Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


p 85-1349
Forks High School Future Homemakers of America DON QUIXOTE by Cervantes 1605 + 1615 and AVELLANEDA 1614 Probably the most important and beloved novel ever written was DON QUIXOTE by Miguel Cervantes vol. 1 1605 volume 2 1615 early English translation by Shelton 1608 best translation by John Ormsby around 1880s. In 1614 a variant DON QUIXOTE by a different author who used pen name AVELLANENA appeared, and Cervantes makies rejoinder to it in Volume 2. Supposedly Avellaneda was from Aragon in eastern Spain and a clergyman and believed Cervantes had insulted the playwright Loe de Vega. From Vol. Two chapter 59 to the end Ch. 74 Quixote and Sancho Panza furiously denouce the pirated and unauthorized version as libelous and untrue. Quixote, who had planned to enter jousting as Zaragoza as a knight errant, goes to Barcelona instead, to foil the Avellaneda account and make clear that he is not Avellaneda's Quixote. Cervantes creates a fictional Arabic historian Cidi Hamete Benengeli, who is supposed to have written the history of Quixote, which he has found and had translated into Castilian. In the final chapter, notaries verify that Quixote has died, and Benengeli rhapsodizes to his pen, as he hangs it on a hook, that Quixote is truly dead and no imposter should try to take the pen down and write more, as he has exploded the medieval tales of knights errant, and no more is needed. There seems to be a possibility that Cervantes or a crony actually wrote the Avellaneda version for publicity purposes or to create a foil for the second volume. I am not the first person to raise this question, but it is not widely discussed, and I have not made up my mind. It is often assumed Cervantes began the story casually, with the adventures of a madman crazed by reading tales of knights errant, and that when it went well he added Sancho Panza about chapter seven, and Cidi Hamete Benengeli around Chapter Eight. However, i hope to assemble evidence that much of the narrative was planned early in the construction. In Vol. One chapter four, the knight errant tries to aid a teenager who is being beaten by the farmer he works for, but we learn later that his intervention has actually made things worse, and Quixote does great harm beating innocent people in his delusions and freeing the king's convicted prisoners, who are being sent to the galleys, including Gines de Pasamonte, who then steals Sancho's donkey. Early on we learn that Sancho dreams of becoming a governor of an island, and this is one of the climaxes of Volume Two, where Sancho quotes his master's advice "If justice must err, let it err on the side of mercy." Seeming digressions like "the Ill-Advised Curiosity" about a fool who distrusts his wife and best friend" actually have a deep relevance to the main story. Cervantes often creates parallel episodes - a "theme-and-variations design - Don Quixote has a vision of Merlin in the Cave of Montesinos, Sancho rides the wooden horse in the sky and touches the Pleiades, and then falls into a cave, where Quixote thinks he must resuce a sould from Purgatory, when he hears Sancho's screams and the bray of the donkey. At the beginning of Volume Two, Quixote and Sancho are excited and amazed to find a book has been written about them, and in many ways this leads into their indignation in chapter 59 at Avellaneda's libel. Is this one of Cervantes' best jokes, largely undiscovered 400 years? In Chapter 70 the female prankster Altisodora tells Quixote she has had a dream she was dead and just outside the gate of Hell, where demons were playing tennis, and they banged a smashed copy of Avellaneda's book down into hell. I am not ready to say positively that Cervantes himself was responsible for the "Avellaneda" version, but I invite friends to "Look at the text" in a phrase of my old classics teacher Dr. Van Courtlandt Elliott Notes on Miguel Cervantes and DON QUIXOTE Miguel Cervantes was born 1547 in central Spain, in the southeast of the old kingdon of Castile. His left arm and hand were crippled 1571 in the great Naval battle of LEPANTO against the Turks in the narrow waters near Naupaktos leading from the Adriatic Sea toward the Isthmus of Corinth. It was an important victory for Spain and Venice and their allies under Don Juan of Austria and led to a gradual decline of Turkish power in the Mediterranean and Europe. Cervantes was captured by pirates on his way home and was a prisoner in Algeria, finally getting home in 1581. He wrote the first and probably the greatest novel of modern world literature "DON QUIXOTE" in two volumes 1605 and 1615 near the end of his life, dying of diabetes 1616 five days after Shakespeare. The madness of Quixote is supposed to be caused by excessive reading of tales of chivalry and knights errant, of which the most famous is the Amadis of Gaul, as preserved in Spain, though the action is supposed to be centered in France and Britain. In Volume I Quixote sets out alone first and goes to a tavern, which he takes for a castle and demands that the innkeeper dub him a knight, which he does to humor Quixote. One of the first adventures comes when Quixote sees a farmer beating a teenage boy, whom he says is lazy and unreliable. Quixote orders him to stop and pay the boy back wages, and Quixote for a time cites this as one example of the good he does as a traveling knight errant, but some weeks later he encounters the boy, who tells him as soon as Quixote was out of sight the farmer beat him more mercilessly than ever. The innkeeper advised Quixote to go home and carry money and shirts, so he goes home to La Mancha, where his niece and housekeeper are greatly distressed, and the local curate and barber burn most of his books. He then sets out again, with a naive neighbor Sancho Panza as his squire. Don Quiote is very tall and rides a very thin hack of a horse Rocinante, while Sancho is very devoted to his gray donkey. Quizote says knights errant dedicate their good works adding the oppressed to their ladies, and his is the imaginary Dulcinea del Toboso, of unequaled beauty. Quixote tilts against a windmill in one of his best known adventures. He fights a Basque or Viscayan and mistakes herds of sheep for opposing armies. They go to another inn, where Sancho is tossed in a blanket.
Year: 1999