Nizar F. Hermes Why You Can/'t Believe the Arabian Historian Cide Hamete Benengeli Islam and the Arabian Cultural Heritage in Don Quixote1 In Don Quixote: A Touchstone for Literary Criticism (2005), distinguished Cervantine scholar James A. Parr does not seem to go too far when he hails Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (16051615)-- hereafter Don Quixote--as the perfect model of a "pivotal text," that is "prescient in its formulation of the strategies of the self-conscious, self-questioning, and other experimental and historical texts of our time" (6). Indeed, in addition to its superlative literary merit and fictional uniqueness, Don Quixote is historically and culturally rich. This is very much true, for example, of the text's distinctively complex dramatization of the early modern encounter between Europe and Islam. This encounter, of course historically speaking, was primarily embodied in the conflict between Habsburg Spain and the Ottoman Empire, then Europe's and the Islamic world's two leading powers.2 Although the Spanish-Ottoman rivalry was performed in different territorial and, mainly, maritime battlegrounds--the Battle of Lepanto (1571) looms large in this regard--the textual ones were not less significant and Don Quixote is a compelling textual illustration.3 In
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 31, 2014
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