This text is considered the first real modern novel, since the author not only raises the problem of simply telling a story, but also deals with the relationship between literature and life; that is, he wonders if literature can somehow serve to understand reality.
By literature he meant the set of texts with which the heritage of values and beliefs of a given culture is transmitted. An element of modernity is the centrality given to the figure of the reader, so much so that Cervantes (author of the work) brings the literary imagination into contact with the concreteness of history.
Don Quixote is presented in two parts. The first part of the novel was published in 1605 in Madrid, in 52 chapters, which immediately acquired a large audience, so much so as to induce Avellaneda in 1614 to compose a sequel to the work, considered false. Only a year later (1615) the second part of the novel was published in 72 chapters, this time original.
The novel tells of a country squire (Quijana) who lives with two women: the housekeeper and the niece. He is not just any lover of works and chivalry, but a true maniac of literature, to the point that by dint of reading the works, his brain dried up. In his work Don Quixote transfigures the things and people he meets into figures that seem to have come out of the books of chivalry: an inn becomes a castle, windmills are horrible giants. In the course of the narration, the discourse becomes complicated because three different authors come out: a first author who is the one who wrote the original of the work, a second who identifies himself as Cervantes, and a third who is represented by the one who translates the work. ‘opera from Arabic. Don Quixote identifies himself so much in his readings to such an extent that he imagines that he is the protagonist of these adventures that he reads: he therefore imagines that he is a knight-errant and that he is called to play this role, almost as if it were his mission.
The mission that he will carry out will therefore be to run to the aid of the weak trying in some way to repair the wrongs they suffer. He therefore begins to travel to Spain in the company of a local farmer, Sancho Panza, to whom he ensures the government and control of an island in the future, provided he acts as his squire. In his most general madness Don Quixote decides to dedicate his deeds to a girl, in this case the peasant woman Aldonza Lorenza whom he renames with the imaginative name of Dulcinea del Toboso. However, the context in which the man operates in his exploits is devoid of adventurous scenarios, as the Spain in which he lives is not the same Spain of the cavalry.
Don Quixote therefore imagines very imaginative scenarios, such as imaginatively imagining that windmills are giants with rotating arms, that puppets are demons, etc …
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