Tiny (Erasmian) Dagger or Large Poniard?: Metonymy vs. Metaphor in the Cave of Montesinos Episode in Don Quixote

Tiny (Erasmian) Dagger or Large Poniard?: Metonymy vs. Metaphor in the Cave of Montesinos Episode... Judith Stallings-Ward [C]ada cosa de por sí y todas juntas, me suspendieron y admiraron. [E]ach [thing] separately and all of them in combination, astonished and bewildered me. --Don Quixote on the Cave of Montesinos This essay proposes an oblique reading of the Cave of Montesinos episode (Book II, chaps. 22­23) that discerns several Erasmian references.1 Unlike earlier scholarship, which either detects a philosophical affinity between Don Quixote and Erasmus's Praise of Folly or dismisses any substantial link between the two authors, this paper makes a case for reading the cave episode as a foil to the Enchiridion militis christiani [Manual for the Christian Knight], a work to which Cervantes did have access, as I will indicate. The rhetorical figures of metaphor and metonymy inherent in the symbolic process of the episode's dream pull in opposite directions, leaving the meaning of key images and characters--among them the dagger and Montesinos--unstable and ambiguous.2 By undertaking to maintain the opposing perspectives simultaneously, the reader will see how those Erasmian references are camouflaged by a type of anamorphosis not unusual in seventeenth-century Spanish letters. The ambiguous and unstable nature of these references is an indication of the artistic and political climate informing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Tiny (Erasmian) Dagger or Large Poniard?: Metonymy vs. Metaphor in the Cave of Montesinos Episode in Don Quixote

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1528-4212
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Abstract

Judith Stallings-Ward [C]ada cosa de por sí y todas juntas, me suspendieron y admiraron. [E]ach [thing] separately and all of them in combination, astonished and bewildered me. --Don Quixote on the Cave of Montesinos This essay proposes an oblique reading of the Cave of Montesinos episode (Book II, chaps. 22­23) that discerns several Erasmian references.1 Unlike earlier scholarship, which either detects a philosophical affinity between Don Quixote and Erasmus's Praise of Folly or dismisses any substantial link between the two authors, this paper makes a case for reading the cave episode as a foil to the Enchiridion militis christiani [Manual for the Christian Knight], a work to which Cervantes did have access, as I will indicate. The rhetorical figures of metaphor and metonymy inherent in the symbolic process of the episode's dream pull in opposite directions, leaving the meaning of key images and characters--among them the dagger and Montesinos--unstable and ambiguous.2 By undertaking to maintain the opposing perspectives simultaneously, the reader will see how those Erasmian references are camouflaged by a type of anamorphosis not unusual in seventeenth-century Spanish letters. The ambiguous and unstable nature of these references is an indication of the artistic and political climate informing

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Jun 12, 2006

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