Metamateriality and Blood Purity in Cervantes’s Alcaná de Toledo

  • Rachel L. Burk

Abstract

Early in the First Part of Don Quixote (1605), the narrator intervenes in the story of the knight’s exploits to explain that his source for the text up to this point, originally found in the archives of La Mancha, has run out. Fortuitously, he tells us, he has discovered Cide Hamete Benenjeli’s continuation of Quijote’s adventures at a stall in Toledo’s Alcaná marketplace. It is this manuscript—in a language he cannot read, with amusing marginalia, and found in a pile of junk—that forms the supposed basis for what becomes a central masterpiece of European literature.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    All translations are from Edith Grossman, trans., Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (New York: Ecco Books, 2005). Cervantes scholars writing in English often prefer “j” rather than “x” in the spelling of Don Quijote for the sound to reflect orthographic changes in Spanish spelling. This essay acknowledges both the older Spanish printed form and its contemporary version. I use the orthographic difference as a means to distinguish the novel’s title, Don Quixote, from the character, Don Quijote.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Rachel L. Burk 2014

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  • Rachel L. Burk

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