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Review: Don Quijote

Cervantes was born in Alcalá, 1547. He started writing while he was captive in Argel, where he created plays and some poems to entertain his fellow captives. When he came back to Spain, he wrote a number of theatrical productions but the only survivors were The Numancia and Argel’s Treatmen, both published in the XVIII century. He continued to publish poetry throughout his whole life; most of his poems are compliments to other authors’ books, others are distributed in prose within his work. Journey to Parnassus (Madrid, 1614) is a heroic and satirical study about the state of poetry.

By order of publication, his creations are: First Part of The Galatea (Alcalá, 1585); The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (Madrid, 1605); Exemplary Novels (Madrid, 1613); Eight comedies and eight new interludes (Madrid, 1615); The Second part of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (Madrid, 1615); The Labors of Persiles and Sigismunda (Madrid, 1617).

Cervantes wasn’t a precocious genius. The first part of Quixote came out when he was sixty years old. In the last ten years of his life, his production was quantitatively abundant and of great quality. The last novel written by Cervantes was dedicated to Count Lemos and it was created three days before his death, its name was Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismundo, according to the patron of the Byzantine novel, this piece was a huge success, similar to Quixote, and it was printed six times in the year of its publication (1617) when the author was already dead.

However, the biggest cervantin play was Quixote. The first part was published in 1605 and the second one in 1615. Quixote’s success was instantaneous and the play was printed five more times in 1605.

The editorial fortune of this play is proved by the publication of a fake second part, under the name of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda, which was probably a penname. It’s evident that the author wasn’t even Cervantes’ friend because of the way he criticizes and insults him in the prologue. The play is very primitive and it lacks Cervantes’s creative spark.

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