Int’l Book Day: Jordi Gracia’s “Cervantes”

megustaleer - Miguel de Cervantes - Jordi Gracia

Jordi Gracia, Miguel de Cervantes. La Conquista de la Ironia. Una Biografía [M.d.C. The Conquest of Irony. A Biography], 2016, 400 p.

Publisher’s summary:

This biography wants to take off some of the dust of 400 years of history that have settled on Cervantes; it wants to bring near to us his human and emotional dimension, his condition of a firm man of weapons and an inexhaustible man of letters, a unique writer – and also his carried away vitality, his defence of women, and his quest to understand existence as nobody had understood it until then: at the modern crossroads of irony. That has ended up being his best intimacy.

Neither destitute nor predestined Cervantes managed to escape his times to enter the center of our times because only the classics live like authentic modern works. But none is so modern as Cervantes in the Don Quixote: when age already bends his back, his joy continues intact and nothing will sour his mood. Irony and the ideal go hand in hand for the first time in a novel impossible in its time, and today as brilliant as then. Some of the reasons for this sortilege are in this biography that was written with narrative impulse, at street level, trustworthy and modernizing.

It’s been 400 years since Cervantes’ death, key 2016 commemoration in Spain. After the anniversary of the Quixote‘s publication in 2005, the 2016 celebrations focus on the writer himself. It’s the ideal moment for this renovative biography that really focuses on a portrait of Cervantes as a human being and as a writer.

Today (at least part of) the Spanish speaking world remembers the 4th century of Cervantes’ death (died April 22, buried April 23, 1616… the very same day Shakespeare died). The Mexican author Fernando del Paso (Ciudad de México, 1935; available in English: News from the Empire) will receive the 40th Cervantes prize. In Catalonia there are celebrations for Sant Jordi (Saint George’s day), La Vanguardia offers a special section (and also some pictures of the book stalls and rose vendors in the streets of Barcelona)…

SOURCE: Taurus (publisher)

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