Even more popular in their day than Don Quixote, Cervantes's Exemplary
Stories (1613) surprise, challenge and delight. Ranging from the picaresque
to the satirical, Cervantes's Exemplary Stories defy the conventions of
heroic chivalric literature through a combination of comic irony, moral
ambiguity, realism, and sheer mirth. With acute narrative skill and deft
characterisation, drawing on colloquial language and farce, Cervantes
creates a tension between the everyday and the literary, the plausible and
the improbable. While encouraging us to reach our own moral conclusions, he
also persuades us to accept the coincidental and the incredible: two boys
indulge their life of crime at a time of public prayer; a young nobleman
undergoes a change of identity at the behest of not a princess but a mere
gipsy girl, and, most fantastically, talking dogs philosophize in a ward
full of syphilitics. By placing the extraordinary within the contexts of
the ordinary, the Exemplary Stories chart new novelistic territory and
demonstrate Cervantes at his most imaginative and innovative. This new
translation captures the full vigour of Cervantes's wit and makes available
two rarely printed tales, `The Illustrious Kitchen Maid' and `The Power of

Miguel Cervantes, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra—Exemplary Stories

  • 9780140442489