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Don Quixote: Unabridged Edition (Signet…

Don Quixote: Unabridged Edition (Signet Classics) (original 1605; edition 1965)

by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,552302101 (4.06)6 / 728
"Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain."--Jacket.… (more)
Title:Don Quixote: Unabridged Edition (Signet Classics)
Authors:Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Info:Signet Classics (1965), Paperback, 1056 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Spain, 17th C, novels, adventure, epics

Work details

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Author) (1605)

  1. 61
    Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene (hdcclassic)
    hdcclassic: A modern-day retelling.
  2. 40
    The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (keremix)
  3. 62
    Don Quixote de La Mancha, Part II by Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda (g026r)
    g026r: The spurious continuation, published in 1614 while Cervantes was still working on his own Part II and which affected that work to a significant degree.
  4. 30
    Orlando Furioso, Part One by Ludovico Ariosto (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: References to then-famous romances, such as this one by Ariosto, provide much of the humour in Don Quixote. In addition to enriching Cervantes' work, Orlando Furioso is entertaining in its own right (especially in this modern verse translation).
  5. 41
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (ateolf)
  6. 63
    The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (Othemts)
  7. 64
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Don Quixote was Flaubert's favourite book, and I've read somewhere that the idea of Madame Bovary is to re-tell the story of Don Quixote in a different context. Don Quixote is obsessed with chivalric literature, and immerses himself in it to the extent that he loses his grip on reality. Emma Bovary is bewitched by Romantic literature in the same way. There are lots of parallels between the two novels, and I think putting them side by side can lead to a better understanding of both.… (more)
  8. 20
    Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Read the two concurrently and got a good sense of the kind of chivalric literature that gave birth to Quixote's madness.
  9. 20
    Exemplary Stories by Miguel de Cervantes (longway)
  10. 20
    Selected Non-Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: In several of his critical essays Borges makes insightful and unique mention of Don Quixote sometimes directly and sometimes in reference to other works.
  11. 10
    The Adventures of a Simpleton by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (chwiggy)
  12. 10
    The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox (Rubbah)
  13. 00
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (TheLittlePhrase)
    TheLittlePhrase: protagonists who struggle to differentiate between reality & the books that they read
  14. 11
    Meerfahrt mit Don Quijote by Thomas Mann (chwiggy)
  15. 55
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (caflores)
  16. 11
    Guzmán de Alfarache by Mateo Alemán (roby72)
  17. 11
    Handling Sin by Michael Malone (allenmichie)
  18. 01
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Misguided protagonist gets into a series of misadventures
Europe (15)

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English (240)  Spanish (31)  Italian (6)  Dutch (6)  Catalan (4)  Portuguese (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Norwegian (2)  Korean (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (301)
Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
I hadn't realized this was a two part story, and was only familiar with the plotline of the first part. Cervantes puts his poor hero through all sorts of embarrassing and painful situations, while maintaining his drive toward the precepts of being a good knight-errant. I felt sorry for DQ in the way people were taking advantage of his good heart. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
I have taught Don Quixote in a sophomore Norton Anthology survey of “World”/Western Literature many times, aided by this Spanish edition I got at Princeton in ’78. Larry Lipking led a post-doctoral NEH seminar on comparative Lit, on Poetry and Criticism, and my own Ph.D. had studied 17C criticism written in verse, before Dryden made prose the main form of poetic criticism.
Fortuitously, the main chapter I read in Spanish was one omitted from Norton. After Señor Quijana is knighted by his landlord, swearing on “the book”—farmer’s accounts of grain purchases and sales—he falls from his horse. His injury results now in Don Quixote’s reciting whole memorized chapters from books of chivalry in his library. The priest and a barber, his friends, blame their friends’ accident on his reading such books, and planning to star in one. The niece urges them to burn those damnable books as though they were heretics’.
After the Knight is carried in to his bed, and before he recruits a neighbor farmer, Sancho Panza, to abandon his wife and children to be his squire as he attacks the windmills, Cervantes lists the accused books in Ch. 6, which makes it a chapter of Literary Criticism. Dozens are cited. Amusingly, one of these books was written by Cervantes himself, “La Galatea de Miguel de Cervantes—dijo el Barbero” (41). The priest claims he knows most of the authors, as he does here: “Muchos años ha que es grande amigo mio ese Cervantes.” He holds Cervantes writes with great “creativity” (“invention” the Renaissance word for it), but he wishes Cervantes would finish the second half of the book he promised (41).
The priest got on to defend the poet who translated Ovid, and wrote the best heroic verse in Spanish, in Castillian. “I would cry if such a book were burned,” lloraralas yo si tal libro hubiera mandado quemar." ( )
  AlanWPowers | Jan 25, 2020 |
Audible audio performed by George Guidall

Who hasn’t heard of Don Quixote fighting windmills, or wearing a barber’s basin as a helmet? Who doesn’t know about his faithful squire, Sancho Panza? Or the beautiful Dulcinea, for whom the Knight is ready to lay down his life?

I’d read snippets from this work over the years but never experienced the whole thing. I’m sorry I waited so long to do so. It is a marvelous piece of fiction and is widely acknowledged as the first modern-day novel.

Cervantes gives us a main character who has lofty ideals and a noble purpose, but who is fatally flawed (possibly insane). His attempts to replicate the feats of chivalry he has long read about and admired are met with scorn and ridicule, yet he remains faithful to his ideal. Certain that he will save the imprisoned Dulcinea and win her heart and everlasting gratitude.

Sancho is the faithful servant, commenting frequently in pithy sayings and proverbs, trying, in vain to steer his master away from disaster, but gamely following and taking his punishment. My favorite section is toward the end when Sancho is “appointed governor” and asked to hand out judgment on a variety of disputes. His solutions are surprisingly wise, despite his convoluted explanations.

This edition is translated by Edith Grossman, and was published in 2003. While I have not read other translations, nor the original Spanish, I thought it flowed smoothly and gave me a sense of Cervantes’ style.

The audiobook of this translation is performed by George Guidall, and he does a fantastic job of it. I was fully engaged and recalled those long-ago days when my grandparents, aunts or uncles would tell stories on the porch on summer evenings, all us children listening in rapt attention. I particularly liked the voices he used for both Don Quixote and for Sancho Panza. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 24, 2020 |
Some time ago, I sat through a series of art history lectures offered at our church. The minister giving the talks was the perfect person to discuss Renaissance-era paintings, having received a MFA in addition to a divinity degree. He was also someone I knew well enough to ask what I had always feared was a really dumb question: When you go into a museum and see two seemingly comparable paintings displayed side by side, why does one usually get a lot more attention (e.g. written descriptions on the wall, guidebook space) than the other? There can be many reasons, he said, but the simple answer is that the artwork getting all the love is usually the one that came first.

I thought about that observation frequently as I was reading Don Quixote, which is widely hailed in critical circles as the first modern novel. (And, at just shy of 1,000 pages, I had plenty of time to think about a lot of things during the several weeks it took me to finish the book.) I have to confess that I was not even sure what being labeled the first modern novel even meant. However, the more time I spent immersed in the volume, the more sense that designation made. For as much as I enjoyed the inventiveness of the story, I think I enjoyed considering the historical importance of the work and the influence it has had on literature over the subsequent centuries even more.

As I learned, the present-day version of Don Quixote actually consists of two separate novels that Cervantes wrote about ten years apart. Both parts of the book tell the same well-known tale. An aging Spanish gentleman becomes so obsessed with reading novels on chivalry that he goes “mad” and fancies himself a knight errant, whose duty it is to right wrongs wherever he finds them in the world. Pledging his chaste love and obedience to the lady Dulcinea—who, in reality, is a relatively ordinary peasant woman he barely knows—he sets out across the country on several sallies, eventually accompanied by Sancho Panza, a poor local farmer who serves as his squire.

The myriad adventures the two men have tend to take on a similar form: in his delusional state, Don Quixote confuses an ordinary situation as a threat or a challenge that needs to be addressed (e.g., windmills confused for giant villains to be vanquished), which the simple but sensible Sancho tries to talk him out of. When the encounter goes badly for the heroes, Quixote is quick to blame the work of evil enchanters who are out to get him, rather than accept failure or the possibility that he simply misread the circumstances. This basic plot device is repeated over and over again—accompanied by a considerable amount of philosophical discourse between the knight and the squire—much of which is amusing and, occasionally, memorable.

For me, the second half of the novel was considerably more interesting and rewarding than the first. It is also the part of the book where the “modern” label becomes more apparent. Indeed, the author himself (often in the guise of his Arabic alter-ego Cide Hamete Benengeli) becomes a third central character in the story in a very clever way. While on their adventures in this section, Quixote and Panza often meet people who already know them from having read the first half of the book and are only too happy to encourage their delusional behavior. Also, the author has the Don’s character berate another real-life writer who had produced an unauthorized plagiarism of the Quixote saga in the years between the two volumes that Cervantes himself wrote. That is not only modern, it is downright post-modern!

In summary, Don Quixote is an altogether remarkable and entertaining book that was also, at times, absolutely exhausting to read. I do not imagine that I will ever find the time or the energy to read it again, but I am so happy to have made it all the way through this once. There are some who rank it among the best novels ever written and I cannot argue too strenuously with that position. ( )
1 vote browner56 | Dec 31, 2019 |
Don Quixote has always intimidated me. The novel is a literary giant, my own windmill to conquer. This year, over the course of a couple months, I finally read it. I was surprised by the gentle nature and sincerity of the famous knight. I’d always thought of him as a bit clownish, but in reality he is the most human of men, if that makes sense. He’s deeply flawed and so he’s deeply relatable.

I didn’t realize when I started the book that it consists of two separate volumes published 10 years apart. The first volume includes most of the well-known elements of the story, including Don Quixote’s famous attack on the windmills. In the second volume everyone knows who Don Quixote is because they've read the first volume. It adds an interesting element to the book, because he is now trying to live up to his own legend. He's become a celebrity and his cause and condition have become well known throughout the land.
Alonso Quixano is Don Quixote’s true name. He reads book after book dealing with stories of chivalry throughout the ages. He then becomes convinced that he is in fact a knight errant and he must go on a crusade to help the people who are suffering in Spain.

“It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.”

He saddles up his horse, Rocinante, and recruits a local farmer named Sancho Panza to embark on his travels with him. Sancho becomes his faithful squire. The two set off and along the way they “help” those who cross their path. The problem is that Don Quixote is delusional about who actually needs his help. The famous windmill scene comes about because he thinks he is fighting giants. He fights for the honor of a woman who barely knows him, Dulcinea del Toboso. The first volume contains a strange mix of stories. Everyone is able to see the Don’s madness except himself and his proverb-spouting squire. Though this is tragic in some ways, it’s also beautiful. There’s something about having complete faith in another person that gives you strength in your own life.

The first volume is entertaining, but lacks the depth I was expecting. It wasn’t until I got into the second volume that I really fell in love with the book. There’s such a wonderful exploration of motivation, delusion, loyalty, and more. Who is Don Quixote hurting with his quest? Is it wrong to allow him to remain convinced of his knighthood? The second volume also pokes playful fun at the first volume, joking that the author exaggerated stories, etc.

“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”

Don Quixote’s naïveté and earnestness about his field of knight errantry make him an easy target. People who want to play tricks on him or friendly jokes or even rob him are easily able to because they know exactly what his weaknesses are. He believes, without a doubt, in the code of knight errantry that he holds himself to. He's also wise about so many things while remaining blind to his own absurdity.

At times he reminded me of Polonius from “Hamlet” spouting off wisdom to anyone who will listen. Sometimes it's good advice, sometimes not but he believes it wholeheartedly. There's a purity in living a life so full of earnestness that you believe in your dreams without faltering and you hold yourself to a higher standard.

BOTTOM LINE: This isn’t a novel I’ll re-read every year or anything, but it was a richly rewarding experience for me. It made me want to believe in some of the magic in life and to not always question the motives of others. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza will be with me for years to come.

"Then the very same thing, said the knight, happens in the comedy and commerce of this world, where one meets with some people playing the parts of emperors, others in the characters of popes, and finally, all the different personages that can be introduced in a comedy; but, when the play is done, that is, when life is at an end, death strips them of the robes that distinguished their stations, and they become all equal in the grave.”

“Time ripens all things. No man is born wise.” ( )
2 vote bookworm12 | Dec 30, 2019 |
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Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel deAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alcina, JuanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allaigre, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allen, John JayEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Almeida, Andréa Vilela deIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ayala, FranciscoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldwin, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Battestin, Martin C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Brodt, MarcioNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Idle reader, you can believe without any oath of mine that I would wish this book, as the child of my brain, to be the most beautiful, the liveliest and the cleverest imaginable.
Prologue: Idle reader: I don't have to swear any oaths to persuade you that I should like this book, since it is the son of my brain, to be the most beautiful and elegant and intelligent book imaginable.
Chapter 1: In a village in La Mancha, the name of which I cannot quite recall, there lived not long ago one of those country gentlemen or hidalgos who keep a lance in a rack, an ancient leather shield, a scrawny hack and a greyhound for coursing.
And as I have heard say, true love cannot be divided, and must be voluntary and unforced: -- this being so, as I believe it is, why would you have me subject my will by force, being not otherwise obliged thereto, than only because you say you love me? For, pray tell me, if as heaven has made me handsome, it had made me ugly, would it have been just that I should have complained of you because you did not love me? (Part 1, Chapter 14. Marcela is speaking)
Heaven has not yet ordained that I should love by destiny; and from loving by choice, I desire to be excused. (Part 1, Chapter 14. Marcela is speaking)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Don Quixote was originally published in two parts. This is the complete and unabridged version, containing both parts. Please do not combine with abridged or incomplete versions.
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