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2. Don Quixote, Part I: Front Matter and Chapters I-X

Cervantes' Don Quixote (SPAN 300) Overview: Why does the Quixote have such common currency today? Gonz?lez Echevarr?a believes that the Quixote is about the effect that literature has on its readers and about the creation of literature. Its story does not belong to any previous tradition but it is a new story, and this act of invention by a fifty-year old man, Cervantes, is in itself part of modern literature. Gonz?lez Echevarr?a comments on why the creation of this work was possible in the Spain of the seventeenth century and, after making some important distinctions between the concepts novel and romance, chivalric romances and courtly romance, explains that the Quixote is the first novel because it portrays the clash between the protagonist and his setting for the first time. He then talks about the Quixote's precursors in the picaresque novel and the beginnings of realism. The lecture ends with a thorough commentary on the prologue, its intentions and meanings, along with the concepts of authorship, the legitimation of literature, and ultimately, self invention. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Don Quixote and its Effect on Readers 09:10 - Chapter 2. Distinguishing between Novel and Romance 15:48 - Chapter 3. Chivalric Romance and Courtly Romance 22:38 - Chapter 4. Cervantes within the Genealogy of the Spanish Tradition 42:27 - Chapter 5. The Prologue and its Intentions Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
Length: 57:14


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