Don Quixote Book I

Meaning

Harold Bloom says Don Quixote is the first modern novel, and that the protagonist is at war with Freud's reality principle, which accepts the necessity of dying.[9]

Edith Grossman, who wrote and published a highly acclaimed English translation of the novel in 2003, says that the book is mostly meant to move people into emotion using a systematic change of course, on the verge of both tragedy and comedy at the same time. Grossman has stated:

The question is that Quixote has multiple interpretations [...] and how do I deal with that in my translation. I'm going to answer your question by avoiding it [...] so when I first started reading the Quixote I thought it was the most tragic book in the world, and I would read it and weep [...] As I grew older [...] my skin grew thicker [...] and so when I was working on the translation I was actually sitting at my computer and laughing out loud. This is done [...] as Cervantes did it [...] by never letting the reader rest. You are never certain that you truly got it. Because as soon as you think you understand something, Cervantes introduces something that contradicts your premise.[10]

Jonathan Shockley has placed the novel in the context of Terror Management Theory, claiming that the figure of Don Quixote represents the hidden essence of human culture: the centrality of heroic madness and its related death anxiety in all people. The flimsy, delusional (and evil-causing) nature of the things that grant humans conviction and self-aggrandizement. And the ironic (and ultimately tragic) need to acquire this conviction and self-aggrandizement to experience the goodness, richness and reality of life.


This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.