Fighting Windmills


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Encounters with Don Quixote

Manuel Durán and Fay R. Rogg

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Cervantes’ Don Quixote is the most widely read masterpiece in world literature, as appealing to readers today as four hundred years ago. In Fighting Windmills Manuel Durán and Fay R. Rogg offer a beautifully written excursion into Cervantes’ great novel and trace its impact on writers and thinkers across centuries and continents.
How did Cervantes write such a rich tale? Durán and Rogg explore the details of Cervantes’ life, the techniques with which he constructed the novel, and the central themes of the adventures of Don Quixote and his earthy squire Sancho Panza. The authors then provide an insightful, panoramic view of Cervantes’ powerful influence on generations of writers as diverse as Descartes, Voltaire, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Twain, and Borges.

Manuel Durán is professor of Spanish literature (emeritus), Yale University.  Fay R. Rogg is chairman and professor of Spanish, Modern Languages Department, Borough of Manhattan Community College, The City University of New York.

Fighting Windmills begins as an illumination of the Quixote in terms of the life and era of Cervantes. Durán and Rogg then trace the immense influence of Don Quixote upon major European literature from Voltaire to Dostoyevsky, and upon American writing from Melville to Thurber. This book instructs while it entertains, and the reverse as well.”—Harold Bloom

"This book is one ambitious undertaking. . . . Cervantes, [the authors] maintain, was a bit like Quixote himself: aging, impoverished, unappreciated, yet still willing to abandon all for his ideals. The authors analyze these ideals as they take the reader on their own quixotic adventure through biography, literary criticism, genre studies, and character analysis. . . . An engaging and convincing study, this is recommended for all literary collections."—Library Journal

"A book-length homage intended to remind one and all of the enormous after-presence, in later centuries and in the literatures of other nations, of Don Quixote de la Mancha. . . . A virtuoso demonstration of the pleasures of finding literary influence."—Gary Schmidgall, CUNY Matters

ISBN: 9780300110227
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
288 pages, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
10 b/w illus.