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ENG150Y1 - Don Quixote - Lecture Notes.docx

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William Robins

ENG150Y1 – LECTURE NOTES Monday, February 4, 2013 Don Quixote – Lecture 1  April 23, is the day of the book according to UNESCO because it’s the day of Shakespeare’s birth and death and cervantes’ death  Represents entrance European culture of vernacular languages  Tension in both works between aristocracy world of honour and the merchant world based on monetary exchange  Tensions between the old and the new  Cervantes’ life was defined by medeterrian world  Once he got married he left the theatrical world and worked as a beauracactic  Tension between logic of honour associated with the romantic world and the mercantile perspective of the world as a sphere, poor vs rich Terms: Verisimilitude (vs realism) - Seeing the world differently through the chivalric lens - Distinction between literature and reality is in itself shown in a piece of literature - Literary conventions dictates what is verisimilar Polyphonic (vs monologic) - Shifts from one genre to the next; a dialogic piece - Some of the genres: o Chivalric romance o Picaresque narrative  Someone who goes from one adventure to the next  Escaping from the law in order to pursue adventure  Show a picture of the world of the criminal underclass o Pastoral romance o Dramatic comedy Metafiction - Means fiction that advertises the fact that its fiction - Involves its own status as an artifact  Start off realistically, the description of don Quixote  Aware of economic side of the world, when don Quixote sells his land to buy more books  Cervantes contrasts the world of literature/fiction and reality  Narrator as well as the reader make fun of the character’s inability to distinguish what is real and what isn’t  Blurs the difference between fiction and history; can’t tell what’s true and what’s fiction  Can’t also tell the difference between what to do in fiction and actions in real life o Imitating books and actually acting in external logic  Main genres are epic and romance  Picaresque narrative is not reality  When inner keeper ask don if he had any money, and don responded no, this shows the tension between chivalric world and mercantile world Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Don Quixote – Lecture 2 Inversions: - Controversy regarding whether or not D.Q faces the same kind of crisis or situation as the other heroes we’ve read - Other heroes have tragic element and also a purpose like Aeneas’ destiny to found Rome, Dante preaches divine ideologies, but its unclear as to what D.Q’s destiny or purpose is - D.Q aligns his identity with old, out-dated codes of chivalry - Everything D.Q thinks is really inverted - Mundane landscape of La Mancha, therefore the name of D.Q de la Mancha is supposed to sound absurd - D.Q is old, in his 50s, in his decline, inverted from muscular other heroes - Seen as a fool, the butt of the jokes - He is not a fool, but becomes a fool by reading too much - He was a gentleman before - Cervantes humanizes the stock character of a fool and aligns it with other genres besides tragedies - Unlike shylock who is given depth and brought into a meaningful narrative tragedy, we see D.Q being brought in in many ways, a sense of melancholy Tone: - E. auerbach o This combination of intelligent moderation with absurd excess results in a multiplicity which cannot be made to accord altogether with the purely comic o Human problems are never presented in such a way that we tremble and are moved to compassion o We always remain the realm of gaiety o But the levels of gaiety are multiplied as never before - Less dramatic - Maybe more modern and relatable - Represents the everyday crisis - DQ is like an actor o Lives in an imaginary world, playing someone with a script o Improvises frequently o Is so contagious that people play along, like the innerkeeper in chp 3 when he pretends to be a knight to knight DQ or when the priest and barber disguises as damsels to trick DQ to come back home o Roles for amusement and more serious roles in the family - DQ plays a role he doesn’t even know he’s playing, he thinks its real, he’s delusional Appearance vs reality: - Gap between the two is made early on - Uses the defence mechanism of the ENCHANTER to preserve his fantasies - Anything that contradicts his thinking or seeing, he uses the enchanter as an excuse - Like the barber with the basin on his head - Sancho begins to doubt that DQ is sane - DQ realizes that everything he thinks and does is the opposite, and blames the enchanter - At this point (basin head scene) the logic of the enchanter shifts into multiple enchanters that change the way everyone sees things - Fake appearances are projected into reality - The contrast between appearance and reality is shown in the first 10 chapters as satirical to undermine chivalry - We make the same moves, when we read, we believe that things are the way they’re said – DQ is just more extreme Self-referential: - Foucault o Representation undertakes to represent itself - You represent the act of representing – very paradoxical - When texts draw attention to its own status as fiction, its called metafiction - Metafiction o Meta means beyond or above o Fiction about fiction o Reflections on its own fictional identity o Fictional writing which self –consciously and systematically draws attentions to its status as an artifact o May refer to specific moments in a text, or an entire text o An allegory of how not to read, give in into identification o Main techniques:  Including books, reading as themes  Drawing attention to the conventionality of a mode of representation by parodying or violating norms of plot  Violating the separation of different narrative level
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