Sancho's Insula and the Politics of Empire. - Hispanofila

Sancho's Insula and the Politics of Empire.

By Hispanofila

  • Release Date - Published: 2007-05-01
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: Hispanofila
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Sancho's Insula and the Politics of Empire. Hispanofila read online review & book description:

DON Quijote's self-described quest to reinstitute the profession of knight-errantry is typically understood as an exaggerated manifestation of literary imitation, or imitatio. (1) By the novel's own account, our Manchegan hidalgo is driven mad by his reading habits: having devoured the canon of chivalric romance, don Quijote is possessed by a desire to become that which he has read. In this most traditional of interpretations, don Quijote's madness is ultimately a vehicle for parody. As Cervantes seems to want us to believe, the entire novel is an invective against "la autoridad y cabida que en el mundo y en el vulgo tienen los libros de caballerias" (I, prologue, 18). A comparison with the early history of Spain in the Americas, however, suggests another possible reading of don Quijote's self-appointed vocation: the parody of the libros de caballerias offered by Cervantes's novel may also be interpreted through the lens of Spain's overseas imperial project. The most recent advocate of this idea is Diana de Armas Wilson who argues that "Spain's New World enterprise" was of serious concern to Cervantes both personally and in his work as a writer ("Cervantes and the New World," 214). In the case of Don Quijote more specifically she cites Raul Porras Barrenechea who has described the novel as "'a benevolent satire' of the conquistador of the Indies" ("Cervantes and the New World," 213).

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