Penguin Classics Don Quixote

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9780140445619: Penguin Classics Don Quixote
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Miguel de Cervantes's mock-epic masterwork, Don Quixote was voted the greatest book of all time by the Nobel Institute, and this Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction and notes by John Rutherford. Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading romances of chivalry that he determines to become a knight errant and pursue bold adventures, accompanied by his squire, the cunning Sancho Panza. As they roam the world together, the aging Quixote's fancy leads them wildly astray, tilting at windmills, fighting with friars, and distorting the rural Spanish landscape into a fantasy of impenetrable fortresses and wicked sorcerers. At the same time the relationship between the two men grows in fascinating subtlety. Often considered to be the first modern novel, Don Quixote is a wonderful burlesque of the popular literature its disordered protagonist is obsessed with. John Rutherford's landmark translation does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes's prose, and this edition of Don Quixote won the 2002 Premio Valle Inclan prize for translation. His introduction discusses the traditional works parodied in Don Quixote and issues of literary translation. Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda's (1547-1616) life was occupied with a struggle to earn a livelihood from literature and humble government employment. As well as Don Quixote, he wrote a number of plays and a collection of highly accomplished short stories, Exemplary Tales (1613). If you enjoyed Don Quixote, you might like Homer's Odyssey, also available in Penguin Classics. 'John Rutherford makes Don Quixote funny and readable ... His Quixote can be pompous, imposingly learned, secretly fearful, mad and touching.' Colin Burrow, The Times Literary Supplement

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"        Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being," said novelist Milan Kundera. "And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?"
----Widely regarded as the world's first
modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. This Modern Library edition presents the acclaimed Samuel Putnam translation of the epic tale, complete with notes, variant readings, and an Introduction by the translator.
----The debt owed to Cervantes by literature is immense. From Milan Kundera: "Cervan-
tes is the founder of the Modern Era. . . . The novelist need answer to no one but
Cervantes." Lionel Trilling observed: "It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote." Vladmir Nabo-kov wrote: "Don Quixote is greater today than he was in Cervantes's womb. [He] looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through [his] sheer vitality. . . . He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon." And V. S. Pritchett observed: "Don Quixote begins as a province, turns into Spain, and ends as a universe. . . . The true spell of Cervantes is that he is a natural magician in pure story-telling."


The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-
dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

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