'' to the moment when Macbeth prepares to die, '' Why should I . '' All the world's a stage, and the words spoken from it are, indeed, full of sound and fury. '' All is possible,'' says Marsilio Ficino, the 15th-century Italian philosopher.'' All is in doubt,'' says John Donne.de La Fayette's '' Princesse de Cleves'' as the first modern novel, because, he said, it was the first psychological, interior novel, constructed around the reasons of the heart.
'' to the moment when Macbeth prepares to die, '' Why should I . '' All the world's a stage, and the words spoken from it are, indeed, full of sound and fury. '' All is possible,'' says Marsilio Ficino, the 15th-century Italian philosopher.'' All is in doubt,'' says John Donne.
Nevertheless, given a choice in the matter, I have always answered that, for me, the modern world begins when Don Quixote de la Mancha, in 1605, leaves his village, goes out into the world and discovers that the world does not resemble what he has read about it.
Many things are changing in the world; many others are surviving.
Between these two sentences, pronounced more than a century apart, the new literature appears as an opaque circle where Hamlet can represent his methodic madness, Don Juan of Seville his secular sexuality, St. Only an old hidalgo from the barren plain of La Mancha in the central plateau of Castile continues to adhere to the codes of certainty. In the new world of criticism, Don Quixote is a knight of the faith.
John of the Cross his celestial eroticism: in literature, all things become possible. This faith comes from his reading, and his reading is a madness.
The best translation is not necessarily the most lexicographically accurate, but it is the one where the feeling and the tone both come through.
How odd to reflect that Verdi relied on Boito for his Shakespeare and was so profoundly accurate that English librettos of '' Otello'' cannot rely on Shakespeare but must retranslate Boito.For if '' Don Quixote,'' by its very nature, does not define the modern world but only an aspect of it, it does, I believe, at least define the central problems of the modern novel.I remember discussing the matter over luncheon one cold day in 1975 with Andre Malraux: he chose Mme.While visiting the rare-book collection at the University of Virginia in the late 1970's, Carlos Fuentes happened on a 1755 edition of Miguel de Cervantes' '' Don Quixote'' translated by Tobias Smollett. Fuentes had not known the translation existed and was intrigued.He hardly slept that night, reading what he felt was the best English translation of the Spanish classic.Sometimes translation is an act of homage; sometimes an auto-da-fe.On the few occasions when it really works, it is almost always a serendipity, a clash between one great writer and another in which a foreign, a strange, language becomes the authentic vernacular version.Shortly thereafter he called Roger Straus, the president of his New York publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and suggested that he reissue the translation. Fuentes's foreword and introduction to Smollett's '' Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha,'' published this month for the first time in America.WHEN I was a young student in Latin American schools, we were constantly being asked to define the boundary between the Middle Ages and the modern age.I* WRITE with confidence in the language of Cervantes, more hesitantly in the language of Smollett.Many translators, some good, some indifferent and some rank bad, have translated my - our - hero into every civilized language.