer's essays included in the Casebook ("Enchanted Dulcinea" and "Linguistic Perspectivism" respectively) that try to describe what González Echevarría calls the "Cervantean," the particularities that define Cervantes' mind and style. In the second part of the lecture he comments on the episodes assigned for this week trying to explain their main characteristics and correspondence with part one. Doubting is common in Part II of the Quixote, suggesting that the characters meet with themselves to find meaning and identity. The lecture ends with the comments on one of Cervantes' Exemplary Stories, "The Glass Graduate."
- De Cervantes, Exemplary Stories, "The Glass Graduate"
- González Echevarría, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, pp. 35-61 and 163-215
- Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, chapter 8
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.