Site icon Rising Tide Foundation

Cervantes and His Age: Don Quixote and a Spain in Crisis

For this lecture from the Rising Tide Foundation Symposium “Storytelling, Mythmaking, and the Shaping of Universal History” Adam Sedia will go over the relevance of Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” for today.

Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote is commonly considered the first modern novel. It certainly is one of the most beloved — it has more translations than any book save the Bible. Everyone knows the story of the lovable madman who imagines himself to be a knight and goes “tilting at windmills” — a term that has entered the common lexicon and the popular imagination. Interpretations of Cervantes’s novel treat it either as a series of character studies or as a criticism of the medieval literature that lures the title character into madness. While these readings certainly are valid, they do not tell the whole story. Indeed, they overlook the most powerful aspect of Cervantes’s satire. More than merely writing engaging characters and humorous subplots, Cervantes wrote his novel as a withering criticism of the Spanish society of his day. This lecture will explore the history of Spain since the fall of the Roman Empire, its impact on the Spanish character of Cervantes’s day and more generally, and how Cervantes uses the character of Don Quixote to personify and thereby criticize a nation and a culture that has lost its sense of purpose.

Speaker Bio: Adam Sedia is an author, poet, essayist, and composer. His works have appeared in several outlets, including The Chained Muse, The Rising Tide Foundation and New Lyre, and his volume of collected poetry is scheduled for publication in early 2022. He lives in his native Northwest Indiana with his wife and children, and practices law as a municipal and litigation attorney. Appropriately for understanding Cervantes, he is fluent in Spanish.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly
Exit mobile version