New book unmasks the real Cervantes

22nd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2004, MADRID - The lesser-known human side of the master of Spanish letters, Miguel de Cervantes, is explored in a new biography by historian Alfredo Alvar Ezquerra, it was reported Wednesday.

22 September 2004

MADRID - The lesser-known human side of the master of Spanish letters, Miguel de Cervantes, is explored in a new biography by historian Alfredo Alvar Ezquerra, it was reported Wednesday.

The 500-page book, "Cervantes, genio y libertad" (Cervantes, Genius and Liberty), offers a detailed description of the life and personality of the legendary writer, whom Alvar describes as an "extraordinary, ordinary self-made man."

"Cervantes was a normal guy, with serious economic and relationship problems," Alvar said, while noting that the writer's "constant will to prevail helped him get his writings in order, (even) with an unstable family and (while living) in a tumultuous society."

In describing the Spanish writer's imprisonment, his unremarkable career as a small-business man and his stint as a soldier, the historian provides a picture of an individual who was largely self-taught.

"Cervantes wrote about everything imaginable with the creative brilliance that characterized him. With his genius, wit, humour and irony, he probed all the ins and outs of the human soul," Alvar said.

He underscored a well-known quote by Cervantes describing freedom as "man's most precious gift."

Next year will mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of "Don Quixote de La Mancha."

Alvar said Cervantes' master work "describes the life, hopes, dreams and failures" of complex individuals - like the protagonist - and those of simpler characters like Quixote's sidekick, the memorable Sancho Panza.

Alzar reminds readers, however, that "Cervantes is not just Don Quixote," emphasizing that his Novelas Ejemplares (Exemplary Stories) and plays also demonstrate "his ability to convey Cervantes' day and age and the concerns of his time."

Cervantes, born in 1547 and believed to be a descendant of Jewish converts, was a man of many facets. But he will, of course, always be best known for a period of prolific literary production from 1604 until his death in 1616.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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