The “Prólogo” to the 1605 Don Quixote appears to the eyes of the reader as if still being written while we are reading it. The author initiates a conversation with the reader and the listener, emphasizing the importance of “orality” in the transmission of literature. The friend, who finds him pensive, gives him advice, but, strangely, not about how to write the prologue, but about what to include in the story of the “famous” Don Quixote, a story that has already been written. He also spurs the hesitant author to “publish” his story. We thus formulate questions such as “how can Don Quixote be famous if the book is not yet published?” “Why offer advice about the contents and style of a book that is ready to go to the printers?” and many others. This article addresses the historical importance of the “libros de caballerías” and of the practice of reading aloud, and it concludes that the prologue has at least five objectives.


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pp. 121-141
Launched on MUSE
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