READ IN CASTILIAN: CERVANTES AND DON QUIXOTE
READ IN CASTILIAN: CERVANTES AND DON QUIXOTE, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OF CASTILIAN LANGUAGE
A few days ago, we wrote a post about the best books by levels to read, learn and practice English: “Cambridge level books”.
As the World Book Day in Spain and coincides with the fourth anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, one of the most important novelists, poets and playwrights of the Spanish language and literature of all time; we are going to talk about him and one of his most famous novels.
The best tribute that we can do is to promise ourselves that we will read all his books or, at least, the most famous of them all: Don Quixote de la Mancha.
We wanted to highlight some interesting facts about his life and show you some interesting curiosities that surround the author and his literary work, that surely you did not know.
Cervantes, son of the surgeon Rodrigo de Cervantes and Leonor de Cortinas, was born in 1547 and was the fourth brother of a total of seven.
When he was 22 years old, he moved to Italy and became part of the entourage of Cardinal Julio Acquaviva as a waiter. Thus, he managed to travel to the most important cities in Italy.
However, his promotion in the Holy See was short cut due to the appearance of a warrant of arrest on his name, in which he was condemned to prison for 10 years and also condemned to lose the right hand. At that time, the novelist had to flee from Italian soil and return to his homeland: Spain.
A few years later, in 1571, Cervantes was called up to fight the Turkish in the famous Battle of Lepanto, where he was wounded in the chest and in his left hand, and since then, he was known as the “one-armed man of Lepanto”.
Despite wanting to return to Spain after the battle both, Cervantes and his brother Rodrigo were caught in 1575 by pirates, and they were taken to Argel. After four attempts to escape, Cervantes remained captive for 5 years while his brother was released in 1577.
Once back in Spain, the writer moved to Portugal, and there, as a result of an affair with Ana Villafranca, his bastard daughter Isabel Rodríguez Villafranca was born in 1584.
That same year, Cervantes married Lady Catalina de Salazar y Palacios. The following year he published the first part of his first novel, La Galatea, and two years later he was imprisoned in Seville for not paying Treasury the money he owes.
It is during this imprisonment when it is believed that he produced the novel: Don Quixote.
In 1605, the novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote is published and during the same year is imprisoned again for being involved in the death of a citizen of Valladolid.
In 1606, he moved to Madrid and 7 years later he published the second part of Don Quixote. Cervantes died the 22nd of April in 1616 at his home in Madrid. He was buried in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians but in an unmarked grave so now it is not known where remains the writer.
Leaving the biography of the writer aside we are going to focus on his famous novel, which is included in the list of the 20 most translated books of all times (it has been translated into a total of 48 languages).
The novel consists of two parts: The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote (1605) and The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote (1615)
The story revolves around a gentleman from La Mancha, Alonso Quijano, that after reading chivalry books, begin to believe that everything they tell is true and loses his right mind, deciding at that time be knighted and changing his name to Don Quixote.
And so begins the famous adventures of this gentleman who mixed up a peasant with a lady and he baptizes her as Dulcinea del Toboso. He also mixed up a hostelry with a castle, windmills with giants, names squire his friend Sancho Panza, he mixed up two sheep flocks with armed forces…The gentleman performs two outs and after the
The gentleman performs two outs and after the second he came back home where after falling ill, he recovered the right mind some days before dying.
The gentleman went out twice times and, after the second one, he came back his home where after falling ill, recovers the right mind and some days before he died.
So, with this summary, don’t you want to read it? and, even better, don’t you want to read the story of Don Quixote in Spanish? Take advantage and learn the language using the Spanish version of the book “El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” and a small dictionary to translate the words you don’t understand.
– This post is dedicated to Antonio Leon Hidalgo, whom we owe all the information of this post. –