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Meditations on Quixote: Translated from the Spanish by Evelyn Rugg and Diego Marin Introduction and Notes by Julian Marias [Paperback]

Jose Ortega Gasset , Evelyn Rugg , Diego Marin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Feb. 15 2000 --  

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Feb. 15 2000 0252068955 978-0252068959 New edition
"""One of the essential experiences, the greatest perhaps, is Cervantes...Alas! If only we knew with certainty the secret of Cervantes' style, of his manner of approaching things, we would have found out everything.""In "Meditations on Quixote", Jos Ortega y Gasset presents a powerful case for integrating literature into experience. Through a series of ""essays in intellectual love,"" Ortega explores the aim of philosophy: to carry a given fact (a person, a book, a landscape, an error, a sorrow) by the shortest route to its fullest significance. He then considers how literature, specifically Cervantes, contributes to realizing this aim. Arguing that ""we are all heroes in some measure,"" that ""heroism lies dormant everywhere as a possibility,"" and that ""the will to be oneself is heroism,"" Ortega urges us to integrate the possible into our conception of the real. He presents "Quixote" as a profound book, full of references and allusions to the universal meaning of life, a book that presents with maximum intensity the particular mode of human existence that is peculiarly Spanish. A call to his fellow Spaniards to join him in forging a new Spain, Ortega's "Meditations on Quixote" is also an invitation to his fellow humans to take up the challenge of literature, opening our minds and seeking all-embracing connections with the world and its people."

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5.0 out of 5 stars The starting point of Ortega's philosophy Feb. 21 2001
Format:Paperback
The great Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset left many followers, some of them also important thinkers, like Julian Marias. But most are common people who became much more educated and civilized persons by reading his wonderful books. Ortega was one of the rare species of philosophers who expresse his ideas in a very clear prose. Others in this line are Plato and Augustine, or Bertrand Russell, an Ortega contemporary. Meditations on Quixote is a small book where the master strives to give a synthesis of his thought. A synthesis of this synthesis could be given by two of his phrases: "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (I am myself and my circumstance) and " I only offer a way of considering things" (modus res considerandi). A great philosopher and a great writer. His was my main intellectual influence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Observations Oct. 30 2002
Format:Paperback
Meditations on Quixote is the first major work Jose Ortega y Gasset published in Spain; as such, the reader will stumble across several infant notions that were later subjected to major philosophical treatments by Ortega. Naturally, therefore, this book is often passed over and dismissed. However, I believe it holds within its pages a very mature, coherent argument. It should be noted that Don Quixote is not actually the central focus of these meditations. Rather, Ortega only delves into Cervantes's great novel during the second half of the book (the "first" meditation), using that knight of rueful countenance to clarify his analysis. I will not attempt to explain the philosophy presented in this book, as I feel there is a reason it takes hundreds of pages to express these concepts. It is such with all philosophy; think of it as a food - I can compress all the contents of a five-star dinner into a dense pill and give that to you, but it would not serve justice to the original pieces. Having said that, I can certainly relay (as another reviewer has) the famous expression "I am myself and my circumstance." Ortega puts significance into what this "circumstance" is composed of, mentally dividing the material things in life and their deeper meaning, explaining that this deeper meaning is just as real as the material surface. He then leads into the concept of man as a hero via his own will ("the will to be oneself is heroism"), focusing on Don Quixote, and modern literature in general (as opposed the ideal epics of old), as examples. Julián Marías makes interesting notes throughout. Recommended!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Observations Oct. 29 2002
By Eduardo McGlud - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Meditations on Quixote is the first major work Jose Ortega y Gasset published in Spain; as such, the reader will stumble across several infant notions that were later subjected to major philosophical treatments by Ortega. Naturally, therefore, this book is often passed over and dismissed. However, I believe it holds within its pages a very mature, coherent argument. It should be noted that Don Quixote is not actually the central focus of these meditations. Rather, Ortega only delves into Cervantes's great novel during the second half of the book (the "first" meditation), using that knight of rueful countenance to clarify his analysis. I will not attempt to explain the philosophy presented in this book, as I feel there is a reason it takes hundreds of pages to express these concepts. It is such with all philosophy; think of it as a food - I can compress all the contents of a five-star dinner into a dense pill and give that to you, but it would not serve justice to the original pieces. Having said that, I can certainly relay (as another reviewer has) the famous expression "I am myself and my circumstance." Ortega puts significance into what this "circumstance" is composed of, mentally dividing the material things in life and their deeper meaning, explaining that this deeper meaning is just as real as the material surface. He then leads into the concept of man as a hero via his own will ("the will to be oneself is heroism"), focusing on Don Quixote, and modern literature in general (as opposed the ideal epics of old), as examples. Julián Marías makes interesting notes throughout. Recommended!
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The starting point of Ortega's philosophy Feb. 21 2001
By henrique fleming - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The great Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset left many followers, some of them also important thinkers, like Julian Marias. But most are common people who became much more educated and civilized persons by reading his wonderful books. Ortega was one of the rare species of philosophers who expresse his ideas in a very clear prose. Others in this line are Plato and Augustine, or Bertrand Russell, an Ortega contemporary. Meditations on Quixote is a small book where the master strives to give a synthesis of his thought. A synthesis of this synthesis could be given by two of his phrases: "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (I am myself and my circumstance) and " I only offer a way of considering things" (modus res considerandi). A great philosopher and a great writer. His was my main intellectual influence.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Favorite Books Dec 21 2013
By Leisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jose Ortega Y Gasset--there is no coincidence that the acronym of his name JOYG contains "joy" in it. JOyG's works are like those of another great Spanish writer, Santayana, in that every page has exquisitely written thoughts (through translation from JOyG) that bring great joy to the reader.

If you are not familiar with Jose Ortega y Gasset, consider making a New Year's resolution to read at least one of his works. Perspicacious, poignant and written with a true understanding of the human condition--from glory to ignominy. He writes with passion and a clarity that makes his ideas both accessible and understandable. It will naturally make you left with wanting more.
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Idealized Windmill Dec 13 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A mucho good book; filled with a sharp, sensitive, wisdom that is constantly searching for the light on the surface, through the depths of the forgotten and ignored....rare like all great things.
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