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The Age of SilverThe Rise of the Novel East and West$
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Ning Ma

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190606565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190606565.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 March 2021

La Mancha to the Indies

La Mancha to the Indies

The Romance and Materiality of the Empire in Don Quixote

Chapter:
(p.79) 3 La Mancha to the Indies
Source:
The Age of Silver
Author(s):

Ning Ma

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190606565.003.0004

This chapter discusses Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote in light of imperial Spain’s position in the Age of Silver. It first relates the picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes’s pioneering realism to rapid commercial developments in Spain after the colonization of the New World. Don Quixote is a far more complex literary engagement of the same context. Drawing on transnational approaches to Cervantes, the chapter interprets Don Quixote’s romantic idealism as connoting aspects of Habsburg imperialism, and addresses his relations to Sancho and Dulcinea as symbolizing historical ironies within imperial Spain’s ideologies and material foundation. The chapter also contextualizes the novel within Spain’s Muslim connections, “purity of blood” doctrine, transatlantic colonialism, and Spanish-East Asia relations, thus situating Don Quixote’s modernity within early modern global history, and reading from the novel a nationally symbolic political critique similar to the other cases.

Keywords:   Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Lazarillo de Tormes, imperial Spain, Age of Silver, transatlantic colonialism, Spanish-East Asia relations

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