windmills.jpgI decided to start my DQ prep today with a quick trip to the University of York library on the hunt for introductory criticism. (I’m lucky that, as a staff member, I can have up to 60 books at a time!)  And I came away with four delicious looking tomes:

The Cambridge Companion to Cervantes (ed. Anthony J. Cascardi) – I very much enjoy the Cambridge Companions and I think they’re a good place to start with criticism. This one has a handy timeline of Cervantes life and an Appendix with a list of electronic resources for Quixote.

A Critical Introduction to Don Quixote by L.A. Murillo – This provides a short thematic essay for every chapter or couple of chapters, and so I thought it would be interesting as a companion. It should fit well with the 50 pages a week plan too.

Fighting Windmills: Encounters with Don Quixote – This one looks at DQ as a text through time with chapters like ‘Cervantes Sallies into Eighteenth Century France and England’ and ‘DQ and the New World: Two American Perspectives’.  I thought this might be an interesting counterpoint to textual criticism: thinking about how other cultures and eras have read the book and responded to it.

Finally, Cervantes by Jean Canavaggio (trans. J.R. Jones) – a biography of the man himself.

I can’t wait to dig into these!