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The meaning of the illustrations must have seemed somewhat slippery and unstable, for a certain Dr.
John Oldfield found it necessary to write accompanying explanations.
The iconographic tradition has already diverged from the novel in significant ways.
In the text, Sancho is described as having long shanks, but illustrators show him with the abundant belly that is his name implies (Panza meaning “belly” in Spanish).
, he poked fun at his upcoming death and the little literary fame he achieved in his lifetime.
As the aging author rode a nag on the road to Toledo, a student catching up to him from behind hailed him with these words, “Yes, yes, this is the complete cripple, the completely famous and comic writer, and lastly, the delight of the muses!
Despite the harmful extravagances of these novels, this form of writing has one advantage over more truthful literary forms, Cervantes writes in the latter section of Part I, for chivalry "offers a wide and spacious meadow through which the pen may run without any hindrance." Perhaps Don Quixote owes his genesis to these notions of his author.
But as Cervantes launches his idealistic and possessed hero on a career open to public contempt, the possibilities of a many-leveled, kaleidoscopic theme must have become apparent very early.
” Cervantes could not accept this faint praise, and replied, “That is an error into which many of my uninformed admirers have fallen.
I, sir, am Cervantes, but not the delight of the muses or any of the other foolish things that you have mentioned.” Cervantes finished the prologue by taking leave of his readers: “for I am dying and hope to see you soon, happy in the life to come!