This casebook gathers a collection of ambitious essays about both parts of the novel (1605 and 1615) and also provides a general introduction and a bibliography. The essays range from Ramon Menendez Pidal's seminal study of how Cervantes dealt with chivalric literature to Erich Auerbachs polemical study of Don Quixote as essentially a comic book by studying its mixture of styles, and include Leo Spitzer's masterful probe into the essential ambiguity of the novel through minute linguistic analysis of Cervantes prose. The book includes pieces by other major Cervantes scholars, such as Manuel Duran and Edward C. Riley, as well as younger scholars like Georgina Dopico-Black. All these essays ultimately seek to discover that which is peculiarly Cervantean in Don Quixote and why it is considered to be the first modern novel.
Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria is Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures at Yale University. His books include The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature (ed.), The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, and The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories (ed.).