Cervantes and the Critics

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ISBN illustrated paperback: 9788498168006 ISBN hardcover: 9788411265485 ISBN paperback: 9788490079522

SKU: 9788490076507 Category: Tags: , , , ,

Cervantes and the Critics (Cervantes y la crítica) (1878) is a philological-historical essay. Its author, Amenodoro Urdaneta, wants to be exhaustive with regard to the perception of Don Quixote in the face of the critics of his time. Especially among those who insisted on downplaying its merits or finding fault with it. This served as a pretext for Urdaneta to show his admiration for the work and to elaborate on his analytical, philosophical or moral descriptions of it.
The book is structured in three main parts, organized by chapters. Urdaneta makes a general review of the importance of the book; he reviews knight-errant and the spirit of the Crusades with considerable rigor; he makes pertinent remarks about the literary language of the 16th century, and even goes so far as to lambast the Arab-Persian tradition, but also Shakespeare and Bocaccio.
Cervantes and the Critics is an exhaustive essay on Cervantes’ work, although it sometimes falls into grandiloquent opinions and reflections and exaggerations, which allow him to display his skills as a literary critic and intelligent philologist.
This is how Amenodoro Urdaneta Cervantes and the Critics present us:

“After many years devoted to the study of Don Quixote and to the examination of the criticism rehearsed in it, I have acquired the conviction of being able to dispel the strange shadows that still veil the face of that immortal novel, and that damage it, like the badly made shaves that artifice stamps on the face of beauty.
That admirable book which, highlighting and caricaturing gracefully the skinny and ridiculous part of society, is like the constant mirror of nature, which exempts no one from stopping to contemplate and laugh at seeing reflected in its smoothness some feature of the social physiognomy, and even of his own; that book which, to its most original conception and great sanity, unites the attraction of beautiful forms and a high moral and literary influence; that book, finally, pride of letters and familiar of nations, has also had its misfortune (which is inherent to the condition of human things!); and this misfortune consists in seeing mistaken or deluded writers answer it or disfigure many parts of its incontestable merit, as will be seen in the work I intend to publish, through the protection and benevolence of the cultured Venezuelan society.”

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