Meditations on Quixote

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University of Illinois Press, 2000 - Literary Collections - 192 pages
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"""One of the essential experiences, the greatest perhaps, is Cervantes. . . . Alas! If only we knew with certainty the secret of Cervantes' style, of his manner of approaching things, we would have found out everything.""In Meditations on Quixote, Jos Ortega y Gasset presents a powerful case for integrating literature into experience. Through a series of ""essays in intellectual love,"" Ortega explores the aim of philosophy: to carry a given fact (a person, a book, a landscape, an error, a sorrow) by the shortest route to its fullest significance. He then considers how literature, specifically Cervantes, contributes to realizing this aim.Arguing that ""we are all heroes in some measure,"" that ""heroism lies dormant everywhere as a possibility,"" and that ""the will to be oneself is heroism,"" Ortega urges us to integrate the possible into our conception of the real. He presents Quixote as a profound book, full of references and allusions to the universal meaning of life, a book that presents with maximum intensity the particular mode of human existence that is peculiarly Spanish. A call to his fellow Spaniards to join him in forging a new Spain, Ortega's Meditations on Quixote is also an invitation to his fellow humans to take up the challenge of literature, opening our minds and seeking all-embracing connections with the world and its people."
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBreedlove - LibraryThing

A disappointing read after Man in Crisis. One of Gasset's early works the book is a series of short essays about Spain, Quixote, Cervantes, and the novel. The book is saved by some pointed insights on what is heroism and adventure. Read full review

Contents

TRANSLATORS NOTE
7
PROLOGUE FOR AMERICAN READERS JULIÁN MARÍAS
9
To the Reader
31
Preliminary Meditation
55
THE FOREST AJORI
59
DEPTH AND SURFACE
61
STREAMS AND ORIOLES
64
WORLDS BEYOND
67
THE EPIC
118
POETRY OF THE PAST
120
THE BARD
124
HELEN AND MADAME BOVARY
126
THE MYTH LEAVEN OF HISTORY
128
BOOKS OF CHIVALRY
130
MASTER PEDROS PUPPET SHOW
133
POETRY AND REALITY
135

THE RESTORATION AND ERUDITION
70
MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE
74
WHAT A CAPTAIN SAID TO GOETHE
79
THE PANTHER OR ON SENSISM
82
THINGS AND THEIR MEANING
87
CULTURESECURITY
94
LIGHT AS AN IMPERATIVE
97
INTEGRATION
100
PARABLE
104
CRITICISM AS PATRIOTISM
105
A Short Treatise on the Novel
111
LITERARY GENRES
112
EXEMPLARY NOVELS
114
REALITY LEAVEN OF THE MYTH
138
THE WINDMILLS
141
REALISTIC POETRY
143
MIME
146
THE HERO
148
INTERVENTION OF LYRICISM
150
TRAGEDY
152
COMEDY
156
TRAGICOMEDY
160
FLAUBERT CERVANTES DARWIN
162
NOTES BY JULIÁN MARÍAS
166
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