Don Quixote, Part II (1615)

This is a 10-week seminar, starting on February 22, 2017.

Moderator:                Nina Scott
Day and Time:         Wednesday, 1:30-3:30PM
Format:                       Seminar
Location:                   Amherst Women’s Club, Amherst
                                        (free parking on site)

To read and discuss one of the greatest works of Western literature.  No outside research required. Seminar participants will lead discussions on the assigned reading.

Don Quixote has been called the first modern novel, a work in which fiction and reality are inseparable. Critic Harold Bloom has said of it:  “So subtle is Cervantes that he needs to be read on as many levels as Dante.”  Part II is even richer than Part I (1605), as Don Quixote and Sancho now encounter people who have read about them in Part I and have to cope with their readers’ expectations.  As with Part I, this text is also funny, touching, sad at times, and always wise. It celebrates one of the firmest friendships in literature, that of the Knight and of Sancho Panza, his squire.

Many people who spoke to me at the Spring Preview confessed that they had tried to read Don Quixote on their own a number of times and were “unable to get into it.” I hope this seminar will help you overcome that and become a supremely enjoyable and enriching experience.

Role of participants:
Since this is a long and complex book, you need to do no outside reading, and you do not have to have read Part I, although your experience will be richer if you have done so.

LIR rules preclude any registration preference in the Spring semester for those who have taken Part I in the Fall. We will cover about 60 pages/session, with two participants leading the discussion.

We shall be using Edith Grossman’s translation (ISBN 0-06-093434-4), published in paperback by HarperCollins. The hardback edition is the same as the paperback; both are readily available as used books.  Do NOT get any other translations, as our page assignments will not line up.

About the Moderator:
Nina Scott was Professor of Spanish at UMass for 34 years, and, on a visiting basis, also at Mount Holyoke and Amherst Colleges. She moderated a seminar on Don Quixote for 5CLIR in 2008-09 and found it one of the most rewarding and exhilarating literary experiences she has had in her long and checkered career.