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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2008

SPN 391 • Don Quijote

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48485 TH
12:30 PM-3:30 PM
MEZ 1.104

Course Description

This course will study Cervantes's masterpiece, Don Quijote, in depth and in light of a variety of critical interpretations and approaches. Throughout the semester we will emphasize the author's views on artistic freedom, his manipulation of literary genres and conventions, and the discussions of literary theory which characterize the book as a whole. We will also focus on important topics such as Cervantes's use of multiple perspectives, the Quijote as a funny book, the relationship between author and reader, the socio-historical context of the book, the humanist vision of Cervantes, and the evolution of the protagonist as an enduring, universal figure. Other representations of the Don Quijote figure in visual art, music, drama, and film will be brought in from time to time for comparison.

Grading Policy

Class meetings will be organized around active discussion and student participation. The first part of each meeting will concentrate on the dissemination of theory and background information through a brief lecture, leaving the remaining time for textual analysis and discussion. Every week, students will be responsible for textual readings as well as theoretical or critical works deemed pertinent to that week's topic. Each student will prepare at least one oral report on a critical work during the semester and will follow-up with a brief written analysis. At the conclusion of the course, students will be required to write a paper of between 15 and 25 pages which analyzes one or more of the plays studied or other works by these dramatists.


Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha Exerpts from Amadís de Gaula, Avellaneda's Quijote, and other related literary texts. Critical works (partial list of recommended and required readings): J. Casalduero, "Explicando la primera frase del Quijote" E. Williamson, The Half-Way House of Fiction Forcione, Cervantes, Aristotle, and the Persiles J. L. Vives, "Formación de la mujer cristiana," Avalle-Arce, La novela pastoril española Castro, El pensamiento de Cervantes P. Vilar, "El tiempo del Quijote" B. Wardropper, "Don Quixote: Story or History?" El Pinciano, Philosophia antigua poética, epistles 3 and 11 H.R. Jauss, "Literary History as Challenge to Literary Theory" Castro, "La estructura del Quijote," in Hacia Cervantes Jameson, "Magical Narratives," Ch. 2 in The Political Unconscious Bakhtin, "Epic and Novel," in The Dialogic Imagination Forcione, Cervantes and the Mystery of Lawlessness Bataillon, Erasmo y España Haley, "The Narrator in Don Quixote" Riley, Cervantes's Theory of the Novel El Saffar, Distance and Control in Don Quijote M. Foucault, Madness and Civilization C. Johnson, Madness and Lust T. Soufas, Melancholy and the Secular Mind Spitzer, "Linguisitc Perspectivism in the Don Quijote," P. Russell, "Don Quixote as a Funny Book"


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