Item description for Don Quixote (Classic Fiction) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra...
"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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Reviews - What do customers think about Don Quixote (Classic Fiction)?
Don Quixote Jun 21, 2007
I love the story but have never been able to finish the book. I listened to this on a road trip to California and found it very enjoyable. They did cut a major section, but I guess that is what you contend with in an abridged version.
The best translation of the best novel Aug 25, 2006
Don Quixote well deserves its place in the pantheon of world classics. For me, it's the ultimate desert island book. It is simply an indescribable jewel, full of fun, hilarity, adventure, beauty, wisdom, social commentary, tragedy, and entertainment. And I believe that J.M. Cohen's translation is the best there is. He obviously had a love for the material and left us a beautifully rendered work. The encomium in his Times obituary was on the mark when it said that he was "the translator of foreign prose classics for our times."
Beautiful! Jan 22, 2006
The translation is perfect except, as the translator has noted, on the poems found through out the book. The book itself is just plain beautiful, the author, Cervantes, is a master of prose and creativity, not to mention he has a great sense of humor. In my opinion, he is not too far off from Shakespeare. A+
Maybe it's just me... Dec 31, 2005
But this audio version of Don Quixote wasn't enjoyable.
The Basics: This is a three hour abridgment of Don Quixote read by actor and stage performer Michael York. Don Quixote is the Spanish classic written by Miguel de Cervantes. It's the story if a disenchanted nobleman who takes on the persona of a Knight in a quest to find love and glory. The real work is much deeper than the popularized versions of this story, which is unfortunate. This is read well byt he talented Miachael York, but isn't nearly as entertaining as it could have been. It just seems to fall flat. Running time 3 hours.
Lets salute the knight-errantry, writer and translator! Oct 16, 2005
Don Quixote by Cervantes is often called the first modern novel and many rate it as one of the best novels ever written in any language. That itself stirs enough interest and curiosity for a reader like me, and trust me, reading the novel is a highly rewarding and entertaining experience. The plot and sub-plots are primarily guided by Don Quixote's obsession with knight-errantly, forming acts to chivalry and participating in adventures in a manner he read in such books. Sancho serves as his squire and complements and supplements his master in every possible way. Quixote is kind at heart, his every act is inspired by a good intention, a dreamer trapped in a body that prompts him to be called the "knight of rueful countenance", a loyal lover whose never set eye on her who he so praises and desires in a chaste way! Yet he is so full of imaginary tales and characters that he lives in a make-believe world, where he mistakes windmills for monsters, herds of sheep for armies, and so on, attacks them, defends them, and Cerventes manages to weave a saga of such events in a form that identifies with allegory, fable, epic and comic drama at the same time.
Panza, on the other hand, is a fatso, ever hungry for food, wine and money, full of practical sensibility as well as easily misguided simplicity, and is as entertaining a case study as his master. To complete the cast, are two unlikely prime characters: Rocinante, who is a horse as old and shrivelled as his master and Dapple, Sancho's donkey who Sancho considers more dear to himself than anything in the world.
The novel starts at a slow pace, and with the mention of alll sorts of established names of knight-errantry that must have been vogue in those times, Cerventes builds the stage for the rise of our hero. Since I have never read any of the described references, the first fifty or so pages seemed quite obstruse to me. Like for every classic, I knew I had to read on atleast 200 pages for characters to establish themselves. Thereafter, the various escapades and misadventures described in the two books follow like eagerly waited episodes. Again this is a novel that must be read piecemeal.
Besides the humor, knight-errantry, a quixotic master and a pragmatic but simple squire, Cervantes masterfully creates a plethora of characters and situations where he writes about love, war, God, Moors, government, wife, and every conceivable thing related to man as a social being. In some ways, the book is an elegant discourse on how things are and how they could be. Even the humor laden with satire is a subtle taunt at the way good people eat humble pie when their dreamt adventures are deemed ordinary by plotting evil enchanters.
The book is full of proverbs that Sancho throws into his every sentence, so many of these are hilarious and yet all carry the wisdom of that age saved in one epic saga. Similarly, there must have been a considerable play of words, as Sancho misuses and mispronounces many words, and the translator Smollett tries hard to capture some of these.
Don Quixote, in effect, has the appeal and humor to last the humankind forever, and we bow to thee O Cerventes! for creating such a cornucopia of wisdom and instruction for us humble readers .