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 Online Intensive - Don Quixote 
- by Miguel de Cervantes -

Agora Foundation Online Intensive - Don Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes

Human ingenuity could probably find a way to exaggerate the greatness and importance of Don Quixote, but it might take a Cervantes to do it, and he would surely do it in a novel like Don Quixote.  “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha” is the title of a book, but it is also the name and description of the title character of that book.  Are the man and the book two or one?  And what about Sancho Panza, who cannot read the book which brings him into existence, though he can render a life-or-death judgement when given an isle to rule in it?  Can such a book depict justice?  And Dulcinea del Toboso: what does it mean to be the actual human being (in a fiction), with a real and different name (in a fiction), standing behind the love-object of a man she does not know loves her (in a fiction)?  Can a fiction portray real love?  Is Quixote’s love, inside the fiction, a fact or a fiction?  Then there’s the immortal horse who looks half dead: Rocinante, who loves his home so well he knows the way to it when his master does not.  The romance of the historical Spanish horse notwithstanding, is this one, a fictional animal, the most famous of all Spanish horses?  How did Cervantes do that - make the glory of Spanish horseflesh a broken-down nag with an unforgettable name?  In what Spain does this horse live?


When we come to dwell within the covers of this incomparable book, the book that dreamed so many other books into possibility, what sort of Spain do we inhabit “in a village whose name (Cervantes) do(es) not want to remember?”  Can a madman’s dreams make possible a saner, more beautiful world, or does the mad dreamer make the world worse by trying to enact his impossible dreams?  Should a sane person care about a madman’s dreams?   If a madman imagines a mad world made better, how mad is he?  Is it mad to try to make a mad world better?  What does a sane person look like in such a world?  Does such a person read books about mad people?  Can reading make one mad?  Can one live out of a book?  Can a life truly be written – can it be written truly?  What sort of life has Cervantes written?  How does one write the life of someone who never lived?  What are the stakes of such a life?  Why make a book about a man who goes mad by reading books?  Why say that you are not the primary author of your own book?  Whose book is it?  Does Cervantes write Quixote, or Quixote Cervantes?  In the first pages of the novel, we learn that Quixote intended to write the conclusion of one of the books he read, but instead of finishing the life of Don Belianís, he decides to write his new self into life as Don Quixote by enacting what he has read in the books.  Later, he imagines the writer of the book in which he appears.  When a neighbor encounters him suffering the effects of the full rage of knighthood, only belatedly discovering his identity and calling him by his name, Quixote says he knows who he is and what he can be.  Who among us knows who he is and what he can be?  What does it do for us (and to us) to read such a life?  Is it an act of knight errantry to do such a thing?  If so, we must remember Don Quixote’s admonition to his faithful squire Sancho Panza, “You should not try to make the world anew or to pull knight errantry from its hinges.”  How much poorer would we be without such a life to read?

Online seminars will take place on Thursday afternoons, 12:30-2:00PM Pacific Time. All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by Eric Stull. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 3 CEU credits for participating.


Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Begins January 19 and ends May 18, 2023 - 12:30-2:00PM Pacific


Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes - Edith Grossman translationEcco; Reprint edition (April 2005),

ISBN 978-0060934347

Dates and Curriculum - Don Quixote Intensive

Don Quixote - Part One

1) Session One

Thursday, January 19

12:30-2:00PM PST

Prologue, To the Book of Don Quixote of La Mancha,

Ch. 1-7


2) Session Two

Thursday, January 26

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 8-15


3) Session Three

Thursday, February 2

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 16-21


4) Session Four

Thursday, February 9

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 22-26


5) Session Five

Thursday, February 16

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 27-31


6) Session Six

Thursday, February 23

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 32-35

7) Session Seven

Thursday, March 2

12:30-2:00PM PST

Ch. 36-41

Thursday, March 9
Postponed Event

8) Session Eight

Thursday, March 16

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 42-46

9) Session Nine

Thursday, March 23

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 47-52

Don Quixote - Part Two

10) Session Ten

Thursday, March 30

12:30-2:00PM PDT

To the Count of Lemos, Prologue to the Reader,
Ch. 1-7


11) Session Eleven

Thursday, April 6

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 8-16

12) Session Twelve

Thursday, April 13

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 17-24

13) Session Thirteen

Thursday, April 20

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 25-32


14) Session Fourteen

Thursday, April 27

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 33-41


15) Session Fifteen

Thursday, May 4

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 42-49

16) Session Sixteen

Thursday, May 11

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 50-58

17) Session Seventeen

Thursday, May 18

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 59-66

18) Session Eighteen

Thursday, May 25

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Ch. 67-74

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