Cervantes

Jean Canavaggio, Author, Jean Conavaggio, Author, Joseph R. Jones, Translator W. W. Norton & Company $45 (348p) ISBN 978-0-393-02812-6
Little is known about the life of the father of the modern novel. Like his contemporary Shakespeare, Cervantes fascinates because he is approached most closely through his writings. Here a professor at the University of Caen, in Normandy, offers a collage-like portrait, separating what is certain about Cervantes from the imagined and the plausible, placing him into his milieu, Spain's Golden Age, in the effort to discover ``that ever-present absentee whose unmistakable voice we always recognize among a thousand others.'' Unfortunately, much of the book is speculative, raising more questions than answers. Canavaggio mixes tenses, sometimes using the past, present and future in one paragraph; the prose, while exuberant, is rambling. This is an ambitious, adulatory biography. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Hardcover - 381 pages - 978-2-86374-223-5
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