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Don Quixote


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About the Author

Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote. He died on April 23, 1616. Edith Grossman is the award-winning translator of major works by many of Latin America's most important writers. Born in Philadelphia, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley before receiving her PhD from New York University. She lives in New York City.


Gr 9-12-Using model animation and sound effects, the video presents Cervantes' great satire. Don Quixote reads so many books on chivalry that he fancies himself as a knight, or worthy of being one. Accompanied by his sidekick, Sancho Panza, he has a series of adventures until finally, on his deathbed, he renounces knighthood saying "I was mad but now am saved." Several adventures were omitted or shortened in this 30-minute version. Yet the points of emphasis, such as Don's attacking a score of windmills he believed to be monstrous giants, will carry the book's message. The use of models further exaggerate the humor. The British accent of actor Simon Callow contrasts with the voice of the sidekick. The video would be useful in world literature classes at the secondary level. Teachers should show the video before having students read the book, discuss the satire presented, and challenge students to find other examples in the story.-Kathy Akey, Clintonville Senior High School, WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times" -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A major literary achievement." -- New York Times Book Review"Ms. Grossman...has provided a Quixote that is agile, playful, formal and wry.... What she renders splendidly is the book's very heart." -- New York Times"It is thrilling to add Grossman's to the bookshelf of Don Quixote possibilities. Her rendition confirms that Cervantes' imperfect masterpiece is as much at home in Shakespeare's tongue as it is in Spanish." -- Los Angeles Times"This new translation relates the story of the man of La Mancha and his vivid imagination in a way that is more in tune with a 21st-century reader." -- Los Angeles Daily News"Marvelous new translation." -- The New Yorker"The Grossman translation blows the dust off Cervantes, leaving his light-footed prose and his sly, gentle mockeries." -- Dallas Morning News"[Edith Grossman's] rendering of Cervantes' prose conveys all of its complex subtleties in a fresh and attractive style that is neither overly traditional nor colloquial." -- San Diego Union-Tribune"This new version of Don Quixote is thoroughly modern...the words are familiar, the humor's intact." -- Austin American-Statesman

Spending 36 hours in the company of a 400-year-old novel sounds intimidating, but it needn't be-not when the book is as constantly amusing, inventive, and moving as Don Quixote. Cervantes's classic mock-heroic tale chronicles the adventures of a self-styled knight-errant whose efforts to restore medieval chivalry are a series of comic disasters. Considered the first modern novel, Don Quixote is one of the most entertaining stories ever told. Although John Ormsby's English translation is now 125 years old, it seems remarkably fresh. The novel's linear narrative is ideal for listening and combined with Roy McMillan's pitch-perfect narration makes those 36 hours nonstop pleasure for literature fans and general readers. Highly recommended.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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