What is it about?
Don Quixote is a book about books with a clear awareness of the act of writing, reading and telling stories. Orality is a key feature in Cervantes’s masterpiece, particularly in characters becoming storytellers throughout the first part, just as in Italian short stories. Yet the Italian influence on the act of telling stories in Don Quixote Part 1 can be addressed in more depth. This article examines the dialogue established by Cervantes with the novella, especially in creating the illusion of orality, and recreates the intertextual dialogue in three episodes, namely the prologue of Don Quixote Part I, the tale narrated by Sancho about shepherdess Torralba and shepherd Ruiz López, and Don Quixote’s tale about a widow and a ‘mozo motilón’. Such considerations allow us firstly to compare Cervantes’s prologue to Decameron’s Fourth Day foreword; secondly to encapsulate the features common to oral tales and the Italian novella; and finally, to explore the different oral skills performed by Sancho and his master.
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This page is a summary of: Orality al itálico modo in Three Episodes of Don Quixote Part I, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, July 2019, Liverpool University Press, DOI: 10.3828/bhs.2019.42.
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