Are there limits to the pursuit of realism in fiction? For Cervantes, at least, those limits are to be found somewhere in between three hundred goats and the bodily needs of Sancho Panza.
A reflection on an influential figure in the genre-oriented criticism of the late twentieth century.
If Shakespeare’s greatest characters quake to their very core with the realization of what they cannot see, or lose their reason altogether when they finally grasp how little they understood, Cervantes crafted an entirely new way of writing around his characters’ limitations and the incompatibility of their different perceptions of the world.
Living in Nature requires — and sometimes rewards — errancy.