TEHRAN, (IRANART)- A Persian translation of ‘Cervantes and the Material World,’ a book written in 2000 by UCLA Spanish professor, Carroll Bernard Johnson (1938-2007), a premier authority on novelist Miguel de Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote, will soon be released by Cheshmeh Publication in Tehran.

The Persian translation by the late Iranian dramatist, cinema critic and director Iraj Karimi (1953-2015) is titled ‘Don Quixote’s Temptations’ (in Persian: Vasvasehaye Don Quixote’), Mehr News reported.

Since its publication in the early 17th century, Don Quixote has become a classic of world literature, and its hero a symbol of romantic aspiration and absurdity. Even today, Cervantes’s mad knight continues to reach out and hook readers’ psyches.

“In Cervantes and the Material World, Johnson illuminates Cervantes’ Don Quixote on the side of materialism, in contrast to the highly idealistic perspective one usually takes of the knight-errant and his adventures,” says a review by University of Illinois Press (press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog).

In this innovative revisiting of Don Quixote, Johnson investigates in detail the cultural and material environment in which Cervantes placed his characters.

The work reveals a recurrent preoccupation with the clash of two different economic systems: a reenergized feudalism and incipient capitalism.

Overturning the common assumption that Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and myriad other colorful characters carry out their adventures in a timeless social milieu, Johnson demonstrates how their perspectives and experiences are shaped by the events and crises of their immediate historical context.

Johnson examines how questions of the distribution of wealth, the ownership of the means of production, and membership in one or another economic order permeate Cervantes’s fiction.

He suggests how business activities, legal codes, and other materialist practices actively impinge on the lives of the characters, influencing and in some cases determining their motivations and their possibilities for action.

Source: Financial Tribune

 

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