Ricardo Padrón

As I teach Don Quixote once again, I am struck by how difficult it is to avoid converting the book into either a tragedy or a satire.  Auerbach should provide a remedy, but his discussion of the novel's "gay wisdom" does not seem to speak to students.  Close, on the other hand, would have us sacrifice the whole enterprise of modern literary criticism in order to recover the comic dimension of the novel from its mishandling by the Romantics.  As Auerbach himself notes, the tendency to read DQ for its tragic or satirical meanings seems to resist such attempts at philological demolition.