Synopses & Reviews
A delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure from prize-winning novelist José Saramago
In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In José Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub. Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy; they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River; and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.
"Against the odds, Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times." Publishers Weekly
"[T]he most transparent and least impeded among more than a dozen English translations going back to the 17th century....Ms. Grossman...has provided a Quixote that is agile, playful, formal and wry." Richard Eder, The New York Times
"With Don Quixote, Grossman tackles a challenging project. The result is a beautiful, readable rendition, transforming golden-age Spanish into modern English. It's definitely an adventure worth taking." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Grossman has a jazzy approach that might scandalize some....Her rendition confirms that Cervantes' imperfect masterpiece is as much at home in Shakespeare's tongue as it is in Spanish." Los Angeles Times
"[A] major event indeed....[A] Don Quixote that is contemporary without being irreverent....[T]his is the one to beat." Library Journal
"Reading Don Quixote today...is likely to be more of an intellectual adventure than a deeply emotional experience....[Grossman is] terrific in emulating Don Quixote's high-flown diction when he's at full chivalric throttle." The Washington Post
"[Grossman's] rendering of Cervantes' prose conveys all of its complex subtleties in a fresh and attractive style that is neither overly traditional nor colloquial." San Diego Union-Tribune
"Edith Grossman delivers her Quixote in plain but plentiful contemporary English....Yet there is not a single moment in which, in forthright English, we are not reading a 17th-century novel. This is truly masterly: the contemporaneous and the original co-exist." Carlos Fuentes, The New York Times Book Review
"Ms. Grossman jumps to the head of a class previously led by Samuel Putnam (Modern Library) and Burton Raffel (Norton)." Dallas Morning News
"Edith Grossman actually makes it easy for you, O frazzled reader, because she has produced the most agreeable Don Quixote
, famously, is the first major work of Western literature to take ordinary human life for its subject specifically, a life that is replete with accidents, fiascoes, and indignities and make it over into something luminous with meaning. It does so without pomp or sententiousness it's the friendliest and least formal of all the Great Books yet will overwhelm you, in the end, with its moral and imaginative splendor." Terry Castle, The Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic Monthly review
The 17th century Spanish masterpiece, one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written and widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through 16th century Spain.
The 17th-century Spanish masterpiece is one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written and is widely regarded as the world's first modern novel.
Edith Grossman's definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece. Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. You haven't experienced Don Quixote in English until you've read this masterful translation.
The tale of an elephant named Solomon who travels through sixteenth century Europe, from Lisbon to Vienna.
About the Author
Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote
. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote
. He died on April 23, 1616.
Edith Grossman is the distinguished prize-winning translator of major works by leading contemporary Hispanic writers, including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alvaro Mutis, and Mayra Montero. Her new translation of Don Quixote is Edith Grossman's excursion into the classic literature of an earlier time, a natural kind of progression in reverse.