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The Hard Life and Poor Best of Cervantes

Gabriel Josipovici, 20 December 1979

by William Byron.
Cassell, 583 pp., £9.95
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... Not much is known about Cervantes. He was born in 1547 in Alcalá de Henares, not far from Madrid. His grandfather, a specialist in fiscal law for the Inquisition, had amassed a fortune by shady means and then withdrawn to another city with a former mistress, leaving his children, to whom he had given no proper education, to fend for themselves ...

Crazy Don

Michael Wood, 3 August 1995

The History of that Ingenious Gentleman Don Quijote de la Mancha 
by Miguel deCervantes Saavedra, translated by Burton Raffel.
Norton, 802 pp., $14.95, September 1995, 0 393 03719 3
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... Don Quixote on Latin American fiction has been enormous, but more as a cultural legacy, an idea of Cervantes and his work, than as any great devotion to the novel itself. I think part of what’s happened is that we imagine we know Don Quixote, and don’t need to know it better. We recall the famous images of Doré and Picasso and Dalí. We hum the tunes from ...

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