It is said it is the most important work of the Spanish literature and, if not the most, one of the most important of the universal one. Don Quixote of La Mancha [en] could presume of being one of the most read books in the whole planet.
In editions especially thought for children, under obligation in the high school, in its ‘original version’ –we could say it– or adapted to the current language. It doesn’t matter. The fact is that generations and generations of young people have grown with the adventures of Don Quixote, which don’t go out of fashion. Nowadays, they continue being a symbol of a youth who doesn’t forget one of their most important cultural icons.
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha –as the work was titled– tells us how a man, Alonso Quixano, who went crazy after reading a lot of chivalric romances, takex to the street as a knight, always accompanied by his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, looking for his beloved –and idealized– Dulcinea del Toboso, living a lot of adventures in which he always tried to do the good thing.
Its writer, Miguel de Cervantes [en] (1547-1616), was a soldier as well as a writer, but it was this last aspect which gave him a place in History, making him in the most important exponent of the Spanish literature.
Don Quixote is the first modern novel in History –it will have a large influence in all the European literature–, and it ridicules the chivalric romances. It was published in two parts: the first one in 1605 (1612 translated to English), and the second one ten years after it (in 1620 in English) –so, there have been 400 years since then–, publishing in a lot of languages, regardless of its reiterated presence in TV or cinema.
An interactive version
Any moment is good to be seduced by the Cervantes’ pen and, especially by Don Quixote, which is easy to accede in any place.
But now, four centuries after the publication of its second part, it could be a good moment to surf the interactive [es] –and free– version of the Spanish National Library.
In addition to the work, which is possible to be read in its original graphical symbols or in a more modern one, there are different sections which let us know better Don Quixote and its period: the main editions of Don Quixote, similarities and differences with other chivalric romances, the life in the 17th century, a map of the adventures of Don Quixote, music, images, … Everything necessary, definitely, to get immerse in one of the most important referents of the universal literature. It is only necessary to click.
Xuasús González, Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, León