Lecture 9 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXVII-XXXV (cont.)

author: Roberto González Echevarría, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Sept. 28, 2012,   recorded: September 2009,   views: 2090
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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The insertion of the Novel of the Curious Impertinent at the end of part one of the Quixote may be explained by Cervantes' intention of meshing both the forms of the chivalric romance and of the collection of Italian novelle. The result, though awkward, leads to the creation of the modern novel. This short novel seems to have been included by Cervantes as a way to publishing it in the same way. Reading the novel out loud, with all the characters gathered connects with the old tradition of reading literature out loud. The irony, however, is that this perverse love story is heard in the voice of the priest. González Echevarría interprets the novel trough René Girard's theory of love always mediated by a third person who also works as a motivator. The story gives a contrasting mirror of literature to the young people at the inn who are involved in love stories about to culminate in marriage. Don Quixote's interruption of the reading allows the court-like scene of reconciliations among the various couples and all restitutions which were made, as a reaffirmation of new social forms. Cervantes' point is that mental life is made up of levels that mirror and distort each other.

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