"Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Richmond, VA
200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd

Sun, Oct 27, 2019 at 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

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Our October book is a long one: "The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha", or just "Don Quixote" (from Wikipedia) Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. It is known for its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong. The story follows the adventures of a noble (hidalgo) named Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante), reviving chivalry and serving his country, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. ------------------------------------ There are many English translations of this book, and many opinions about the merits of various translations. If you don't like the first translation you start, maybe try a different one (prose vs. poetic), and if you have the option to read in a language other than English... Please do! There are even several Spanish versions, to cater to the modern reader of the original. I think we will have a lively discussion and the linguistic analysts among us will enjoy doing lots of research. https://franklycurious.com/wp/don-quixote-english/ http://miscellanynews.org/2018/05/02/arts/translations-of-don-quixote-prove-accessible-unique/ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/19/modern-version-of-don-quixote-declared-against-literature English Translations: Thomas Shelton (1612 & 1620) John Phillips (1687) Captain John Stevens (1700) (revision of Thomas Shelton) Pierre Antoine Motteux (1700) *Ned Ward (1700) – (The) Life & Notable Adventures of Don Quixote merrily translated into Hudibrastic Verse John Ozell (1719) (revision of Pierre Antoine Motteux) Charles Jervas (1742) Tobias Smollett (1755) (revision of Charles Jervas) George Kelly (1769) (considered as another revision of Pierre Antoine Motteux) Charles Henry Wilmot (1774) Mary Smirke with engravings by Robert Smirke (1818) Alexander James Duffield (1881) John Ormsby (1885) (widely available, not always in its entirety on the Internet.) Henry Edward Watts (1888) Robinson Smith (1910) Samuel Putnam (1949) J. M. Cohen (1950) Walter Starkie (1964) Joseph Ramon Jones and Kenneth Douglas (1981) (revision of John Ormsby) Burton Raffel (1996) John Rutherford (2000) Edith Grossman (2003), and updated edition (2015) Tom Lathrop (2005) James H. Montgomery (2006) Gerald J. Davis (2011)