From the Spanish of Cervantes. London: James Burns mdcccxlviii. When we reflect upon the great celebrity of the "Life, Exploits, and Adventures of that ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha," and how his name has become quite proverbial amongst us, it seems strange that so little should be known concerning the great man to whose imagination we are indebted for so amusing and instructive a tale. We cannot better introduce our present edition than by a short sketch of his life, adding a few remarks on the work itself and the present adapted reprint of it. The obscurity we have alluded to is one which Cervantes shares with many others, some of them the most illustrious authors which the world ever produced.
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Discipline, the handful of ropes with thorns, with which penitents flog themselves; the execution of this penance and mortification is called discipline. It is my pleasure to acknowledge my debt to the generous audiences at both events. Translations throughout, except when marked, are my own. In Germany there was a sect of heretics, who were called the Flagellants, who were great fools and drunkards, and were condemned as such.
What might it be? Finally, what light might this small, idiosyncratic sample drawn from early modern texts shed on the construction of modern disciplinarity, a set of notions we most commonly associate with the late years of the European Enlightenment? Remark the two discriminating concepts at work in the over-the-top account that his Tesoro de la lengua… gives of self-disciplining: vanidad and profanidad.
Now, one might be inclined to array vanidad and profanidad roughly together—the vain or vainglorious man is often profane in his habits, beliefs, and expressions; and profanity of one or another sort at least suggests some vanity. For the Tesoro de la lengua, though, the two terms represent two rather different aspects of the orthodox, counter-reformation response to religious as well as social heterodoxy, and two quite different constructions of what today we would be tempted to call, anachronistically, the psychology of heterodoxy.
To profane, means to violate temples and sacred things]. If vanidad secures the inner temple at which the subject worships the world that it captures, consumes, internalizes, and appropriates, profanidad speaks in the Tesoro of the desacralization of the introjected world, of its marketing, of the externalization and setting-into-commerce of what is most secret; it is the language of the money-lenders who people the Temple, and whom Jesus expels, in a set of passages from the gospel of Matthew that had a decisive influence in the histories of modernity, and of anti-semitism.
Discipline is the complex concept that Covarrubias employs to suture these two radically different, even antagonistic terms.
We may surmise, wearing our biographical hat, that the matter presses upon him rather more personally than he cares to admit: he is, we believe, of converso blood, a circumstance that has practical consequences both for him and for his brother, Juan de Horozco, throughout much of their lives.
This two-hatted excursion into Covarrubias then allows me to suggest two hypotheses. What I have just narrated here is a customary and well-scripted story—the simultaneous emergence of a bourgeois public-private distinction on one hand, and of print culture on the other—and on their back, so to speak, the slow organization and institutionalization of forms of knowledge into modern shape.
For Covarrubias and for Cervantes matters are not settled. Very friable, wobbly and untrustworthy keystones, however. The episode I have in mind crops up between the very first and the second sallies of the Knight. In Chapter 7 of the first Part the novel pauses, takes a kind of brief breath, recule pour mieux sauter. For the controversy, Murillo.
A more recent review, in Eisenberg and Stagg. The Knight wakes shouting from a dream and interrupts their culling—with the result that the housekeeper burns all the rest of the books, regardless of their merit. Two days later Don Quixote got out of bed, and the first thing he did was to go to see his books, and since he could not find the library where he had left it, he walked back and forth looking for it.
He went up to the place where the door had been, and he felt it with his hands, and his eyes looked all around, and he did not say a word; but after some time had passed, he asked his housekeeper what had become of the library and his books. He must rather have felt the place where it once was, and sought it out with his hands] Cervantes , And yet what a strange, searching scene this is!
And how does he begin to write? For the moment passes. He pauses before the well-known wall, lets his fingers drift across its surface. His eyes search for the door; he looks this way and that, over and over. For now, consider these two images. Don Quichotte de la Manche ed. Hachette et Cie. This was not one of them. En este sentido, las dimensiones de los cromos 75 mm.
X mm. The bibliography concerning the illustrations of Don Quixote is vast and expanding. See also Rachel Schmidt. And why, as any number of critics have remarked, bother walling or sealing off an empty room in the first place? And yet so much depends on getting through this pause. And we move across a bridge built upon a number of devices. Notice for one the lexical echo, a kind of ton or common tono that joins the physical violence done to don Quixote and his mad world on one hand, with the ideological effort to make him forget the books that gave rise to his madness on the other hand.
Chivalric, pastoral or otherwise heroic motifs find their way into the practices of even the most obstinate skeptics. This heavily over-determined, but almost accidental clause anchors the primary ideological message of the episode: the material disciplining of the Knight is related to the ideological discipline imparted to him as cause is to effect.
In brief, then. It both permits the bridge between material discipline and ideological discipline to be built, and shoots that bridge aslant, makes it unsafe, blocks it off, as one might a door.
Cervantes is not, however, singing the praises, avant la letter, of the relative autonomy of the aesthetic, of its irreducibility to instrumental uses by any single idiom, of its cornucopian excess—like a sort of Kant or Burke or Bataille before himself.
For this excess of the literary with respect to the disciplinary and disciplining force of these languages is for Cervantes a source also of profound anxiety. If it is, indeed, a slip of the tongue. But matters get grimmer still. How has it come to pass that the blank wall to the library, at first a figure for the unwritten word, for the pure potentiality of writing engendered in the jail, has now become like the sealed door to a tomb?
Imagine what might crop up if Cervantes had chosen to extend this excessive summoning-effect, this decomposition of the distinction between intentional acts and accidents even further—as far, indeed, as it could go. Something like this would happen. But I must also point out that it is extremely slow and time-consuming research, and even were we to concede the possibility of a complete recovery of Cervantes' orthography, it is not even in the foreseeable future. I do not mean that they are unimportant details, or that we have any reason not to accept emendations with open arms.
But they are details all the same, and we should keep them in perspective. Yet, of course, it is not wrong just because it is not found in any of the early editions.
People can entender, inanimate objects can not, and therefore people, not books, can have entendimiento. Here is an example of the first. Also Wilson Note that Gayton is basing himself on a translation of the first de la Cueva edition, where the original mudar has not yet been changed to murar: The plot was to change his Chamber, and damm up his study. This elusion of his Chamber, was good, pro tempore. I knew a humorous Cook in Oxon, so given to shift and alter doors in his house, that one morning early, he changed the door belonging to a pair of stairs, which went to one of his Lodgers chambers; who not knowing of this alteration, run down hastily as at other times and found his head stuck in a new mud wall, which did so confound him going about some other necessary businesse that by reason of the forcible detainer, it was a great question, whether he was in more mortar, above or below.
Of the like losse of a study, it is certaine that a scholar called somewhat hastily from the place to a friend, who had brought some token to him, left his door wide open, and making merry somewhat late, returned at night, and resolved to have candle, though his head was light enough[ ], he passed by his study-door, and came to the window in the study, where finding himselfe, he cryed out frighted at the apprehension of his losse Theeves, Theeves, my Study is stolne, but indeed he had lost nothing but that afternoon and his wits, which his chamber fellows awakened with the noyse he made recovered him to, and having put the door into his hand with 8 Edwin B.
Knowles, Jr. By far the best article I know on Gayton is Nigel Smith. What was once Spanish translated into English in the service of Roman Catholic agendas becomes commentary as a means of keeping alive a defeated royalist cultural heritage. My own thoughts on the uses to which England puts Spain in the Early Modern period may be found, among others, in Jacques Lezra and And the nature of this instrumental function is as shocking to-day as it was when it served the compensatory function of opening up a porvenir beyond the failed colonial enterprise.
Unamuno and Ganivet You, friend Unamuno, who are a sincere Christian, will solve the problem radically, converting Spain into a Christian nation, not in its form, but in its essence, as no other nation in the world has been. Spain is an absurd nation, a metaphysically impossible nation, and absurdity is its spine and principal foundation.
Its sanity will be the sign of its ending. But where you see don Quixote return defeated by the Knight of the White Moon, I see him return beaten by the pitiless yanguesans whom he ran into by bad lack. I mean to say by this that don Quixote made three sorties and Spain has only made one and is still missing two before it can be cured, and then die. The idealism of don Quixote was so exalted, that the first time he left on his adventures he forgot to take money and even a change of underclothing; the advice the inn-keeper gave him influenced him, even though they came from such an unschooled source, and they made him turn back.
But don Quixote, very slyly, in the mean time was recruiting Sancho Panza to be his squire, selling one thing and pawning another, and hawking them all, put together a reasonable sum to make his second sortie, on a firmer footing than the first time. Spain returns now from her first escapade in order to prepare the second one; and even though many Spaniards believe in good faith that we should try to dissuade her, we will make no headway.
I also said that it would be best to close all the doors so that Spain could not escape, and yet, against my will, I leave one ajar: the door to Africa, thinking about the future. We should indeed work to achieve a purely Spanish historical period.
And in this new series of adventures we will have a squire, and that squire will be the Arab. What has happened to move us from Gayton to Ganivet? From a successful, if chaotic, undignified, superficial reading, to a mystical, instrumentalizing, exclusionary, unsuccessful one?
Almost everything, of course—historically, chronologically, linguistically. But one important element in this shift, I want to argue, is the institutionalization of literary studies as an academic discipline which precisely sits upon a three-footed stool: the stabilization of authorial intention by means of biography; the stabilization of textual lectiones by means of increasingly sophisticated editing conventions and paradigms; and the solution of interpretive complexities and textual cruxes by recourse to both of these.
The RAE edition of supplied both. The constant collision between these perspectives, de los Rios suggested, gives the novel its tensions. I have been making an argument about the ungovernable literary effects in Don Quixote, effects which produce and resist a certain sort of disciplinarity in literary studies. Don Quixote pauses before a spot he knows so well, now so strangely unfamiliar.
His eyes drift here and there in search of the familiar trace, the well-known approach, of that door into a world with established rules and pleasures, exotic and private, Oriental as well as American, lost and emergent. A letter to the Reverend Dr. Percy, concerning a new and classical edition of Historia del valeroso cavallero Don Quixote de la Mancha. White, Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de.
Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda