Cervantes' Don Quixote (SPAN 300)
Would have Cervantes deserved such recognition, had he not written the Quixote? The answer is no. However, he would probably be remembered for some of his other works. Two of The Exemplary Stories, significantly connected together, are commented in this lecture. "The Deceitful Marriage" deconstructs marriage both as a social institution and as a narrative tool: Cervantes manipulates literary conventions by beginning with what is normally the end of a story, a marriage, and works backwards to undue a union that never took place legitimately. In "The Dogs Colloquy" we skirt the supernatural idea that dogs can talk. The story is a picaresque autobiography in which the pícaro pretends to be a dog. Perhaps Scipio's life, not told here, could have been another Quixote. The author of a story, it is suggested, does not control the text while it is being read. A short comment on Kafka's parable "The Truth about Sancho Panza" and Borges' story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote precede the end of this last lecture that refers to Cervantes' death. Drawing a parallel between Cervantes' death and that of Don Quixote and Alonso Quijano, González Echevarría reads the dedication to Persiles and Cervantes', and also his own, farewell to this course.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Cervantes at Death: At Peace with Himself and the World
14:09 - Chapter 2. Remarks on Exemplary Novels
23:30 - Chapter 3. The Deceitful Marriage: Working Backwards to Deconstruct Marriage as Social Institution
36:09 - Chapter 4. The Dogs Colloquy: A Picaresque Autobiography Skirting the Supernatural
46:13 - Chapter 5. Kafka's Parable and Borges' Story
51:02 - Chapter 6. Parallels between Cervantes' Death and those of Don Quixote and Alonso Quijano
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
Tagged under: death,Lope de Vega,entremeses,exemplary stories,picaresque,criminal,marriage,autobiographical,dogs,dedication,farewell
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