Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Twisted Travels

frontispiece with an image of CervantesMost of us who were educated in the West will recognize at least the name of Don Quixote, the titular character of Miguel Cervantes's monumental novel. Published partially in 1605 and then completely in 1615, Don Quixote is arguably one of the most important works of literature in the Western canon. Cervantes's influence stretches beyond the debt owed to him by other later writers to affect vernacular vocabulary: words like "quixotic" and "Lothario" have their origin in this Spanish masterpiece. As we've blogged before, Special Collections has a world-class Quixote collection, and so we are always finding new amazing little treasures within its rows upon rows of books.

map of Quixote's Spain that has a red line showing the character's travels across the country.This week, Professor Paul Carranza, a senior lecturer in in the Spanish and Portuguese deparment, shared one of his recent finds with us: a beautiful map of Spain tipped into a late 18th-century edition of Don Quixote. Although we all may be aware that the beleaguered man from La Mancha traveled a long and sometimes tortuous path across Spain in pursuit of chivalric glory, it's not often that one sees the fictional character's route marked out in detail on a contemporary map of the Iberian peninsula. The thin red line that traces the knight errant's course though his country is a wonderful and vivid complement to the long and engaging text of the novel that relates his doomed adventures.

To see the map, ask for volume one of Quixote PQ6323 .A1 1787.

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