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Cervantes, Miguel de

  • By: Paul Seaver
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Hispanic literature is not commonly viewed as characterized by humor; rather, it is generally described as sober and serious. Nonetheless, a Spaniard, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616), created a body of work that ranks him as perhaps the greatest writer of comic fiction. Author of La Galatea, a pastoral novel (an artificial work detailing the lives of shepherds in an idealized and unreal way), several Exemplary Novels (short stories designed to teach a moral lesson), Persiles y Segismunda, a tale of adventurous pursuit of perfect love, and several plays, Cervantes is best known for his two-part novel Don Quijote (Don Quixote). Published in 1605 and 1615 respectively, Don Quijote is considered by many as the first modern novel. As such, it combines comic genius with ...

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