Cervantes' Don Quixote - Audio
By Roberto González Echevarría
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The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes' Exemplary Stories, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott's Imperial Spain. Cervantes' work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.
||01 - Introduction||The professor introduces himself and the course. He starts by explaining the reasons why Don Quixote is a masterpiece and its place and relevance in the history of Western literature.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||02 - Don Quixote, Part I: Front Matter and Chapters I-X||Why does the Quixote have such common currency today?||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||03 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters I-X (cont.)||González Echevarría continues from the end of his last lecture by referring to the self-invention and self-legitimation of Don Quixote, which is the most innovative aspect of the book.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||04 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XI-XX||González Echevarría starts out by commenting on what he calls the two overarching plots of the Quixote: the story about the writing of the novel, and the story about the mad hidalgo.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||05 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XI-XX (cont.)||After pointing out the prosaic world depicted in the Quixote with subtle but sharp irony, González Echevarría analyzes the episode at Juan Palomeque's inn, which may well be seen as a representation of the whole first part of the novel.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||06 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXI-XXVI||Important meditations about the nature of literature and the real take place in the chapters commented on in this lecture.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||07 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXI-XXVI (cont.)||Professor González Echevarría resumes his commentary on the galley slaves episode by talking about Ginés' cross-eyedness as a metaphor for congenital internal perspectivism.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||08 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXVII-XXXV||In this part of the Quixote, Cervantes makes a boast of narrative mastery by combining the sequential structure of the chivalric romance with the multiple story design of collections of novellas.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||09 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXVII-XXXV (cont.)||The insertion of the Novel of the Curious Impertinent at the end of part one of the Quixote may be explained by Cervantes' intention of meshing both the forms of the chivalric romance and of the collection of Italian novelle.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||10 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXXVI-LII||González Echevarría starts by commenting on three of the returns and repetitions that take place at the end of part one of the Quixote and which give density to the fiction.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||11 - Don Quixote, Part I: Chapters XXXVI-LII (cont.)||The lecture focuses on the ending of the first part of the Quixote, which for the seventeenth-century reader was, simply, the end because no second part existed yet or was envisioned.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||12 - Don Quixote, Introduction to Part II||González Echevarría talks about the transition that we, as present-day readers undergo, between Part I, published in 1605, and Part II of the Quixote, published in 1615.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||13 - Don Quixote, Part II: Front Matter and Chapters I-XI||The modern novel that develops from the Quixote is essentially a political novel and an urban genre dealing with cities.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||14 - Don Quixote, Part II: Front Matter and Chapters I-XI (cont.)||Commentary of the key concepts of Spanish Baroque, desengaño, introduces González Echevarría's suggestion that the plot of the Quixote follows a Baroque unfolding from deceit (engaño) to disillusionment (desengaño).||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||15 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XII-XXI||González Echevarría starts by reviewing the Spanish baroque concept of desengaño.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||16 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XII-XXI (cont.)||The loose format of the Quixote allows for the incorporation of different stories and texts, such as the Camacho's wedding, which was going to be a play.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||17 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XXII-XXXV||This lecture covers two of the most important episodes of Part II of the Quixote: the descent into Montesinos cave and Master Peter's puppet show.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||18 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XXII-XXXV (cont.)||The fact that the second part of the Quixote is the first political novel is manifested in several ways.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||19 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XXXVI-LIII||The developments of Part II of the Quixote are based and measured against Part I.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||20 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XXXVI-LIII (cont.)||According to González Echevarría, Don Quixote's epic task within the novel is to control his madness by accepting the vanity of his dreams and the futility of his quest.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||21 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LIV-LXX||Three issues related to the impending end of the novel define this lecture.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||22 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LIV-LXX (cont.)||As we approach the end of the novel, Cervantes compresses and combines elements from different types of romances (morisco, Greek, pastoral) in what seems to be an attempt to create a new literary genre; the modern novel.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||23 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LXXI-LXXIV||González Echevarría focuses on the end of the Quixote.||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||24 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters LXXI-LXXIV (cont.)||Would have Cervantes deserved such recognition, had he not written the Quixote?||4/5/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
I've only made it through the 1st two episodes and I'm already hooked. Great lecturer and crystal clear audio quality. Gonzalez comes across as the kind of guy you would love to go out with to share a beer. Fun, witty, engaging and having a wry sense of humor (he obviously also loves the topic, which make the lectures even more infectious). Do yourself a favor and listen to this great presentation of one of the greatest pieces of literature. You'll find yourself compelled to open up an Apple account just to be able to submit a review like I'm now doing.
In-depth study for lifelong learners
I am working through the list of classics that I never read, and I began with Don Quixote. I listened to the novel in translation on audiobook but needed more in-depth discussion of the novel. This lecture series was the perfect way for me to learn about the context of the novel - Spain's culture and history at the time of Cervantes' writing.
The professor has an engaging style and always pulls from other disciplines to explain a passage, symbol, or whole chapter. I especially enjoyed his analysis of Velazquez's Las Meninas and its relevance to the Quixote.
Gonzalez Echevarria is quite funny and animated, and it was a pleasure to listen to his voice... which was particularly important to me because I listened to his lectures (audio only) while driving!