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Every person is the artificer of his own destiny II

TEXTO EN INGLÉS PUBLICADO POR EL IVAM, VALENCIA.

This strange knight is, in many senses, Spain108, but also embodies a rebellious spirit109. At the end of the text, the person present is no longer Don Quixote but the man called good Alonso Quijano. The scene of the bewitched hero’s death is extremely moving. “‘Ah,’ replied Sancho crying, ‘please don’t die, master, but take my advice and live for many years; because the madness a man can commit in this life is to let himself die, just like that, without anyone killing him, or other hands finishing him off but the hands of melancholy. Don’t be lazy now, but get out of bed and let’s go to the country dressed as shepherds, as we arranged: maybe we shall find my lady Dulcinea no longer enchanted behind some bush. If you are dying of sorrow at your defeat, blame it on me, saying that you were vanquished because I didn’t girth Rocinante properly.’” Nabokov annotates this passage very explicitly. “Dulcinea is no longer enchanted. She is death.110” But the end does not bring anything to an end, mystery keeps the novel in a state of permanently renewed reading. And the fact is that we still do not know what Don Quixote wants111. There is no doubt that he is at war against the principle of reality. The loneliness of someone who takes to the roads turned into a eulogy of learning friendship to reinforce love like a dream that we can only remember very hazily. Castejón follows Don Quixote and Sancho, dressed in their anachronistic garb, with all the admiration in the world, just as he made a fantastic series of travelers either lost or perhaps turned into ghosts112. From the nude bodies, those prodigious anatomy lessons that strove to conquer the extraordinary, to the endless flight in a nihilist world (a desert that, allow me the paradox, requires a tough “wintry journey”) and in the extraordinary compliment of Don Quixote, a series of memorable scenes, bodies dressed by literature, ghosts shaped by an eternal matter. Maybe Kafka was right when he imagined that Sancho Panza continued his adventures, in this case as a singular writer who managed to make a ghost materialize: Don Quixote113. We shall never relinquish the pleasure of reading, we want to plunge down into the dark pit, accompany the knight into the cave of Montesinos, where one goes from lethargy to the greatest disappointment114. The visions (as Castejón knows) cannot cease.

NOTES

1. Georges Bataille: La literatura como lujo Ed. Versal, Madrid 1993, pp. 159-160.

2. Cf. Jean Baudrillard: La ilusión y la desilusión estéticas, Ed. Monte Ávila, Caracas 1998, p. 27.

3. Carl G. Jung: Aion. Contribución a los simbolismos del sí-mismo, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 1989, p. 22.

4. Cf. Victor I. Stoichita: Breve historia de la sombra, Ed. Siruela, Madrid 1999.

5. María Zambrano: “Amor y muerte en los dibujos de Picasso” in España, sueño y verdad, Ed. Siruela, Madrid 1994, p. 185.

6. Mario Perniola: El arte y su sombra, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 2002, pp. 103-104.

7. “Castejón’s work has undergone an evolution through diverse neofigurative modes between the early seventies and the present day. First it was those compositions in oil, with pale backgrounds and delicate human figurations –crowds running in fear– in undefined spaces, of intense monochromatic abandonment, tiny dazed crowds, moving –hopelessly– towards undetermined precipices... in the midst of a charged, menacing atmosphere, represented by the plastic devices. In this way a thematic field was announced that would be developed later, albeit not by Castejón, who soon moved on to more explicitly and heartrendingly expressionist options, above all in the drawings of the late sixties, and then passed on to symbolisms of more complex conception and treatment until he arrived at today’s powerful realism with a touch of tragic lyricism, as we can find in many of his more recent works” (Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 12).

8. José Manuel Caballero Bonald: a text in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n.d.

9. Roland Barthes: S/Z, Ed. Siglo XXI, Madrid 1980, pp. 44-45.

10. “The trompe-l’oeil does not exactly form part of art or art history: its dimension is metaphysical” (Jean Baudrillard: De la seducción, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 1987, p. 64).

11. Jacques Lacan: “La línea y la luz” in El Seminario 11. Los Cuatro Conceptos Fundamentales del Psicoanálisis, Ed. Paidós, Buenos Aires 1995, p. 109.

12. “As regards sensitive and formal values, Castejón develops an essentially classical language that, apart from the concrete referential function mentioned, serves as a vehicle to address directly the values of artistry assimilated in the everyday sphere on the basis of the categories of prestige of figuration and realistic composition” (Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 20).

13. J. J. Armas Marcelo: “Relectura de Castejón al filo del tiempo” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, 1999, p. 9. 14. Caballero Bonald says that Castejón’s work has literary status. “I do not refer to the fact that Castejón has dedicated, for example, a series of paintings to A Hundred Years of Solitude or that some of his drawings have been linked to the personalities of Machado, Miguel Hernández or Juan Carlos Onetti, but to something much more recondite: the fact that all his work is like a passionate reading of certain episodes of our common history” (José Manuel Caballero Bonald: a text in Castejón. Faula i Simbol, Ed. Grial, n.d.).

15. Mario Vargas Llosa: a text included in Castejón. Faula i Simbol, Ed. Grial, n.d.

16. “Drawing is more often establishing those imperceptible relationships between things, where there are replicas of replicas of second generation drawings, taken from a broader repertoire of professions that respond to contrasting structuring principles. Drawing today obliges one not to renounce reconstructing the imaginary by means of any strategy, because there are no privileged processes that ensure success from outside the process itself” (Juan José Gómez Molina: “El concepto de dibujo” in Las lecciones del dibujo, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 1995, p. 138).

17. Juan José Gómez Molina: “El concepto del dibujo” in Las lecciones del dibujo, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 1995, p. 149.

18 “The draughtsman Castejón cannot throw overboard something he strongly believes in: that the principal basis of painting is drawing” (Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 19).

19. Cf. Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 16.

20. Blasco Carrascosa has pointed out Castejón’s peculiar maniera. “Precision of line and confident ease to achieve expressive effects by accentuating intensities in his anthropomorphic subject matter: observe his vigorously recorded heads and nudes” (Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 17).

21. Eugenio Trías: La memoria perdida de las cosas, Ed. Mondadori, Madrid 1988, p. 81.

22 Wilhelm Worringer: Abstracción y naturaleza, Ed. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Madrid 1997, p. 135.

23. Eugenio Trías: La memoria perdida de las cosas, Ed. Mondadori, Madrid 1988, p. 120.

24. José Manuel Caballero Bonald: a text in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n.d.

25. “The papiers collés in my drawings have also provided me with a certainty. The trompe-l’oeil is due to anecdotic chance, imposed by the simplicity of the facts. The papiers collés, the false timber and other elements of the same kind that I have used in some drawings are also imposed by the simplicity of the facts, and that is what caused them to be mixed up with the trompe-l’oeil, whose opposite they actually are. These are simple facts too, but created by the spirit, and involve one of the justifications of a new figuration in space” (Georges Braque: “Pensamientos y reflexiones sobre la pintura” in El día y la noche, Ed. Acantilado, Barcelona 2001, pp. 65-67).

26. “Authors who have attempted to explain [Braque’s or Picasso’s] intentions [with collages] speak, with suspicious unanimity, of the need for a new contact with ‘reality’ in view of the growing abstraction of analytical Cubism. But the term ‘reality’, always ambiguous when it is used in relation with art, has never been more ambiguous than in this case. A piece of wallpaper imitating the texture of wood is no more ‘real’ from any viewpoint, or closer to nature, than a painted simulation of that wood; and wallpaper, oilcloth, newspaper or timber are no more ‘real’ or closer to nature than painting on canvas” (Clement Greenberg: “Collage” in Arte y cultura, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 2002, p. 85).

27. “The same could be said of the use Castejón makes of the ‘visual –non matteric– collage’ in its immediate and surprising sensitive appearance, developing on phenomenal level planes and depths in the virtual compositive space, which increases the resulting plasticity at the same time and indirectly poses the problem of veracity and verisimilitude in art, as the sphere par excellence of fiction” (Román de la Calle: “Estudio de funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 22).

28. Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundación Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 17.

29. J. J. Armas Marcelo: “Relectura de Castejón al filo del tiempo” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 12.

30. “In some cases he uses the destruction of the anatomy in the nudes, decomposition of bodies broken into pieces and sewn together again; on other occasions he takes advantage of the contrast between human and animal in a metaphorical involution or the metonymic presentation of a part for the whole, contrasting remains, fragments of rent flesh or muscle in an unmistakable symbology of deterioration and violence” (Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 16).

31. Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundación Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 19. 32. “Between Jesse Owens (or even Koroebos, almost three thousand years earlier) and Carl Lewis, there is hardly one second’s difference. It is usual for bodies to be sluggish. Bodies are slow. Bodies take their time, they have to take their time, they have to arrive after thought. [...] A culture fighting a battle against sluggishness is a culture waging a war against the visibility of bodies” (Santiago Alba Rico: “Comer y mirar” in En tempo real. A arte mentres ten lugar, Ed. Fundación Luis Seoane, La Coruña 2001, p. 56.

33. “The noblest thing in art is the nude. This truth is universally acknowledged and followed by painters, sculptors and poets; only ballerinas have forgotten it, precisely they, who should remember it most, as their working tool is the human body” (Isadora Duncan: “La danza del futuro” in La escena moderna. Manifiestos y textos sobre teatro en la época de las vanguardias, Ed. Akal, Madrid 1999, p. 77).

34. In 1969 Castejón recreated and paid tribute to the figure of Isadora Duncan, “whose dancing anatomy is interpreted, albeit with a spirited rhythm, through the devastation of disturbing deterioration” (Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundación Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 18.)

35. Cf. José Ortega y Gasset: “La deshumanización del arte” in La deshumanización del arte y otros ensayos de estética, Ed. Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 1987, p. 55. Let us recall a remark of Apollinaire’s: “Above all, artists are men who want to become inhuman. They search furiously for traces of inhumanity, traces that are nowhere to be found in nature” (Guillaume Apollinaire: Meditaciones estéticas. Los pintores cubistas, Ed. Visor, Madrid 2001, p. 16).

36. Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundación Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 19.

37. Jean Clair: La responsabilidad del artista, Ed. Visor, Madrid 1998, pp. 121-122.

38. Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 22.

39. Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 14.

40. Felo Monzón: a text included in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n. d.

41. Michel Foucault: Las palabras y las cosas, Ed. Orbis, Barcelona 1985, p. 333.

42. Paul Auster: El país de las últimas cosas, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona 1994, p. 31.

43. Juan José Gómez Molina: “Los dibujos del dibujo” in Las lecciones del dibujo, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 1995, p. 185.

44. “In any case, there is something tragic about this, a moral and almost savage allegory of the body, an enormous beastly allegory” (Antonio Zaya: a text included in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n. d.).

45. Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, pp. 24-25. 46. “After all, those creatures are nothing but the fingerprints of the artist who wants to encompass all his memory in a single picture; a picture that at the same time assumes and translates each line, each brushstroke, each whim, dream, colour and volume of each of the works that the painter has claimed as part of his own biography throughout his existence” (J. J. Armas Marcelo: “Relectura de Castejón al filo del tiempo” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, 1999, p. 10).

47. “Joan Castejón defines his painting as atemporal, at the same time as he exercises in it political, social and cultural commitment to the time in which he lives. His work reflects profound concern for man and solidarity towards the suffering of the weak, for whom misfortune can be an everyday fact” (Alberto Ballestero Izquierdo: “Su pintura y su tiempo” in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n. d.).

48. Omar Calabrese: “Naturaleza muerta” in Cómo se lee una obra de arte, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 1993, p. 21.

49. Gilles Deleuze: La imagen-tiempo. Estudios sobre cine, vol. 2, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 1987, p. 31.

50. “It is not by chance that the interest in the still life coincides as a general rule with the periods when the question of study of its own language that art engages in becomes a problem of which there is awareness” (Iuri Lotman: “La naturaleza muerta en la perspectiva de la semiótica” in Semiosfera III. Semiótica de las artes y de la cultura, Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 2000, p. 22).

51. John Berger: “¿Cómo aparecen las cosas?, o Carta abierta a Marisa” in El Bodegón, Ed. Galaxia Gutenberg, Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona 2000, p. 61.

52 “The most extreme form of moral message offered by the still life can be found in the vanitas, thus named after the first words in the Ecclesiastes: ‘Vanitas vanitatis, et omnis vanitas’ (Vanity of vanities, all is vanity). The detail that usually tells us we have a vanitas before us is the presence of a human skull, although there are many other symbols of the temporariness of life and the futility of human effort: burnt out candles, withered flowers, rotten fruit and stale bread, sand-glasses, soap bubbles, oil lamps, coins, terraqueous and celestial globes... In many vanitas paintings there is no food at all. There are usually several symbols of human exertion –books, scientific instruments– and human pleasures –pipes, packs of cards, musical instruments. These objects, in combination with the symbols of mortality, instil in the spectator an idea of the futility of human effort in such a short life span” (Carolyn Korsmeyer: El sentido del gusto. Comida, estética y filosofía, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 2002, pp. 221-222).

53. “One of the outstanding themes in the still life genre is the vanitas, that is, the still life with a moral content, which begins to develop independently around the first half of the 17th century and whose main aim is to make people reflect about the relentlessness of time, the fugacity of worldly goods, the evanescence of pleasures, in short, the brevity of life, a very deep-rooted idea in religious thought in Spain at that time” (Fernando Chueca: “El bodegón en el Museo del Prado” in El Bodegón, Ed. Galaxia Gutenberg, Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona 2000, p. 12). 54. Remo Bodei: Una geometría de las pasiones, Ed. Muchnik, Barcelona 1995, p. 166.

55. If we think, for example, of the manifesto of the Grup d’Elx, to which Castejón belonged, presented in 1969, it says, among other things: “We, who consider it the artist’s function to show through his work that we understand man as a concrete historical being, situated at an epoch and in a circumstance, could not content ourselves forever with ambiguity”.

56. “Castejón’s artistic work has revolved prevailingly in different ways around these problems, both with respect to the acceptance of certain extraordinarily realistic plastic codes and the pursuit of a special efficacy ‘in the symbolic –and yet somehow judgemental– representation of multiple meanings of a historical and social reality’” (Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 18).

57. Norman Bryson: Visión y pintura. La lógica de la mirada, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 1991, p. 177.

58. John Berger: “¿Cómo aparecen las cosas?, o Carta abierta a Marisa” in El Bodegón, Ed. Galaxia Gutenberg, Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona 2000, p. 59.

59. John Berger in John and Katya Berger: Tiziano: ninfa y pastor, Ed. Árdora, Madrid 1999, p. 45.

60. Román de la Calle: “Estudio de las funciones comunicativas en la obra plástica de Castejón” in Castejón. La realidad de lo Imaginario, Ed. Cuadernos Cimal, Valencia 1981, p. 22.

61. J. J. Armas Marcelo: “Relectura de Castejón al filo del tiempo” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 14.

62. “The drawings of skulls and bones (the reference to Thanatos is obvious here, just on the borderline of the orb of death) have their counterpoint in the lines –dim at times, concise at others– that with outlined silhouettes, pulsional features and almost unnoticeable nuances embody their antithesis (life, love, Eros)” (Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa: “Un recorrido (apasionado y en volandas) por la faceta dibujística de Castejón” in Joan Castejón. Dibuixos, Fundació Bancaixa, Valencia 1999, p. 20).

63. “The enigmatic sense is manifested, then, as a formally undecidable meaning, which involves two levels of the enigmatic: on the one hand, the co-habitation of two projects of alternating and reversible understanding (literal/figurative) that can be applied equally but inversely on expressions produces not the ambiguity or ambivalence of the statement but its incomprehensibility, the closing of understanding in the act of verifying some undecidable relationships of meaning; on the other hand, the verification of that semantic unpeakability is limited to the detection of two possibilities of comprehension whose formal coexistence leads to senselessness or contradictory meaning” (José M. Cuesta Abad: Poema y enigma, Ed. Huerga & Fierro, Madrid 1999, pp. 34-35).

64. Mario Vargas Llosa: a text included in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n. d.

65. Cf. Javier Blázquez Ruiz: “La fuerza de la expresión” in Castejón. Fauna i Símbol, Ed. Grial, n. d.

66. Félix Duque: “Que no es verdad que diez años no es nada ni es febril (sino textil) la mirada: Hermeneútica en la España de hoy” in ER, Seville 1996, p. 36.

67. Emmanuel Levinas: El tiempo y el otro, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 1993, p. 133.

68. Emmanuel Levinas: El tiempo y el otro, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 1993, p. 134.

69. “Joan Castejón’s pieces are like episodes in a book, for it is true that a great deal has been said about the connection between painting and literature that exists in his work. And the fact is that the artist has made series on subjects from universal literature like the one about Don Quixote, made between 1993 and 1994, but, Caballero Bonald says, ‘It is not certainly a matter of creating a language in which other literary languages are merely filtered, but of making this operation be like a variant of alchemy, in the sense of turning experience into artistic material. Only in this way was the painter able to conceive a reality that revalorises the usual value of reality [...] And I do not refer to the fact that Castejón has dedicated, for example, a series of paintings to A Hundred Years of Solitude or that he has linked some drawings to the personalities of Machado, Miguel Hernández, Juan Carlos Onetti, Ausìas March or Walt Whitman, but something more recondite: the fact that all his work is like a passionate reading of certain episodes of our common history.’ It is precisely this relative ordinariness reflected in Castejón’s imagery that leads him to place his work in the scale of proximity and closeness, so rarely prevalent these days. In his way he opens up his own experience to lay it before the spectator’s eyes within an undeniable receptivity on our part” (Tania Pardo: “Las imaginarias mutaciones de Joan Castejón” in Joan Castejón, Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana, 2003, p. 32).

70. In the prologue to his Exemplary Novels, Cervantes says that Juan de Jaúregui has painted his portrait. “The Royal Spanish Academy has a much debated portrait of a man in a ruff, at the top of which you can read D. Miguel de Cervantes Saauedra and at the bottom, Iuan de Iaurigui pinxit año 1600, whose authenticity has been seriously questioned” (Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, p. 97).

71. “But what is realism? The realistic creator starts from reality, naturally, although the most common thing is not to follow a single concrete model of it. Let us take the character that is unquestionably the epitome of Spanish realism: Sancho Panza” (Dámaso Alonso: the prologue to Martín de Riquer’s Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, p. 12).

72. Cf. Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, pp. 117-121.

73. Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, p. 20.

74. Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, pp. 33-34.

75. “More than anything else, Don Quixote of La Mancha, the immortal novel by Cervantes, is an image: that of a fifty-year-old gentleman, squeezed into an anachronic suit of armour and as haggard as his horse, who, accompanied by a rough-and-ready, fleshy peasant riding an ass, who acts as his squire, travels around the plains of La Mancha, freezing in winter and roasting in summer, in pursuit of adventures” (Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XIII).

76. Don Quixote’s appearance is not arbitrary, since his main features correspond “in a way that is evidently not fortuitous with the characteristics that in the book by Dr Huarte de San Juan, Examen de ingenios (published in 1575), are attributed to a man with a ‘hot, dry’ temperament, who has ‘very little flesh, tough and rugged, made of nerve and muscle, and large veins... leather coloured... he is brown, tanned, greenish and ashen; his voice... loud and a little hoarse’” (Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, p. 121). 77. “Narration is a memory, and therefore a summary, a simplification, an abstraction. The real face of life, of the prose of life, only reveals itself in the present. But how must we give an account of past events and restore them to the present time that they have lost? The art of the novel has discovered the answer: by presenting the past in scenes. The scene, even when told in the past tense, is ontologically the present: we see it and hear it; it takes place in front of us, here and now” (Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, p. 25).

78. “But if there is one thing that seems to engross Castejón particularly, it is hands. A part of our anatomy that seems to be one of the most difficult themes to reflect in painting and, however, this artist endows this part of the body with such vitality that they seem to move in their own plasticity” (Tonia Pardo: “Las imaginarias mutaciones de Joan Castejón” in Joan Castejón, Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana, 2003, p. 35).

79. “Quixote achieves universality not from a general human plane but from a certain very singular politico-social structure that exists in time and space. And Cervantes’ clever stroke of genius in capturing and expressing the strange destiny of that community, Spain, at the cardinal point and at the precise moment it was possible without permitting that the fleeting convergence elude him” (Francisco Ayala: “La invención del ‘Quijote’” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XXXV). Cf. Fernando R. de la Flor: Barroco. Representación e ideología en el mundo hispánico (1580-1680), Ed. Cátedra, Madrid 2002, p. 23.

80. Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, pp. 1087-1088.

81. Nabokov has pointed out that Cervantes commits repetitions and literary carelessness in Don Quixote as though he also wrote whatever came out. See Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 59, note 9.

82. “Cervantes wrote the second part of Don Quixote when the first had been published and had been widely known for many years. This gives him a splendid idea: the characters that Don Quixote meets know him to be the living hero of the book they have read; they speak to him about his past adventures and give him the opportunity to speak about his own literary image. Of course, this is impossible! It is pure fantasy, a joke! Then an unexpected event alarms Cervantes: another writer, unknown, publishes his own continuation of Don Quixote’s adventures before him. Furious, Cervantes insults him ferociously in the pages of the second part that he is writing himself. But he immediately takes advantage of this unpleasant incident to create another fantasy: after many misadventures, Don Quixote and Sancho, weary and sad on their way back to their village, meet one Don Álvaro, a character from the plagiary; Álvaro is surprised to hear their names, because he knows another Don Quixote and another Sancho very well! This meeting takes place a few pages from the end of the novel; a disconcerting vis-à-vis of the characters with their ghosts; the final proof of the falsity of all things; a melancholy light illuminates the last joke, the joke of their leave-taking” (Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, pp. 96-97). “While Cervantes was inventing sorcerers who had supposedly written his book, and while in the book Don Quixote was fighting with sorcerers out of books of knights errant, Cervantes –the real author–comes face to face with a sorcerer on the level of what is known as ‘real life’. And he was to use this circumstance as a particular tool to entertain the reader” (Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 124).

83. “Taking advantage of the fact that it was common practice in books of knight errantry (many of which are supposedly manuscripts found in exotic and outlandish places), Cervantes used Cide Hamete Benegelí as a device that introduced ambiguity and fun as central features of the narrative structure” (Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XXIV).

84. “To understand Don Quixote fully, then, it is necessary to take into account that this novel is not a satire on knight errantry or chivalrous ideals, as it has sometimes been described and one might think at first sight, but a parody of a literary genre very much in fashion in the 16th century. Don Quixote is not, as some Romantics believed, a mockery of heroism and noble idealism, but a mockery of certain books, which because of their extreme exaggeration and lack of restraint, ridiculed heroism and idealism. All Don Quixote is constructed as a parody of the books of knight errantry, from its style (mockingly old-fashioned and high-sounding in many passages) to its battles, episodes and the very structure of the tale” (Martín de Riquer: “Cervantes y el ‘Quijote’” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. LXV).

85. “But we must not forget that Don Quixote, in spite of its profoundness and the bitterness that it seems to contain –bitterness more readily aroused in today’s reader than in the reader of the early 17th century– is, as we would say today, a book of ‘humour’. The formula transcribed above makes it clear that one of the writer’s aims is to entertain his readers: ‘to make the melancholic laugh and the cheerful more cheerful’” (Martín de Riquer: “Cervantes y el ‘Quijote’” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. LXXIII).

86. “One laughs at the knight that wears a basin instead of a helmet, at the squire who receives a beating. But, apart from this type of humour, often stereotyped, very often cruel, Cervantes makes us enjoy a very different, much more subtle kind of humour” (Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, p. 133).

87. Dámaso Alonso: Prologue to Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, p. 15.

88. “Let us be honest: Don Quixote is sophistry. All the dithyrambs of national eloquence have done no good. All the learned research into Cervantes’ life have not cleared up even a corner of the colossal mystification. Is Cervantes mocking? And what is he mocking? Far off, alone on the open plain of La Mancha, Don Quixote’s lanky figure stands stooped like a question mark; and he is like the guardian of the Spanish secret, the illogicalness of Spanish culture. What was that poor tax-collector mocking from his prison cell? And what is mockery? Is mockery necessarily a denial?” (José Ortega y Gasset: Meditaciones del Quijote, Ed. Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 1964, p. 91).

89. “The two parts of Don Quixote constitute a veritable encyclopaedia of cruelty. From this point of view, it is one of the most bitter and barbaric book of all time. And its cruelty is artistic” (Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 85). “The physical and mental torture suffered by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had been inseparable from Cervantes’ own endless struggle for survival and freedom. And nevertheless, Nabokov’s remarks are true: the cruelty is extreme in all of Don Quixote. The aesthetic marvel is that this excess is diluted when we break away from the enormous book and think about its form and the infinite meaning it contains. No two critical explanations of Cervantes’ masterpiece coincide, or are even similar to each other. Don Quixote is a mirror that does not reflect nature but the reader. How is it possible that this knight errant so badly beaten up and ridiculed can be, as he is, a universal paradigm” (Harold Bloom: ¿Dónde se encuentra la sabiduría?, Ed. Taurus, Madrid 2005, p. 87).

90. “[...] Don Quixote, at the beginning of the 17th century, wandered around the roads of Spain dressed up in armour dating from the late 15th century (his great grandparents’ time), which made him a living archaism that would arouse the stupefaction or hilarity of his contemporaries, subjects of Felipe III, who found themselves before a being dressed like a knight from the time of the war of Granada, a similar surprise that we would feel if we bumped into a character dressed up as a Carlist general today” (Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, pp. 122-123).

91. Harold Bloom: ¿Dónde se encuentra la sabiduría? Ed. Taurus, Madrid 2005, p. 93.

92. He wrote these words on 19th April 1616, and that same day or the next, he wrote or dictated the prologue to Persiles, where he said: “My life is almost over, and, at the same time as my pulse which, at the latest, will run out this Sunday, I shall end my life. [...] Goodbye graces, goodbye favours, goodbye joyous friends, I am dying and hope to see you soon good and happy in the other life!”

93. Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, p. 114.

94. Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XV.

95. Francisco Ayala: “La invención del Quijote” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XXXVIII.

96. “Thus, the dream that turns Alonso Quijano into Don Quixote of La Mancha does not consist in renewing the past, but in something far more ambitious: creating a myth, transforming fiction into living history” (Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XIV).

97. “A hero is, I was saying, one who wants to be himself. The root of heroism resides, then, in a real act of will. Nothing like the epic. That is why Don Quixote is not an epic figure but he is a hero” (José Ortega y Gasset: Meditaciones del Quijote, Ed Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 1964, p. 142).

98. “Like the duke and duchess, another powerful character in the novel, Don Antonio Moreno, who receives and regales Don Quixote in the city of Barcelona, also puts on shows that defy reality. For example, in his house he has an enchanted head, made of bronze, which answers the questions it is asked, as it knows people’s future and past. The narrator explains that it is a ‘trick’, that the make-believe soothsayer is a hollow machine, inside which there is a student who answers the questions. Is this not living fiction, the theatricalisation of life, like what Don Quixote does, albeit with less ingenuity and malice?” (Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XVII).

99. “In the first Quixote the author builds up an artistic weft capable of expressing the deformation come about on the heroic world of his youth, disenchantment, the complex play of reality and appearance, the exploits of will and the ultimate uselessness of his efforts at the same time as the absolute dignity he possesses, so that the tension between these two forces –the knight’s arm and the windmill’s– creates a drama always newly opened on the plains of La Mancha; in the second Quixote, this drama shifts towards farce, artistically more refined although with less poetic impact. Now we move about in richly invented interiors: the grotesque is shown in its quintessence and often verges on magic; there is a clear predominance of theatrical artifice: the cart from Las Cortes de la Muerte, the party for Camacho’s wedding, the cave of Montesinos, the adventure of the braying, Maese Pedro’s puppet show, abundant mockery and complications in the duke’s house... Until, at last, Don Quixote enters a city and, believe it or not, attends a party held by some ladies, and is obliged to dance with them...” (Francisco Ayala: “La invención del Quijote” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XLIII).

100. “With a never-surpassed mastery in the art of composing novels, Cervantes is capable of gathering together, relating and weaving in a single action beings from very different extractions and of very different inspiration. The book itself, Don Quixote, is an element that appears in the second part of the novel: the book is spoken about, commented upon, reviewed and even its bibliography is given. The same occurs with Avellaneda’s Quixote, mentioned, read and insulted in the real one, where we witness how the proofs are corrected in a Barcelona printing house. Like a skilful juggler, Cervantes plays with his own work, he takes it wherever he wants and even ironises about his creature” (Martín de Riquer: “Cervantes y el ‘Quijote’” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. LXXI).

101. Milan Kundera: El telón. Ensayo en siete partes, Ed. Tusquets, Barcelona 2005, p. 146.

102. Cf. on this matter Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, pp. 98-99. “Don Quixote’s superb descent into the cave of Montesinos is the closest Cervantes comes to insinuating that the Knight of the Sad Countenance is aware that he bewitched himself” (Harold Bloom: ¿Dónde se encuentra la sabiduría?, Ed. Taurus, Madrid 2005, p. 94).

103. “But this did not make Don Quixote stop stabbing, slashing, slicing and carving madly all about. Finally, in less than it takes to say a Pater Noster, he had the whole show on the ground, all its fabric and figures absolutely annihilated, King Marsilio badly wounded and Emperor Charlemange’s head and crown split in two. The assembly of listeners got excited, the monkey fled over the rooftops of the inn, the cousin was startled, the page was frightened and even Sancho Panza was terrified, because, as he swore once the storm was over, he had never seen his master in such a dreadful temper. Once the puppet theatre had been destroyed, Don Quixote became a little calmer and said, ‘At this point I would like to bring here before me all those who do not believe or do not want to believe how useful knights errant are in the world. You see, if I had not been here, what would have become of good Don Gafeiros and fair Melisendrá? No doubt they would have been attacked by these dogs and outrage would have been inflicted on them. Whence, long live knight errantry above all other things on earth today!” (Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, pp. 755-756). “The wings of the puppet theatre that Maese Pedro showed are the frontier of spiritual confines. Inwards, the theatre contains a fantastic world, articulated by the genius of the impossible: it is the sphere of adventure, imagination, myth. Outwards, there is a room where a few ingenuous men are gathered, the sort we see doing their best to live day after day. In their midst is a simpleton, a gentleman from our neighbourhood, who one fine day left the village moved by a slight anatomical malfunctioning of his brain cells. Nothing stops us from entering this room: we could breathe its atmosphere and touch those present on the shoulder, for they are of our same substance and condition” (José Ortega y Gasset: Meditaciones del Quijote, Ed. Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 1964, p. 124).

104. Miguel de Unamuno: Vida de Don Quijote y Sancho, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 1988, p. 143.

105. Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 34.

106. “We must take into account that Don Quixote is the doer of his glory, the only perpetrator of those marvels; and in his soul he has the most fearful enemy a visionary can have: the serpent of doubt, the twisted awareness that his enterprise is illusory” (Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 109).

107. “[...] Vladimir Nabokov [said] when asked that something in life surprised him: ‘The marvel of conscience, that window that suddenly opens onto a sunny landscape in the middle of the night of non being’. [...] Nabokov cannot help talking about something beautiful as an object of the conscience: a sunny landscape seen through a window frame. If conscience only revealed the absolutely repulsive, we would wonder why we were provided with such a gift. [...] A perfectly disgusting world would not be a world where we would want to be conscious for very long, and certainly not live a life that would lose its meaning without sunlight. If I point out a painting and declare it is sublime, someone might correct me and say I am mistaking the beautiful for the sublime. Then I would quote Nabokov: I would reply that the beautiful is the sublime ‘in the middle of the night of the being’. Kant brings these considerations to play in the formulation pointed out above: ‘The sublime is that which cannot be conceived without revealing a faculty of the spirit that exceeds all measure of the senses”. For my part, and not without malice, I might add: it is sublime because it is in the mind of the beholder. Beauty is, for art, an option and not a necessary condition. but it is not an option for life. And therefore a necessary condition for the life we would like to live. And that is why beauty, unlike other aesthetic qualities, including the sublime, is a value” (Arthur C. Danto: El abuso de la belleza, Ed. Paidós, Barcelona 2005, p. 223).

108. “Don Quixote is ancient yearning, belief in a common human ideal, he is the faith of Spain. He is Spain. On the one hand, knight and ideal; on the other, reality. And on clashing with reality, both knight and ancient poem break, and the essence of the novel is born” (Dámaso Alonso: “Prólogo” to Martín de Riquer: Para leer a Cervantes, Ed. El Acantilado, Barcelona 2003, p. 19). The view of Don Quixote as the quintessence of the problems of Spain is crucial when reading Unamuno. “But now, in Unamuno, vulgar insanity is raised to the status of delirium in the style of ‘madness caused by the pure maturity of the spirit’, which links his understanding of El Quixote to his view of the problems of Spain and, ultimately, to the purest nucleus of his personal philosophy. Far from the usual vision of Don Quixote as a prototype of the Spanish character, in the double personifications of Don Quixote and Sancho, Unamuno interprets it and proclaims it as an emblem of the essence and destiny of Spain, whose cultural complex means precisely a radical way of conceiving the world and being human; that is to say, a historical manifestation of eternity, with its historical contingency” (Francisco Ayala: “La invención del ‘Quijote’ in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XXXIV). “When a few Spaniards aware of the ideal misery of their past, the sordidness of their present and the bitter hostility of their future get together, Don Quijote comes down among them, and the integrating warmth of his crazy physiognomy brings those separate hearts together, strings them together like a spiritual thread, placing a communal ethnic suffering over their personal resentments” (José Ortega y Gasset: Meditaciones del Quijote, Ed. Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 1964, p. 37).

109. “The modernity of Don Quixote is in his just, rebellious spirit, which makes the character take on as his personal responsibility the need to transform the world into a better place, even though when he attempts to do so, he makes mistakes, comes up against insuperable difficulties and is beaten, abused and made fun of” (Mario Vargas Llosa: “Una novela para el siglo XXI” in Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha, Ed. Alfaguara, Madrid 2004, p. XXIII).

110. Vladimir Nabokov: Curso sobre El Quijote, Ed. B, Barcelona 2004, p. 135.

111. “What does Don Quixote really want? I do not think there is any answer” (Harold Bloom: ¿Dónde se encuentra la sabiduría?, Ed. Taurus, Madrid 2005, p. 81). 112. “In an oneiric world, Castejón’s characters seem to walk in overwhelming solitude, particularly in the paintings titled Caminantes, where a group of men, nude once again, faceless –for perhaps the face is the least important thing– roam aimlessly towards an impossible place, under a thick cloud that looms threateningly over their heads” (Tania Pardo: “Las imaginarias mutaciones de Joan Castejón” in Joan Castejón, Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana, 2003, p. 34).

113. “Sancho Panza, who by the way never bragged about it, managed, over the years, by writing a series of novels of knight errantry and bandits, in the evening and night hours, to banish his demon, which he later called Don Quixote, to such an extent that the latter plunged headlong into the craziest of adventures; which, however, because of their lack of a predetermined object, which should have been precisely Sancho Panza, did no harm to anybody. Sancho Panza, a free man, continued unperturbed perhaps out of a certain sense of responsibility towards Dan Quixote’s deeds, thus achieving great and useful entertainment until the end of his days” (Franz Kafka: “La verdad sobre Sancho Panza” in La muralla china, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 1973, p. 80).

114. At the bottom of the cave of Montesinos, Azorín found deep, motionless, mysterious, millenary, blind water, a material that influences one, and on abandoning that darkness he finds another, with hills and black knolls, flights of crows passing by, such that “a feeling of stupor, of perplexity, of non being invades the spirit. ‘May God forgive you, friends, for depriving me of the most pleasant and delightful life and sight that any human being has ever experienced or seen,’ said Don Quixote when he was taken out of the cave. The good knight had seen inside it charming meadows and marvellous palaces. Today if Don Quixote came back to life he would not go into this cave; he would go into other deeper and more frightful underground mansions. And in them, at what he saw there, he would perhaps feel the surprise, horror and indignation he felt on the night at the textile factory, or the adventure of the windmills, or the villainous merchants who did not believe in the reality of his princess. Because the great idealist would not have Dulcinea doubted; but he would have eternal justice and man’s eternal love denied. And these sorrowful memories are the lesson we learn from the cave of Montesinos” (Azorín; La ruta de Don Quijote, Ed. Diputación de Alicante 2005, p. 143). This edition was illustrated by Castejón.