As you walk into the Simpson Library and look to the left you will see a display case filled with the accomplishments and artifacts of Miguel de Cervantes. This is due to this year being the 400th year of Cervantes put together by the Digital Don Quixote freshman seminar class. The exhibit contains novels written by Cervantes, novels written about Cervantes, compilations of Cervantes works, pictures, and a statue of Cervantes. Here the focus is going to be Works by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra in the Library of Congress, Miguel de Cervantes: Blooms Modern Critical Reviews, and a figurine of Cervantes.
My first article is a novel called Works by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in the Library of Congress, by Francisco Aguilera. This bibliography has 459 entries of Cervantes works, and it’s the ultimate guide to Cervantes pieces at the Library of Congress. When Aguilera got multiple requests from scholars, bibliographers, and bibliophiles for the compilation of Cervantes works, they figured it would serve useful to many people and decided to make this book. Francisco Aguilera is a certified Specialist in Hispanic Culture and is the main author of the book, but he had some help from other members of the Library of Congress. While putting together this book, Aguilera reviewed the other Cervantes collections that had originally been published in the Library of Congress, to be sure he got them all and that his was an improvement from these. The introductory of this book starts off by telling us the significance of the acquiring of all of his works. While not numerically high, qualitatively it includes the most pieces needed for any comprehensive study of the writings of Cervantes. While Cervantes personal works make up the majority of the text, there are two subsidiary lists titles, “Bibliography,” and “Iconography” that are by other authors writings about guides to Cervantes works. Don Quixote, Cervantes most popular work, has nearly a hundred and thirty-five editions in twenty-six other languages listed in the bibliography. The most noteworthy items out of those are the first editions of Don Quixote in Spanish, English, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, and Swedish. Other important pieces that stand out are first editions of Novelas ejemplares in Itatlian and English, Persiles y Sigismunda in English and Italian, and Viage del Parnaso in Spanish. This is an easy to follow novel because Cervantes works are listed in a simple to follow order. First are Cervantes “Collected works” followed by single works in alphabetical order: Don Quixote, La Galatea, Novelas ejemplares, Persiles y Sgismunda, individual plays and poems, and Viage del Parnaso, with each of these divided into Spanish and translated sections. The foreign language translations of Don Quixote, since there are so many of each of them, are listed in chronological order within each language. The subdivisions for all of Don Quixote in all of the languages are comprehensive editions, first parts, second parts, abridged editions, juvenile adaptations, particular parts or episodes, quotations, and proverbs. The rest of the works have fewer categories, with the ones that follow under more than one category repeated. Most of the images in this novel are facsimiles of title pages. The editor chose to include these to bring attention to the noteworthy editions in the Library’s own Cervantes collection. Aguilera has three of his own articles in here, “The Kebler addition to the Don Quixote collection,” “Further additions to the Cervantes collection,” and “Quixote and the Persiles additions,” which was also published separately by the Library of Congress. All of the works and translations in this book were written by 1959, besides the works by Aguilera. If you want to learn about all of Miguel Cervantes other works, this is the ultimate compilation.
The next article is Miguel de Cervantes: Blooms Modern Critical Views. This book is about Harold Blooms opinions of Miguel de Cervantes works and a brief overview of Cervantes himself. Blooms introduction starts off by calling Cervantes works, specifically Don Quixote, “a masterwork to which all the great Western novelists owe a debt,”(Bloom). The aspects of imitation and invention are analyzed in Cervantes works here. Overall it is fair to say that Bloom is a fan of Cervantes, even comparing him to Shakespeare.
The third object is a little figurine of Miguel de Cervantes. The figurine is wooden, stands about eight inches tall, and made in Spain. This is an important object in the display case because it reminds people that Cervantes wasn’t just some writer, he was a real person who looked like us. We think of Cervantes only for his thoughts and what gets put on paper, so it’s easy to forget that we are talking about an actual person.
Put all together these artifacts did a very good job of summing up the important details of Cervantes life. From the books to the figurine representation of Cervantes himself, this display case will tell you all you want to know about the great Miguel de Cervantes.
, Reynaldo., Georgette M. Dorn, and Library of Congress. Hispanic Division. Works by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra in the Library of Congress. Washington: Hispanic Division, Library of Congress : For Sale by the U.S. G.P.O., Supt. of Docs., 1994. Print.
Bloom, Harold. Miguel De Cervantes. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2005. Print. Bloom’s Modern Critical Views.