1001 Reads

Regularly updated blog charting the most important novels of the last 2000 and something years

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

17. Cervantes - Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (1617)


After such an amazing book as D. Quixote this is an attempt by Cervantes to write something respectable... well he should have enjoyed his retirement. It's quite boring.

Also I had to read it in the original as there is no translation. Essentially it is a romance, of the kind that drove Quixote mad, in this sense it is interesting to see what Cervantes makes of a romance. Frankly he was better at spoofing them.

Honestly I kind of quit half-way through, it wasn't grabbing me in anyway, a lot of it was re-runs of Amadis of Gaul and my 17th century Spanish isn't that amazing. Frankly it bored me to tears. I'll hope for a good translation so I can give it another go.

Final Grade

5/10 (unfinished)


From Wikipedia:

The romance of Persiles and Sigismunda, which Cervantes finished shortly before his death, must be regarded as an interesting appendix to his other works. The language and the whole composition of the story exhibit the purest simplicity, combined with singular precision and polish. The idea of this romance was not new, and scarcely deserved to be reproduced in a new manner. But it appears that Cervantes, at the close of his glorious career, took a fancy to imitate Heliodorus. He has maintained the interest of the situations, but the whole work is merely a romantic description of travels, rich enough in fearful adventures, both by sea and land. Real and fabulous geography and history are mixed together in an absurd and monstrous manner; and the second half of the romance, in which the scene is transferred to Spain and Italy, does not exactly harmonize with the spirit of the first half.

Cervantes in Man of La Mancha:


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