Sancho Panza through Three Hundred Seventy-Five Years of Continuations, Imitations, and Criticism, 1605-1980

Sancho Panza through Three Hundred Seventy-Five Years of Continuations, Imitations, and Criticism, 1605-1980

Sancho Panza through Three Hundred Seventy-Five Years of Continuations, Imitations, and Criticism, 1605-1980

Sancho Panza through Three Hundred Seventy-Five Years of Continuations, Imitations, and Criticism, 1605-1980

Excerpt

The fortunes of Don Quixote in most Western countries and in Russia have already been recorded in detail in several treatises, where thousands of allusions and references to, and adaptations and imitations of Sancho are cited, but the emphasis has been placed, as is to be expected, on Cervantes, Don Quixote, and/or Cervantes's work as a whole. Sancho's overall character and his fortunes in Western literature have not been studied at any length. Having so many excellent sources of a general nature on which to draw, it would have been pointless to redo what had already been done, and given the awesome amount of Cervantine criticism, it would have been quixotic to attempt a detailed and all-encompassing survey of Sancho's fortunes through almost four centuries of criticism and imitations. There is always a chance that an exhaustive search might turn up the odd unrecorded reference to Sancho, or that under a close scrutiny a literary work might show some traces of Cervantine influence, but the findings would probably not justify the effort that such a project would require, because most of the allusions and references to Sancho show little or no critical insight, and most imitations and continuations only repeat commonplaces and one another.

This study does not purport to be comprehensive. Its purpose is merely to bring into focus the various, disparate, and frequently disparaging opinions that Sancho has elicited since his creation, and pinpoint their textual sources in Don Quixote. The following pages will present--through a sample of representative allusions, imitations, critical exegeses, and adaptations--a panoramic, impressionistic picture of how Sancho was treated across the centuries.

The University of British Columbia

November 15, 1981 . . .

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