In the early seventeenth century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a book. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from reading too many books of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures.Read more...
In the early seventeenth century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a book. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from reading too many books of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That book, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history. Cervantes did more than just publish a bestseller, though. He invented a way of writing. This book is about how Cervantes came to create what we now call fiction, and how fiction changed the world.
The Man Who Invented Fiction explores Cervantes's life and the world he lived in, showing how his influences converged in his work, and how his work--especially Don Quixote--radically changed the nature of literature and created a new way of viewing the world. Finally, it explains how that worldview went on to infiltrate art, politics, and science, and how the world today would be unthinkable without it.
Four hundred years after Cervantes's death, William Egginton has brought thrilling new meaning to an immortal novel.
- ISBN-13: 9781620401750
- ISBN-10: 1620401754
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publish Date: February 2016
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Egginton (The Philosophers Desire) weaves together Cervantess life story with his development as a writer. Cervantess life was a saga unto itself: he served in the Spanish army, was kidnapped and enslaved in Algiers, became a playwright, wrote a pastoral romance, spent time in debtors prison, fathered an illegitimate daughter, and, while working as a tax collector, was twice excommunicated by the Catholic Church for raising revenues from them rather than from impoverished peasants. Finally, he drew from a deep wellspring of disillusion to write his ironic masterpiece, Don Quixote, late in life. Egginton shines in his literary analysis, teasing out Cervantess genius in accessible prose and showing how Don Quixote paved the way for modern fiction by exploring its characters inner lives. Compared to most literary biographers, Eggington faces a hard task: so much of Cervantess life story is conjectural that the biographical readings often feel tenuous. Nonetheless, this book provides an entertaining and thought-provoking reading of Cervantess masterpiece, and of the lesser-known rest of his oeuvre. Agent: Michael V. Carlisle and Lauren Smythe, InkWell Management. (Feb.)