Don Quixote: From Man of La Mancha to Sites on La Web
Don Quixote is a staple of classic literature, and also the source of inspiration for the name of our site, findingDulcinea. If all of our talk of windmills and knights errant has made you wonder what all the fuss is about, then you're in the right place. In this Web Guide, you'll find plenty of Don Quixote references and resources, and even a few fun Quixote-inspired visual and audio works (although we promise not to sing "The Impossible Dream").
Don Quixote's leading (and almost entirely imaginary) lady Dulcinea can be found all over this site-most obviously, as our namesake. References to the book Don Quijote de la Mancha (as it is titled in the original Spanish) are scattered throughout our writing and illustration, but maybe you're not sure what all the fuss is about. So get settled in a comfy chair and put on your reading glasses. If your comfy chair is in front of your computer, you're in luck; a few versions of the book can be found online for your reading (or listening) enjoyment.
- Because the book is over 400 years old, the original version, as well as many of the older English translations, are in the public domain (at least in the United States) and therefore legal to download or reprint.
- Looking for additional Quixote information? You might find more search results if you enter alternative spellings of Quixote. Try Quijote (the Spanish spelling) or Quichotte (the spelling used for the French opera).
For an online version of the full text in English ...
offers Thomas Shelton's translation of Volume 1 of Don Quixote as a part of the Harvard Classics anthology. This text is easier to navigate than the Project Gutenberg text, but it does not include the second volume.
For online audio versions ...
has an audiobook of Volume 1 of Don Quixote available for free download. But clear your schedule first: it'll take you about 21 hours to listen to the whole thing. If you don't want it all at once, then subscribe by RSS feed to get a chapter each day. This version is read by different volunteers, so you won't have a chance to tire of any one voice.
offers a computer-generated, audio version of Don Quixote. "Computer generated" in this case means that the recording sounds nothing like a human voice and struggles greatly with many of the words found in the book (the name Quixote included). If you want to give it a try, click on "main site" under "Download Links" to get streaming audio, and start with the second audio file; the first is just the title.
For a plot summary or additional story information ...
has summaries of each chapter of the book that are a bit more comprehensive than the quick overviews found in SparkNotes. CliffsNotes also has a few critical essays about the novel but is missing a few of the features found on SparkNotes, such as quote explanations and character analyses.
has some study notes about Don Quixote, including a one-page plot summary, character descriptions, chapter summaries, and topic tracking (such as "Donkey Imagery" and "Metafiction").
The Modern Library
, an imprint of Random House, has a reading guide for Don Quixote with questions that might be useful for discussion in a classroom.
For information about translations ...
offers this article, "Anglicizing El Ingenioso Hidalgo," that covers some of the various translations of Don Quixote (up until 2004) and discusses the difficulties and differences in the text that result from translation. It's a long but interesting read for those who want to explore why there are so many translations of this work, and what each translation adds to (or removes from) the original.
The Milton S. Eisenhower Library
at the Johns Hopkins University hosts a virtual tour of artifacts related to the novel. Although not very impressive in terms of Web design, some of the history and early editions of the novel might pique the interest of a Don Quixote fan or curious admirer.
Because Don Quixote has had such a lasting, powerful, and cross-cultural influence over the past four hundred years, it should come as no surprise that it has inspired and influenced many artists and their work. Take an online look at some art, literature, and performances that have drawn upon the novel, and meet some modern Don Quixotes.
- Theatrical adaptations of the novel abound, but for the most part, they stray wildly from the original plot. Before you assume the musical Man of La Mancha to be an accurate representation of the book, give yourself a refresher on the actual storyline of Don Quixote by visiting one of the sites in the first section of this guide.
- Don Quixote was influential even in its own time: one reader went so far as to create a second volume before Cervantes had finished his own second volume. In Cervantes's second volume of Don Quixote, the characters get wind of the false version and even comment on it.
For examples of Don Quixote's influence on the findingDulcinea Web site ...
itself was named after Don Quixote's imagined lady love. Our homepage features a tiny icon of Don Quixote on his horse, and our logo is reminiscent of a windmill (in reference to the windmills Don Quixote mistakes for giants).
Our Web Guides
are written almost as if Dulcinea were dictating them herself, with "Dulcinea's Insight" providing tips and cautions about your search and "Dulcinea's Picks" showing you the best of the Web.
The Daily Dulcinea
blog goes into more detail about the relationship between Don Quixote's search for Dulcinea and your search for information on the Web.
For the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha ...
For film and video ...
The Internet Movie Database
links to a trailer of a made-for-TV adaptation of Don Quixote starring John Lithgow as Don Quixote and Vanessa Williams as Dulcinea.
has lots of information and episode summaries of the cartoon "The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda" from the early 1990s.
For additional music inspired by Don Quixote ...
is a language-learning site with a virtual Don Quixote museum that includes this selection of mp3s of songs inspired by and about Don Quixote.
offers the article "The Presence of Don Quixote in Music ... Beyond the Centenary Celebrations," which lists the occurrences of Don Quixote in music, and the influence of Don Quixote on music.
For written works inspired by Don Quixote ...
has an article that demonstrates the influence of Don Quixote on many European and American writers over the last 400 years. Historical authors, including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, as well as contemporary writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, John Irving, and Larry McMurtry, have all fallen under the book's spell.
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