" Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being," said novelist Milan Kundera. "And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?"
----Widely regarded as the world's first
modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. This Modern Library edition presents the acclaimed Samuel Putnam translation of the epic tale, complete with notes, variant readings, and an Introduction by the translator.
----The debt owed to Cervantes by literature is immense. From Milan Kundera: "Cervan-
tes is the founder of the Modern Era. . . . The novelist need answer to no one but
Cervantes." Lionel Trilling observed: "It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote." Vladmir Nabo-kov wrote: "Don Quixote is greater today than he was in Cervantes's womb. [He] looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through [his] sheer vitality. . . . He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon." And V. S. Pritchett observed: "Don Quixote begins as a province, turns into Spain, and ends as a universe. . . . The true spell of Cervantes is that he is a natural magician in pure story-telling."
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-
dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
About the Author
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547 -1616) Es considerado la maxima figura de la literatura espanola y universalmente conocido por haber escrito Don Quijote de la Mancha, que muchos criticos han descrito como la primera novela moderna y una de las mejores obras de la literatura universal. En 1605 publica la primera parte del Quijote, pero el exito dura poco. En sus ultimos anos publica las "Novelas ejemplares" (1613), el "Viaje del Parnaso" (1614), "Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses" (1615) y la segunda parte del Quijote (1615). El triunfo literario no lo libro de sus penurias economicas. Dedico sus ultimos meses de vida a "Los trabajos de Persiles y Segismunda" (de publicacion postuma, en 1617). Murio en Madrid el 23 de abril de 1616 y fue enterrado de caridad.
Cervantes (1547-1616) a ete soldat aux ordres de Don Juan d'Autriche. Grande figure de la litterature espagnole, il ecrit surtout des comedies ou il fait reference a son experience de soldat et de bagnard. Il publie la premiere partie de "Don Quichotte" a l'age de cinquante-sept ans.
Putnam was educated at the University of Chicago and the Sorbonne in Paris.
"Cervantes's masterpiece is lucky to have found so perfect a translator as the flamboyant Smollett. The rambunctious personalities of author and translator are ideally matched."