Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

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Preface

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pp. v-vi

THIS BOOK is a revised version of the final section of my doctoral dissertation, the main part of which was published in 1970 under the title of the original thesis, Cervantes, Aristotle, and the "Persiles." Although Cervantes' Christian Romance is an entirely separate and different book, I trust that readers familiar with the earlier work...

Contents

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pp. vii-2

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Introduction

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pp. 3-12

HERALDED by its own author as perhaps the best book ever written in Spanish and announced by Philip Ill's censor as the most learned and entertaining of Cervantes' works, Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda enjoyed an immediate success comparable to that of Don Quixote. The years following its posthumous publication...

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1. Imitation and Innovation

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pp. 13-63

THE Persiles "ha de ser ο el [libro] más malo ο el mejor que en nuestra lengua se haya compuesto, quiero decir de Ios de entretenimiento; y digo que me arrepiento de haber dicho el más malo, porque según la opinión de mis amigos, ha de llegar al estremo de bondad posible."1 In this judgment we can hear the voice of Cervantes the ironist...

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2. Plot

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pp. 64-107

THE symbolic rhythm of the opening scenes of the Persiles is repeated in most of the adventures which compose the major plot of the work. Following their departure from the smoldering kingdom of the barbarians, the pilgrims row to a nearby island where they spend a sleepless night, menaced by the bitter cold and fearful for...

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3. Episodes

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pp. 108-148

IN MY analysis of the structure of the Persiles in relation to Cervantes' Aristotelian theories of unity, I concluded that most of the episodes are not "nacidos de Ios mesmos sucesos" and that in their independence and length they divert the reader's attention from the development of the main plot, destroying the effect of suspense which Heliodorus'...

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4. Literature in the Quixote and the Persiles

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pp. 149-156

A TALE of life overcoming death, of music calming tempests, a tale almost childlike in its thematic simplicity and repetitions. A dim landscape where dreams of gardens and song banish nightmare visions of destruction and death, and distant stars bear witness from above that the guiding hand of Providence is ever present amid life's...

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Epilogue: The Poet's FarewellWhere Life and Literature Meet

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pp. 157-164

ON CONCLUDING the Persiles, Cervantes was aware that his death was approaching and began his dedication to the Count of Lemos by recalling an ancient song:

"Puesto ya el pie en el estribo,
Con las ansias de la muerte,
Gran senor, esta te escribo."...

Index

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pp. 165-168