The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Towards the end of October, a new Polish translation of Don Quixote will appear under the imprint of the publishing house Rebis. On that occasion, you are cordially invited to participate in a discussion with Wojciech Charchalis, the translator, and Emilio Pascual, a poet, editor and well-known specialist in Cervantes’s works, which will take place on Friday, the 24th of October, at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Cervantes Institute at 12 Kanonicza Street. The meeting will be moderated by Nina Pluta and Piotr Fornelski.

On Saturday, 25th October, at 11 a.m., you are invited to the Book Fair at The International Exhibition and Convention Centre EXPO Krakow, 9 Galicyjska Street, where Wojciech Charchalis and Emilio Pascual will present the new Polish translation of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (Przemyślny szlachcic Don Kichot z Manczy) in the room “Budapest”. After the meeting, be sure to drink a glass of Spanish wine with us.

We hereby deliver to the reader the long-awaited, first Polish critical edition of Don Quixote in a new, excellent translation by Wojciech Charchalis. With his Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra laid foundations of the modern novel. The adventures of a hidalgo frantic with reading books and of his squire have entertained and moved successive generations of readers for over four hundred years. Thanks to the new Polish translation, the work has been freshened up, so contemporary enthusiasts of literature will be able to enjoy the story more than ever. A great translation of a great work. As it turned out, in spite of its ripe old age, Don Quixote is an interesting, engrossing and enlightening book. Most importantly however, it is full of humour, as the author himself informs us on the pages of his novel. This ridiculousness was difficult to notice before. Only now we can fully appreciate the humour and the excellent writing of the great Spaniard.

Undoubtedly, it is Don Quixote that assembles in itself all prior trends, thus laying foundations of a truly modern novel, at the same time remaining different from all works that preceded it. Don Quixote, as every great modern novel, distinguishing itself from its predecessors, is multidimensional and polyphonic. And it is a misunderstanding to consider it – following Cervantes himself – a mere satire on chivalric novels, a satire which by accident got out of the control of the author, not fully aware of what he had written. It is true that one should not expect Cervantes to have predicted or thought through the dozens of interpretations of his work, presented to us by critics throughout four centuries. It is also impossible to assume that, as an uneducated man, guided only by the instinct of an expert reader with much life experience, he created – also instinctively – a work of whose multidimensionality he had no idea. It is too perfect for these assumptions to be true. The truth, as usual, lies probably somewhere between these two extremes – Wojciech Charchalis, excerpt from the translator’s preface.

The events are organised by the Spanish Embassy in Poland, the Cervantes Institute in Krakow and the publishing house Rebis.

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