Graf argues that the doubts expressed by both historicists and postmodernists regarding the progressive nature of Don Quijote are exaggerated. He also argues that interpretations that abstain from this debate by emphasizing authorial ambivalence or positioning the novel at a crossroads do not seem as responsible as they once did. Beyond these skeptical and neutral alternatives, there are key steps forward in Cervantes's worldview.
These four essays detail Don Quijote's anticipations of many of the same ideas and values that drive today's multiculturalism, feminism, secularism, and materialism. An important thesis here is that the Enlightenment remains the best vantage point from which to appreciate the novel's relation to the discourses of such movements. Thus Voltaire's Candide (1759), Feijoo's Defensa de las mujeres (1726), and Hobbes's Leviathan (1651) are each shown to be logical extensions of some of Cervantes's most fundamental propositions.
Finally, this book will still be of interest to specialists immune to the ideological anxieties arising from debates over notions of modernity. Graf also explores the interrelated meaning of a number of Don Quijote's symbols, characters, and episodes, pinpoints several of the novel's most important classical and medieval sources (especially Apuleius and Sulpicius Severus), and unveils for us its first serious English reader (Hobbes).
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The first comprehensive attempt to theorize Cervantes as a modern, this is also a timely study which addresses Don Quijote's relevance for thinking about such controversial issues as the relation between Islam and Christianity as well as sociopolitical movements and value systems like feminism and materialism. Cervantes and Modernity will prove provocative and compelling to Hispanists, early modernists, comparatists, and intellectual historians interested in the larger ideological issues that have sustained the major critical models invoked to explain Cervantes's masterpiece.About the Author:
Eric Clifford Graf has taught Spanish at Smith College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago, the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Wesleyan University, and Universidad Francisco Marroquín. He has published on topics from across eight centuries of Hispanic literature, such as the Poema de mio Cid, Garcilaso de la Vega, San Juan de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, El Greco, Juan de Mariana, José Cadalso, Vicente Aleixandre, and Julio Cortázar. He was the winner of the Luis Andrés Murillo Prize for the best essay on Cervantes in 2011.
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Book Description Bucknell Univ Pr, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0838756557