Cervantes: Don Quijote and Beyond

Instructor: Elizabeth Lagresa-González
Language of instruction:

This course examines Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s masterpiece “El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha” (Part I, 1605) in relation to some of his lesser-known creations, the “Novelas ejemplares” (1613) and “Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos, nunca representados” (1615).

By applying an interdisciplinary approach, Cervantes’s works will be discussed in relation to the cultural context of renaissance and baroque Spain, drawing upon the visual arts, historical texts, education manuals, and various contemporary literary masterpieces, while deconstructing the different genres of fiction — pastoral poetry, picaresque prose, Moorish sentimental and Italian novellas, as well as romances of chivalry — that inhabit his novel, novellas and plays.

Attesting to his global reach, Cervantes has been influential to thinkers from Lukács to Foucault, Bakhtin and Girard, and to writers from Nabokov to Borges, Flaubert, García Márquez and beyond. His literary creations have served as inspiration for painters (Goya, Doré, Dalí, Picasso), musicians (Purcell, Telemann, Massenet, Strauss, Falla), cineastes (Pabst, Welles, Gutiérrez Aragón), and critics (Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, Mann, Marthe Robert) alike, helping shape not only Hispanic but also World literature and culture as a whole.

Required texts:

M. de Cervantes, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. Ed. Tom Lathrop. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta, 2005. (ISBN 9781589771000)
M. de Cervantes, Novelas ejemplares (vol. 1 and 2). Ed. Harry Sieber. Madrid: Cátedra, 2007. (ISBN 9788437602219)
M. de Cervantes, Teatro Completo. Ed. Florencio Sevilla Arroyo. Barcelona: Penguin Clásicos, 2016. (ISBN 9788491051558)
John H. Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, 2nd ed. New York: Penguin, 2002. (ISBN 9780141007038)