El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha
2005 marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of Don Quijote, without doubt one of the masterpieces of world literature. The event focused renewed attention on the work and on its author. Several new editions have appeared or are in preparation. It once again is required reading in college Spanish classes.
But Don Quijote presents formidable obstacles to many students of Spanish: the language is difficult, many classical Spanish terms are not found in standard dictionaries, the work is replete with references to mythological and historical figures, and if one seeks remedy from one of the better annotated editions, the numerous notes and asides interfere with and obfuscate the flow of the action.
It is the aim of this project to overcome these obstacles and to ease the entry into the world of Don Quijote.
The work is presented in five synchronized formats which can be arranged in various combinations, according to the needs and preferences of the reader:
One can, for example, arrange the Folio view next to the Spanish text and proceed page by page, while listening to the Spanish audio. This provides the most authentic experience, preserving the appearance of the manuscript while allowing the reading of the modernized Spanish.
If this exceeds the Spanish proficiency of the reader, one can instead pair the Spanish text with the English translation. This way the meaning of each phrase is just a glance away, or the English page can be scanned in advance, before reading, and listening to, the Spanish page.
No matter which combination is chosen, the pages remain synchronized as one proceeds through the novel; the audio can be enjoyed continuously, paused at will, or reset to the current page.
Navigation between the parts of the work is available from the table of contents, chapter by chapter, by individual folio number, as well as sequentially page by page, backwards or forwards. Rapid location of specific events or references is facilitated through a comprehensive index and through an advanced search facility for both the Spanish and English editions.
Many of the mythological and historical references in the text have been annotated - the notes are hidden to minimize interference with the natural flow of the text, but can be called forth by simply placing the cursor over a term.
Additional help is provided in the form of Tom Lathrop's extensive dictionary of classical Spanish terms used in Don Quijote; searches can be performed with a click of the mouse.
This effort was inspired by, and loosely mirrors, the excellent Cantar de mío Cid site at the University of Texas, Austin.
The Folio images for the Cuesta editions, as well as the Spanish text and audio for the Madrid edition are from Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, which has prepared a special site in celebration of the 4th Centennial.
The Shelton translation is from the Library of English Classics, Macmillan & Co., London, 1900; the James Fitzmaurice-Kelly notes are from the Tudor Translations, Vols. XIII-XVI, David Nutt, London, 1896. Some missing or damaged pages were resolved from the online Part I at bartleby.com.