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Don Quixote Paperback – Apr 26 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
There would seem to be little reason for yet another translation of Don Quixote. Translated into English some 20 times since the novel appeared in two parts in 1605 and 1615, and at least five times in the last half-century, it is currently available in multiple editions (the most recent is the 1999 Norton Critical Edition translated by Burton Raffel). Yet Grossman bravely attempts a fresh rendition of the adventures of the intrepid knight Don Quixote and his humble squire Sancho Panza. As the respected translator of many of Latin America's finest writers (among them Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa), she is well suited to the task, and her translation is admirably readable and consistent while managing to retain the vigor, sly humor and colloquial playfulness of the Spanish. Erring on the side of the literal, she isn't afraid to turn out clunky sentences; what she loses in smoothness and elegance she gains in vitality. The text is free of archaisms the contemporary reader will rarely stumble over a word and the footnotes (though rather erratically supplied) are generally helpful. Her version easily bests Raffel's ambitious but eccentric and uneven effort, and though it may not immediately supplant standard translations by J.M. Cohen, Samuel Putnam and Walter Starkie, it should give them a run for their money. Against the odds, Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A major literary achievement.” (Carlos Fuentes, New York Times Book Review)
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Top Customer Reviews
I mean, yeah, this book is funny as hell!!! I laughed SO hard when Don Quixote and Sancho are at the Inn for the first time, and Don Quixote makes his elixer. And it didn't set so well with either him or Sancho, and almost killed poor Sancho. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about:)
But the beauty of this book lies in the fact that Don Quixote is living a complete lie. And he seems to know that at times... most of the time, no, but every once in a while it seems like he kind of knows. But it isn't important. What's important is that he KNOWS that he MUST be a knight, that it is the only way for him to live. Screw the world. He'll save damsels in distress (or not) and damn the torpedoes. And believing with all your soul in something that no one else thinks exists, thats something I think one can relate to alot. And another beautiful touch: alot of the people he meets along the way at first are all like 'Your CRAZY man' but they ALL get swept up in it eventually. It's almost like secretly everyone wants to believe.
Truely an amazing book, and one that will find you at page 100, looking ahead to the next 900 pages and instead of thinking 'Bummer! Lots to go' you'll just grin a hungry grin.
Grossman's language is smoother, and I suppose Putnam's prose does have the dust of fifty odd years on it - but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I don't mind if an old book reads a bit like an old book: slightly dated English gives a book a certain flavor. I like Putnam for the same reason I enjoy Maude's translations of Tolstoy. Grossman does write a better sentence, I think, and she certainly doesn't make the book any more colloquial than Cervantes did - although I was annoyed at her constantly having Sancho say Wassup.
Putnam's Quixote, incidentally, is filled with notes: more notes than most people who aren't scholars will want. Every one of Sancho's proverbs is explained (and those aren't exactly the comic high point of the book, either) and he constantly takes potshots at Motteux and other translations, a la Nabokov when he translated A Hero of Our Time. They're sort of funny, but eventually you want him to get out of the way of Quixote, which is what one actually wants to read - not the translator's thoughts.
But then again: a note can easily be skipped, and it's nice to have the extensive information that Putnam packs in, about the historical situation in Spain, potential variant readings of a passage, all the brouhaha about the fake second half of Don Quixote that actually ends up having a part in the book - and lots of other stuff.Read more ›
It's great fiction as well as great reading. Was the fore-runner of the modern novel.
Most recent customer reviews
It is one of the best novels there!
Inaugurates the modern novel in the topic, the type of hero-the antiheroe- and stories into each other it includes. Read more
Potential readers should not be discouraged by the considerable length of the work. It turns out to be far more exciting that one could expect. Read morePublished on June 23 2013 by Pierre Gauthier
A pleasurable book to read,this translation of DON QUIXOTE made the story easy to understand, and for every reason it stands up to its reputaion as the best-loved novel. Read morePublished on April 8 2006 by Piervy Sto
1575 Cervantes embarked for the umpteenth time (the Spanish king fought with his ships against Arabian kings) in the Mediterranean area, but this time he was captured by a Turkish... Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2005 by FrizzText
Don Quixote is a somewhat autobiographical account from Miguel Cervantes about a middle class man in Spain, who decides to take on the name "Don Quixote of La Mancha" and... Read morePublished on March 5 2005 by Shirley Mullin
Let's face it: some of the great classics are a chore to read. PILGRIM'S PROGRESS and ROBINSON CRUSOE are not exactly page turners. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Robert Moore
"DON QUIXOTE" HAS BEEN CALLED THE FIRST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN AND THE BEST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Steven R. Travers
The audio book of Edith Grossman's new translation of Don Quixote was a perfect driving companion for my trip across the country. At a whopping 40. Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by Brian Sawyer
Plenty of other readers have reviewed the content of the book. I'll limit my remarks to those specially pertinent to this audio edition. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by Mark G. Jones