Title page of first edition (1605)
|Author||Miguel de Cervantes|
|Original title||El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote De la Mancha|
|Language||Old Spanish (Old Castilian)|
|Genre||Picaresco, satire, parody, farce|
|Publisher||Juan de la Cuesta|
|1605 (Part One)
1615 (Part Two)
Published in English
|1612 (Part One)
1620 (Part Two)
Don Quixote (/ /; Spanish: [ˈdoŋ kiˈxote] ( )), fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (Spanish: El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha), is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It follows the adventures of Alonso Quixano, an hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry, under the name Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthly wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote is met by the world as it is, initiating such themes as intertextuality, realism, metatheatre, and literary representation.
Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. It has had major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844) and Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). In a 2002 list, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written", and has been translated into more languages than any other literary work, with the exception of the Bible.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Meaning
- 3 Themes
- 4 Background
- 5 Style
- 6 Publication
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
The First Sally
Alonso Quixano, the protagonist of the novel, is a retired country gentleman nearing fifty years of age, living in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and housekeeper. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, his reading of books of chivalry in excess has had a profound effect on him, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties. In essence, he believes every word of these books of chivalry to be true though, for the most part, the content of these books is clearly fiction. Otherwise, his wits are intact.
He decides to sally forth as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armour, renames himself "Don Quixote," and names his skinny horse "Rocinante". He designates Aldonza Lorenzo, a neighboring farm girl, as his lady love, renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso, while she knows nothing of this.
He sets out in the early morning and ends up at an inn, which he believes to be a castle. He asks the innkeeper, whom he thinks to be the lord of the castle, to dub him a knight. He spends the night holding vigil over his armor, where he becomes involved in a fight with muleteers who try to remove his armor from the horse trough so that they can water their mules. The innkeeper then dubs him a knight to be rid of him, and sends him on his way.
Don Quixote next "frees" a young boy who is tied to a tree and beaten by his master and makes his master swear on the chivalric code to treat the boy fairly. The boy's beating is continued as soon as Quixote leaves. Don Quixote has a run-in with traders from Toledo, who "insult" the imaginary Dulcinea. He attacks them, only to be severely beaten and left on the side of the road. Don Quixote is found and returned to his home by a neighboring peasant.
The Second Sally
While Don Quixote is unconscious in his bed, his niece, the housekeeper, the parish curate, and the local barber secretly burn most of the books of chivalry, and seal up his library pretending that a magician has carried it off. After a short period of feigning health, Don Quixote approaches his neighbor, Sancho Panza, and asks him to be his squire, promising him governorship of an island. The uneducated Sancho agrees, and the pair sneak off in the early dawn. It is here that their series of famous adventures begin, starting with Don Quixote's attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants.
The two next encounter a group of friars accompanying a lady in a carriage. The friars are heavily cloaked, as is the lady, to protect themselves from the hot climate and dust on the road. Don Quixote takes the friars to be enchanters who hold the lady captive. He knocks a friar from his horse, and is immediately challenged by an armed Basque traveling with the company. As he has no shield, the Basque uses a pillow to protect himself, which saves him when Don Quixote strikes him. The combat ends with the lady leaving her carriage and commanding those traveling with her to "surrender" to Don Quixote.
The Pastoral Wanderings
Sancho and Don Quixote go on, and fall in with a group of goatherds. Don Quixote tells Sancho and the goatherds about the "Golden Age" of man, reminiscent of Ovid (and perhaps foreshadowing the work of Rousseau) in which property does not exist, and men live in peace. The goatherds invite the Knight and Sancho to the funeral of Grisóstomo, once a student who left his studies to become a shepherd after reading Pastoral novels, seeking the shepherdess Marcela. At the funeral Marcela appears, delivering a long speech vindicating herself from the bitter verses written about her by Grisóstomo, claiming her own autonomy and freedom from expectations put on her by Pastoral clichés.
She disappears into the woods, and Don Quixote and Sancho follow. Ultimately giving up, the two stop and dismount by a pond to rest. Some Galicians arrive to water their ponies, and Rocinante (Don Quixote's horse) attempts to mate with the ponies. The Galicians hit Rocinante with clubs to dissuade him, which Don Quixote takes as a threat and runs to defend Rocinante. The Galicians beat Don Quixote and Sancho leaving them in great pain.
The Adventures with Cardenio and Dorotea
After Don Quixote frees a group of galley slaves, The Knight and Sancho wander into the Sierra Morena, and there encounter the dejected Cardenio. Cardenio relates the first part of his story, in which he falls deeply in love with his childhood friend Luscinda, and is hired as the companion to the Duke's son, leading to his friendship with the Duke's younger son, Don Fernando. Cardenio confides in Don Fernando his love for Luscinda and the delays in their engagement, caused by Cardenio's desire to keep with tradition. After reading Cardenio's poems praising Luscinda, Don Fernando falls in love with her. Don Quixote interrupts when Cardenio suggests that his beloved may have become unfaithful after the formulaic stories of spurned lovers in Chivalric novels.
In the course of their travels, the protagonists meet innkeepers, prostitutes, goatherds, soldiers, priests, escaped convicts, and scorned lovers. These characters sometimes tell tales that incorporate events from the real world, like the conquest of the Kingdom of Maynila or battles of the Eighty Years' War. These encounters are magnified by Don Quixote’s imagination into chivalrous quests. Don Quixote’s tendency to intervene violently in matters which do not concern him, and his habit of not paying his debts, result in many privations, injuries, and humiliations (with Sancho often getting the worst of it). Finally, Don Quixote is persuaded to return to his home village. The narrator hints that there was a third quest, but says that records of it have been lost.
The Third Sally
Although the two parts are now published as a single work, Don Quixote, Part Two was a sequel published ten years after the original novel. While Part One was mostly farcical, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception.
As Part Two begins, it is assumed that the literate classes of Spain have all read the first part of the history of Don Quixote and his squire. Cervantes's meta-fictional device was to make even the characters in the story familiar with the publication of Part One, as well as with an actually published fraudulent Part Two. When strangers encounter the duo in person, they already know their famous history. A Duke and Duchess, and others, deceive Don Quixote for entertainment, setting forth a string of imagined adventures resulting in a series of practical jokes. Some of them are quite sadistic, and they put Don Quixote's sense of chivalry and his devotion to Dulcinea through many tests.
Even Sancho deceives him at one point. Pressured into finding Dulcinea, Sancho brings back three dirty and ragged peasant girls, and tells Don Quixote that they are Dulcinea and her ladies-in-waiting. When Don Quixote only sees the peasant girls, Sancho pretends that their derelict appearance results from an enchantment.
Sancho later gets his comeuppance for this when, as part of one of the duke and duchess's pranks, the two are led to believe that the only method to release Dulcinea from her spell is for Sancho to give himself a surplus of three thousand lashes. Sancho naturally resists this course of action, leading to friction with his master. Under the duke's patronage, Sancho eventually gets a governorship, though it is false, and proves to be a wise and practical ruler; though this ends in humiliation as well.
Near the end, Don Quixote reluctantly sways towards sanity: an inn is just an inn, not a castle.
The lengthy untold "history" of Don Quixote's adventures in knight-errantry comes to a close after his battle with the Knight of the White Moon (actually a young man from Don Quixote's hometown) on the beach in Barcelona, in which the reader finds him conquered. Bound by the rules of chivalry, Don Quixote submits to prearranged terms that the vanquished is to obey the will of the conqueror, which in this case, is that Don Quixote is to lay down his arms and cease his acts of chivalry for the period of one year (a duration in which he may be cured of his madness). Defeated and dejected, he and Sancho start their journey home.
Upon returning to his village, Don Quixote announces his plan to retire to the countryside and live the pastoral existence of shepherd, although his housekeeper, who has a more realistic view of the hard life of a shepherd, urges him to stay home and tend to his own affairs. Soon after, he retires to his bed with a deathly illness, possibly brought on by melancholy over his defeats and humiliations. One day, he awakes from a dream having fully recovered his sanity.
Sancho tries to restore his faith, but Alonso Quixano, for that is his true name, can only renounce his previous existence and apologize for the harm he has caused. He dictates his will, which includes a provision that his niece will be disinherited if she marries a man who reads books of chivalry. After Alonso Quixano dies, the author emphasizes that there are no more adventures to relate, and that any further books about Don Quixote would be spurious.
Part Two of Don Quixote is often regarded as the birth of modern literature, as it explores the concept of a character understanding that he is being written about. This is a theme much explored in writings of the 20th Century.
It wasn't until the time Cervantes wrote his masterpiece that the Muslim population was made to leave Spain. Several references are made to the forcible expulsion of the Moorish population. The book contains multiple Muslim (or Muslim converso) characters (Ricote, Cide Hamete Benengeli, Princess Zoraida). In the first book, the narrator credits the tale of Don Quixote to a (fictitious) Muslim historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli...
In stark contrast Harold Bloom says that Don Quixote is the writing of radical nihilism and anarchy, preferring the glory of fantasy over the real world which includes imminent death, being "...the first modern novel"
Edith Grossman, who wrote and published a highly acclaimed English translation of the novel in 2003, says that the book is mostly meant to move people into emotion using a systematic change of course, on the verge of both tragedy and comedy at the same time.
- Grossman has stated "The question is that Quixote has multiple interpretations... and how do I deal with that in my translation.
- I'm going to answer your question by avoiding it... so when I first started reading the Quixote I thought it was the most tragic book in the world, and I would read it and weep... As I grew older...my skin grew thicker... and so when I was working on the translation I was actually sitting at my computer and laughing out loud. This is done... as Cervantes did it... by never letting the reader rest. You are never certain that you truly got it. Because as soon as you think you understand something, Cervantes introduces something that contradicts your premise."
The novel's structure is in episodic form. It is written in the picaresco style of the late 16th century, and features reference other picaresque novels including Lazarillo de Tormes and The Golden Ass. The full title is indicative of the tale's object, as ingenioso (Spanish) means "quick with inventiveness" marking the transition of modern literature from Dramatic to thematic unity. The novel takes place over a long period of time, including many adventures all united by common themes of the nature of reality, reading, and dialogue in general.
Although farcical on the surface, the novel, especially in its second half, is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception. Quixote has served as an important thematic source not only in literature but also in much of art and music, inspiring works by Pablo Picasso and Richard Strauss. The contrasts between the tall, thin, fancy-struck, and idealistic Quixote and the fat, squat, world-weary Panza is a motif echoed ever since the book’s publication, and Don Quixote's imaginings are the butt of outrageous and cruel practical jokes in the novel.
Even faithful and simple Sancho is unintentionally forced to deceive him at certain points. The novel is considered a satire of orthodoxy, veracity, and even nationalism. In going beyond mere storytelling to exploring the individualism of his characters, Cervantes helped move beyond the narrow literary conventions of the chivalric romance literature that he spoofed, which consists of straightforward retelling of a series of acts that redound to the knightly virtues of the hero.
From shepherds to tavern-owners and inn-keepers, the characterization in Don Quixote was groundbreaking. The character of Don Quixote became so well known in its time that the word quixotic was quickly adopted by many languages. Characters such as Sancho Panza and Don Quixote's steed, Rocinante, are emblems of Western literary culture. The phrase "tilting at windmills" to describe an act of attacking imaginary enemies derives from an iconic scene in the book.
It stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance and the modern novel. The former consist of disconnected stories featuring the same characters and settings with little exploration of the inner life of even the main character. The latter are usually focused on the psychological evolution of their characters. In Part I, Quixote imposes himself on his environment. By Part II, people know about him through "having read his adventures", and so, he needs to do less to maintain his image. By his deathbed, he has regained his sanity, and is once more "Alonso Quixano the Good".
When it was first published, Don Quixote was usually interpreted as a comic novel. After the French Revolution it was popular in part due to its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong and seen as disenchanting—not comic at all. In the 19th century it was seen as a social commentary, but no one could easily tell "whose side Cervantes was on". Many critics came to view the work as a tragedy in which Don Quixote's innate idealism and nobility are viewed by the world as insane, and are defeated and rendered useless by common reality. By the 20th century the novel had come to occupy a canonical space as one of the foundations of modern literature.
Sources for Don Quixote include the Castillian novel Amadis de Gaula, which had enjoyed great popularity throughout the 16th century. Another prominent source, which Cervantes evidently admires more, is Tirant lo Blanch, which the priest describes in Chapter VI of Quixote as "the best book in the world." (However, the sense in which it was "best" is much debated among scholars. The passage is called since the nineteenth century "the most difficult passage of Don Quixote". The scene of the book burning gives us an excellent list of Cervantes's likes and dislikes about literature.
Cervantes makes a number of references to the Italian poem Orlando furioso. In chapter 10 of the first part of the novel, Don Quixote says he must take the magical helmet of Mambrino, an episode from Canto I of Orlando, and itself a reference to Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando innamorato. The interpolated story in chapter 33 of Part four of the First Part is a retelling of a tale from Canto 43 of Orlando, regarding a man who tests the fidelity of his wife.
Another important source appears to have been Apuleius's The Golden Ass, one of the earliest known novels, a picaresque from late classical antiquity. The wineskins episode near the end of the interpolated tale "The Curious Impertinent" in chapter 35 of the first part of Don Quixote is a clear reference to Apuleius, and recent scholarship suggests that the moral philosophy and the basic trajectory of Apuleius's novel are fundamental to Cervantes's program. Similarly, many of both Sancho's adventures in Part II and proverbs throughout are taken from popular Spanish and Italian folklore.
Cervantes's experiences as a galley slave in Algiers also influenced Quijote.
Spurious Second Part by Avellaneda
It is not certain when Cervantes began writing Part Two of Don Quixote, but he had probably not gotten much further than Chapter LIX by late July 1614. About September, however, a spurious Part Two, entitled Second Volume of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha: by the Licenciado (doctorate) Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda, of Tordesillas, was published in Tarragona by an unidentified Aragonese who was an admirer of Lope de Vega, rival of Cervantes.
Some modern scholars suggest that Don Quixote's fictional encounter with Avellaneda in Chapter 59 of Part II should not be taken as the date that Cervantes encountered it, which may have been much earlier.
Avellaneda's identity has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus as to who he was. In its prologue, the author gratuitously insulted Cervantes, who not surprisingly took offense and responded; the last half of Chapter LIX and most of the following chapters of Cervantes' Segunda Parte lend some insight into the effects upon him; Cervantes manages to work in some subtle digs at Avellaneda's own work, and in his preface to Part II, comes very near to criticizing Avellaneda directly.
The second part of Cervantes' Don Quixote, finished as a direct result of the Avellaneda book, has come to be regarded by some literary critics as superior to the first part, because of its greater depth of characterization, its discussions, mostly between Quixote and Sancho, on diverse subjects, and its philosophical insights.
Don Quixote, Part One contains a number of stories which do not directly involve the two main characters, but which are narrated by some of the picaresque figures encountered by the Don and Sancho during their travels. The longest and best known of these is "El Curioso Impertinente" (the impertinently curious man), found in Part One, Book Four. This story, read to a group of travelers at an inn, tells of a Florentine nobleman, Anselmo, who becomes obsessed with testing his wife's fidelity, and talks his close friend Lothario into attempting to seduce her, with disastrous results for all.
In Part Two, the author acknowledges the criticism of his digressions in Part One and promises to concentrate the narrative on the central characters (although at one point he laments that his narrative muse has been constrained in this manner). Nevertheless, "Part Two" contains several back narratives related by peripheral characters.
Several abridged editions have been published which delete some or all of the extra tales in order to concentrate on the central narrative.
Spelling and pronunciation
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Cervantes wrote his work in a form of Old Castilian, the medieval form of the Spanish language. The language of Don Quixote, although still containing archaisms, is far more understandable to modern Spanish readers than is, for instance, the completely medieval Spanish of the Poema de mio Cid, a kind of Spanish that is as different from Cervantes's language as Middle English is from Modern English. The Old Castilian language was also used to show the higher class that came with being a knight errant.
In Don Quixote there are basically two different types of Castilian: Old Castilian is spoken only by Don Quixote, while the rest of the roles speak a modern version of Spanish. The Old Castilian of Don Quixote is a Humoristic resource – he copies the language spoken in the chivalric books that made him mad; and many times, when he talks nobody is able to understand him because his language is too old. This humorous effect is more difficult to see nowadays because the reader must be able to distinguish the two old versions of the language, but when the book was published it was much celebrated. (English translations can get some sense of the effect by having Don Quixote use King James Bible or Shakespearian English phrases.)
In Old Castilian the letter x represented the sound written sh in modern English, so the name was originally pronounced "ki-SHOT-eh "[kiˈʃote]. However as Old Castilian evolved towards modern Spanish, a sound change caused it to be pronounced with a voiceless velar fricative sound (like the Scottish or German ch), and today the Spanish pronunciation of "Quixote" is ki-HO-teh [kiˈxote]. The original pronunciation is reflected in languages such as Astur-Leonese, Galician, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, and French, where it is pronounced with a "sh" or "ch" sound; the French opera Don Quichotte is one of the best-known modern examples of this pronunciation.
Today, English speakers generally attempt something close to the modern Spanish pronunciation of Quixote (Quijote), as [dɒŋ kiːˈhoʊteɪ], although the traditional English spelling-based pronunciation with the value of the letter x in modern English is still sometimes used, resulting in /ˈkwɪksət/ or /ˈkwɪksoʊt/. In Australian English, the preferred pronunciation amongst members of the educated classes was /ˈkwɪksət/ until well into the 1970s, as part of a tendency for the upper class to "anglicise its borrowing ruthlessly". The traditional English rendering is preserved in the pronunciation of the adjectival form quixotic, i.e., /kwɪkˈsoʊtɨk/ or /kwɪkˈsɒtɪk/, defined by Meriam-Webster as the foolishly impractical pursuit of ideals, typically marked by rash and lofty romanticism.
En un lugar de La Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor. (Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.)—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Volume I, Chapter I (translated by Edith Grossman)
The story also takes place in El Toboso where Don Quixote goes to seek Dulcinea's blessings. The location of the village to which Cervantes alludes in the opening sentence of Don Quixote has been the subject of debate since its publication over four centuries ago. Indeed, Cervantes deliberately omits the name of the village, giving an explanation in the final chapter:
Such was the end of the Ingenious Gentlemen of La Mancha, whose village Cide Hamete would not indicate precisely, in order to leave all the towns and villages of La Mancha to contend among themselves for the right to adopt him and claim him as a son, as the seven cities of Greece contended for Homer.—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Volume II, Chapter 74
In 2004, a multidisciplinary team of academics from Complutense University, led by Francisco Parra Luna, Manuel Fernández Nieto and Santiago Petschen Verdaguer, deduced that the village was that of Villanueva de los Infantes. Their findings were published in a paper titled "'El Quijote' como un sistema de distancias/tiempos: hacia la localización del lugar de la Mancha", which was later published as a book: El enigma resuelto del Quijote. The result was replicated in two subsequent investigations: "La determinación del lugar de la Mancha como problema estadístico" and "The Kinematics of the Quixote and the Identity of the 'Place in La Mancha'".
Because of its widespread influence, Don Quixote also helped cement the modern Spanish language. The opening sentence of the book created a classic Spanish cliché with the phrase "de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme" ("whose name I do not wish to recall"): "En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no hace mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor." ("In a village of La Mancha, whose name I do not wish to recall, there lived, not very long ago, one of those gentlemen with a lance in the lance-rack, an ancient shield, a skinny old horse, and a fast greyhound.")
The novel's farcical elements make use of punning and similar verbal playfulness. Character-naming in Don Quixote makes ample figural use of contradiction, inversion, and irony, such as the names Rocinante (a reversal) and Dulcinea (an allusion to illusion), and the word quixote itself, possibly a pun on quijada (jaw) but certainly cuixot (Catalan: thighs), a reference to a horse's rump.
As a military term, the word quijote refers to cuisses, part of a full suit of plate armour protecting the thighs. The Spanish suffix -ote denotes the augmentative—for example, grande means large, but grandote means extra large. Following this example, Quixote would suggest 'The Great Quijano', a play on words that makes much sense in light of the character's delusions of grandeur.
La Mancha is a region of Spain, but mancha (Spanish word) means spot, mark, stain. Translators such as John Ormsby have declared La Mancha to be one of the most desertlike, unremarkable regions of Spain, the least romantic and fanciful place that one would imagine as the home of a courageous knight.
In July 1604, Cervantes sold the rights of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (known as Don Quixote, Part I) to the publisher-bookseller Francisco de Robles for an unknown sum. License to publish was granted in September, the printing was finished in December, and the book came out on 16 January 1605.
The novel was an immediate success. The majority of the 400 copies of the first edition were sent to the New World, with the publisher hoping to get a better price in the Americas. Although most of them disappeared in a shipwreck near La Havana, approximately 70 copies reached Lima, from where they were sent to Cuzco in the heart of the defunct Inca Empire.
No sooner was it in the hands of the public than preparations were made to issue derivative (pirated) editions. "Don Quixote" had been growing in favour, and its author's name was now known beyond the Pyrenees. By August 1605 there were two Madrid editions, two published in Lisbon, and one in Valencia. A second edition was produced with additional copyrights for Aragon and Portugal, which publisher Francisco de Robles secured.
Sale of these publishing rights deprived Cervantes of further financial profit on Part One. In 1607, an edition was printed in Brussels. Robles, the Madrid publisher, found it necessary to meet demand with a third edition, a seventh publication in all, in 1608. Popularity of the book in Italy was such that a Milan bookseller issued an Italian edition in 1610. Yet another Brussels edition was called for in 1611. Since then, numerous editions have been released and in total, the novel is believed to have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
In 1613, Cervantes published the Novelas Ejemplares, dedicated to the Maecenas of the day, the Conde de Lemos. Eight and a half years after Part One had appeared, we get the first hint of a forthcoming Segunda Parte (Part Two). "You shall see shortly," Cervantes says, "the further exploits of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza." Don Quixote, Part Two, published by the same press as its predecessor, appeared late in 1615, and quickly reprinted in Brussels and Valencia (1616) and Lisbon (1617). Part two capitalizes on the potential of the first while developing and diversifying the material without sacrificing familiarity. Many people agree that it is richer and more profound.[who?] Parts One and Two were published as one edition in Barcelona in 1617. Historically, Cervantes's work has been said to have “smiled Spain’s chivalry away”, suggesting that Don Quixote as a chivalric satire contributed to the demise of Spanish Chivalry.
English editions in translation
There are many translations of the book, and it has been adapted many times in shortened versions. Many derivative editions were also written at the time, as was the custom of envious or unscrupulous writers. Seven years after the Parte Primera appeared, Don Quixote had been translated into French, German, Italian, and English, with the first French translation of 'Part II' appearing in 1618, and the first English translation in 1620. One abridged adaptation, authored by Agustín Sánchez, runs slightly over 150 pages, cutting away about 750 pages.
Thomas Shelton's English translation of the First Part appeared in 1612. Shelton is a somewhat elusive figure: some claim Shelton was actually a friend of Cervantes, although there is no credible evidence to support this claim. Although Shelton's version is cherished by some, according to John Ormsby and Samuel Putnam, it was far from satisfactory as a carrying over of Cervantes's text. Shelton's translation of the novel's Second Part appeared in 1620.
Near the end of the 17th century, John Phillips, a nephew of poet John Milton, published what Putnam considered the worst English translation. The translation, as literary critics claim, was not based on Cervantes' text but mostly upon a French work by Filleau de Saint-Martin and upon notes which Thomas Shelton had written.
Around 1700, a version by Pierre Antoine Motteux appeared. Motteux's translation enjoyed lasting popularity; it was reprinted as the Modern Library Series edition of the novel until recent times. Nonetheless, future translators would find much to fault in Motteux's version: Samuel Putnam criticized "the prevailing slapstick quality of this work, especially where Sancho Panza is involved, the obtrusion of the obscene where it is found in the original, and the slurring of difficulties through omissions or expanding upon the text". John Ormsby considered Motteux's version "worse than worthless", and denounced its "infusion of Cockney flippancy and facetiousness" into the original.
The proverb 'The proof of the pudding is in the eating' is widely attributed to Cervantes. The Spanish word for pudding, 'budín', however doesn't appear in the original text but premieres in the Motteux translation. In Smolletts translation of 1755 he notes that the original text reads literally "you will see when the eggs are fried" meaning 'time will tell'.
In 1742, the Charles Jervas translation appeared, posthumously. Through a printer's error, it came to be known, and is still known, as "the Jarvis translation". It was the most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time, but future translator John Ormsby points out in his own introduction to the novel that the Jarvis translation has been criticized as being too stiff. Nevertheless, it became the most frequently reprinted translation of the novel until about 1885. Another 18th century translation into English was that of Tobias Smollett, himself a novelist, first published in 1755. Like the Jarvis translation, it continues to be reprinted today.
Most modern translators take as their model the 1885 translation by John Ormsby. It is said[by whom?] that his translation was the most honest of all translations, without expansions upon the text or changing of the proverbs.
An expurgated children's version, under the title The Story of Don Quixote, was published in 1922 (available on Project Gutenberg). It leaves out the risqué sections as well as chapters that young readers might consider dull, and embellishes a great deal on Cervantes's original text. The title page actually gives credit to the two editors as if they were the authors, and omits any mention of Cervantes.
The most widely read English-language translations of the mid-20th century are by Samuel Putnam (1949), J. M. Cohen (1950; Penguin Classics), and Walter Starkie (1957). The last English translation of the novel in the 20th century was by Burton Raffel, published in 1996. The 21st century has already seen four new translations of the novel into English. The first is by John D. Rutherford and the second by Edith Grossman. Reviewing the novel in the New York Times, Carlos Fuentes called Grossman's translation a "major literary achievement" and another called it the "most transparent and least impeded among more than a dozen English translations going back to the 17th century."
In 2005, the year of the novel's 400th anniversary, Tom Lathrop published a new English translation of the novel, based on a lifetime of specialized study of the novel and its history. The fourth translation of the 21st century was released in 2006 by former Spanish professor James Montgomery, 26 years after he had begun it, in an attempt to "recreate the sense of the original as closely as possible, though not at the expense of Cervantes' literary style."
- Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda – author of a spurious sequel to Don Quixote, which in turn is referenced in the actual sequel
- List of Don Quixote characters
- List of works influenced by Don Quixote – including a gallery of paintings and illustrations
- Tirant lo Blanc – one of the chivalric novels frequently referenced by Don Quixote
- Amadis de Gaula – one of the chivalric novels found in the library of Don Quixote
- António José da Silva – writer of Vida do Grande Dom Quixote de la Mancha e do Gordo Sancho Pança (1733)
- Belianis – one of the chivalric novels found in the library of Don Quixote
- coco – In the last chapter, the epitaph of Don Quijote identifies him as "el coco" 
- Man of la Mancha, a musical play based on the novel.
- Angelique, Chrisafis (21 July 2003). "Don Quixote is the world's best book say the world's top authors". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- The Knight in the Mirror a 2003 book report in The Guardian about Harold Bloom's book.
- Edith Grossman about Don Quixote as tragedy and comedy a discussion held in New York City on 5 February 2009 by Words Without Borders (YouTube)
- ingenio 1, Real Academia Española
- Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes, Edicíon de Florencio Sevilla Arroyo, Área 2002 p.161
- "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes, translated and annotated by Edith Grossman, p.272
- See chapter 2 of E. C. Graf's Cervantes and Modernity.
- D. Eisenberg, "Cervantes, Lope and Avellaneda", Estudios cervantinos (Barcelona: Sirmio, 1991), pp. 119–41, http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/hisp/56826142007993728511191/p0000002.htm#I_7_.
- Cervantes, Miguel, The Portable Cervantes, ed. Samuel Putnam (New York: Penguin,  1978), p. viii
- Putnam, Samuel (1976). Introduction to The Portable Cervantes. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p. 14. ISBN 0-14-015057-9.
- An example is The Portable Cervantes (New York: Viking Penguin, 1949), which contains an abridged version of the Samuel Putnam translation.
- Peters, P. H., ed. (1986). Style in Australia: current practices in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, capitalisation, etc. Macquarie Park, New South Wales: Dictionary Research Centre, Macquarie University. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0858375885.
- "Quixotic". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "To Quixote's village at the speed of a nag". London: Times Online.
- La determinación del lugar de la Mancha como problema estadístico (PDF) (in Spanish). Valencia: Department of Statistics, University of Malaga.
- The Kinematics of the Quixote and the Identity of the "Place in La Mancha" (PDF). Valencia: Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Valencia. p. 7.
- rocinante: deriv. of rocín, work horse; colloq., brusque labourer; rough, unkempt man. Real Academia Española.
- quijote1.2: rump or haunch. Real Academia Española.
- Cahill, Hugh. "Don Quixote". King's College London. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- "Cervantes, Miguel de". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002.
J. Ormsby, "About Cervantes and Don Quixote"
- Serge Gruzinski, teacher at the EHESS (July–August 2007). "Don Quichotte', best-seller mondial". n°322. L'Histoire. p. 30.
- J. Ormsby, "About Cervantes and Don Quixote"
- Paul Kingsbury. "Lost in La Mancha". Vanderbilt.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- See also the introduction to Cervantes, Miguel de (1984) Don Quixote, Penguin p.18, for a discussion of Cervantes's statement in response to Avellaneda's attempt to write a sequel.
- Prestage, Edgar (1928). Chivalry. p. 110.
- "Library catalogue of the Cervantes Institute of Belgrade". Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Sieber, Harry. "Don Quixote in Translation". The Don Quixote Exhibit, Tour 2, Chapter 5. George Peabody Library. 1996. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Translator's Preface: About this translation". Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by John Ormsby.
- "Proverb "Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating"".
- "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Tobias Smollett, Introduction and Notes by Carole Slade; Barnes and Noble Classics, New York p.318
- "The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Story of Don Quixote, by Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra". Gutenberg.org. 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Fuentes, Carlos (2 November 2003). "Tilt". New York Times.
- Eder, Richard (14 November 2003). "Beholding Windmills and Wisdom From a New Vantage". New York Times.
- McGrath, Michael J (2007). "Reviews: Don Quixote trans. Tom Lathrop". H-Net.
- McGrath, Michael J (2010). "Reviews: Don Quixote trans. James Montgomery". H-Net.
- "El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha". Gutenberg.org. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Bloom, Harold (Ed.) (2000) Cervantes's Don Quixote (Modern Critical Interpretations). Chelsea House Publishers ISBN 0-7910-5922-7
- D' Haen, Theo (Ed.) (2009) International Don Quixote. Editions Rodopi B.V. ISBN 90-420-2583-2
- Echevarría, Roberto González (Ed.) (2005) Cervantes' Don Quixote: a casebook Oxford University Press USA ISBN 0-19-516938-7
- Duran, Manuel and Rogg, Fay R. (2006) "Fighting Windmills: Encounters with Don Quixote". Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-11022-7
- Graf, Eric C. (2007) Cervantes and Modernity: Four Essays on Don Quijote. Bucknell University Press ISBN 978-1-61148-261-4
- Johnson, Carroll B (Ed.) (2006) Don Quijote Across Four Centuries: 1605–2005. Juan de la Cuesta-Hispanic Monographs ISBN 1-58871-088-2
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- Don Quixote on In Our Time at the BBC. (listen now)
- Don Quixote, Volume 1 (volunteer-read audiobook) from LibriVox at Internet Archive.
- "One Master, Many Cervantes", by Ilan Stavans. A history of English translations. Humanities, September/October 2008. Volume 29, Number 5. Accessed 2010-08-04
- Works by Cervantes at Project Gutenberg
- The full text of Don Quijote in the original Spanish.
- Background information about Don Quijote and Cervantes
- Cervantine Collection of the Biblioteca de Catalunya