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Ilan Stavans's Quixote: The Novel and the World

Americas Society

October 22, 2015


Cover of Ilan Stavans' novel. (Courtesy of W.W. Norton.)

In collaboration with:

Admission: Free for Americas Society Members; $10 for non-members. Not yet an AS member? Join now!

During this 400th anniversary-year of Don Quixote, Part Two, we present Ilan Stavans’s Quixote: The Novel and the World (Norton), which celebrates the universality of Cervantes’s masterpiece. With comments by the author Lewis-Sebring (Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and editor of numerous seminal anthologies), followed by readings from Don Quixote—in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Turkish, Bangla, Esperanto, and Spanglish. We will also invite members of the audience to read selections from DQ in translation. In collaboration with W.W. Norton and Restless Books.

This event will be held in English with multilingual readings.

Event Information: Department of Literature | | 212-277-8353
Press Inquiries: Adriana La Rotta | | 212-277-8384

Ilán Stavans is a Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. In addition to his Quixote and the World, he is the author of many books, including Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language (2004) and A Most Imperfect Union (2014). He has edited the anthologies The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (2003) and All the Odes (2013), and is also general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010).

About the Book
“The year 2015 marks the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the complete Don Quixote of La Mancha—an ageless masterpiece that has proven unusually fertile and endlessly adaptable. Flaubert was inspired to turn Emma Bovary into ‘a knight in skirts.’ Freud studied Quixote’s psyche. Mark Twain was fascinated by it, as were Kafka, Picasso, Nabokov, Borges, and Orson Welles. The novel has spawned ballets and operas, poems and plays, movies and video games, and even shapes the identities of entire nations. Spain uses it as a sort of constitution and travel guide; and the Americas were conquered, then sought their independence, with the knight as a role model. In Quixote, Ilan Stavans, one of today’s preeminent cultural commentators, explores these many manifestations. Training his eye on the tumultuous struggle between logic and dreams, he reveals the ways in which a work of literature is a living thing that influences and is influenced by the world around it.” [From the W.W. Norton website]

“A combination of celebration, meditation, and quest, Stavans’s book is bound to please el Quijote’s devoted readers and win new fans.”—Publishers Weekly

“Bold, imaginative, and deeply learned. . . . Stavans, one of our most gifted scholars of Hispanic literature, has arrived to narrate the tale of how modernity was birthed amid the whirl of windmills and all those chasing them.”—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

“Stavans brings infections enthusiasm and penetrating scholarship to this lively investigation of a grand novel and its readers.”—Kirkus Reviews