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The Rochester Spanish Language Meetup Group Message Board › ‘Quixote,’ Colbert and the Reality of Fiction

‘Quixote,’ Colbert and the Reality of Fiction

Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 7
‘Quixote,’ Colbert and the Reality of Fiction. William Eggington. New York Times, September 25, 2011.

"We especially revere the genius of Shakespeare in the English-speaking world, but I’d like to focus on the genius of another writer, a Spanish one, Miguel de Cervantes, who shaped our world as well, and did so in ways that may not be apparent even to those aware of his enormous literary influence. With the two parts of Don Quixote, published in 1605 and 1615 respectively, Cervantes created the world’s first bestseller, a novel that, in the words of the great critic Harold Bloom, 'contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake.'"

"In fact, the common notion of objective reality that most of us would recognize today and the one on which Professor Rosenberg’s defense of naturalism rests — as that which persists independent of our subjective perspectives — is mutually dependent on the multiple perspectives cultivated by the fictional worldview. It is not a coincidence that the English term 'reality' and its cognates in the other European languages only entered into usage between the mid-16th and early-17th century, depending on the language. (In the case of Spain, the first recorded usage was two years after the first book of Don Quixote was published.) And it was not until Descartes wrote his Meditations at the end of the 1630s that a rigorous distinction between how things appear to me and how they are independent of my perspective entered the philosophical lexicon."

"Take the impact on politics. People in the modern, industrialized world tend to ally their identities with large symbolic bodies called nations, and then within those nations with other more intimate groupings — from religious communities to sexual orientations to nuclear family units. Political leaders have become remarkably adept at manipulating the fictional worldview to rally these various levels of identification to their own ends. But if the fictional worldview allows for such manipulation, it also gives us the tools to fight back — tools Cervantes already developed at the dawn of the modern age."
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 8
The previous (above) article and this, I think relate to today's fun with acting exercise. smile

Pedro Calderon de la Barca's La vida es sueño.
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