Book Notes

Volume 2, Prologue Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Prologue

Cervantes tells the reader that he has no intention of insulting or retaliating against the nameless author who wrote a book about the further adventures of Don Quijote. He knows that the readers are just dying for him to "call him an ass" and let him have it, but Cervantes claims that this is the furthest thing from his mind at the moment. He is content for this man has to live with the knowledge of his huge error. He feels no need to take revenge, even though, this man hurt Cervantes by calling him old and crippled (referring to his missing hand he lost in battle). He is proud to have fought at the battle at which he lost his hand and would do it again gladly. He mentions that he was also a bit ticked off when this author, not only said he (Cervantes) was jealous of Lope de Vega, but had the nerve to also explain and define the word "jealous" -- as if Cervantes were an imbecile!

Nevertheless, Cervantes feels no need to ridicule this man; for he feels that he is probably suffering enough -- why else would he hide his identity as if he were ashamed? He asks the reader that if he should run into this author, explain that Cervantes is not angry with him; but, understands how the devil can tempt a man to do greedy stupid things -- like imagining he has the talent to write a good book to make money. He asks the reader instead, to tell him some stories -- like the following one:

Once there was a nut who went about sticking a small reed pipe, (usually used for making music), into the anus of any dog he could catch; blowing into the pipe until the dog blew up round like a balloon. The lunatic would then ask the gawking bystanders:

"'You think it's easy... swelling up a dog like that?'

And at the end of the story ask this man:

'Do you think it's easy, your grace, making a book?'" Volume 2, Prologue, pg. 361

Topic Tracking: Metafiction 8

He tells the reader that here is the true, genuine, second volume of Don Quijote -- who shall be laid to rest for all eternity at the end, so that no one else can tell lies about him or his life.

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