Origins of Don Quixote

Walter StarkieOut of a spirit of fin de siecle melancholy sprang Don Quixote, the first modern novel in the world created out of a life of disillusion, privation, and poverty by a maimed ex-soldier, survivor of a glorious Spanish victory, whose noble nature and gentle sense of humorous tolerance taught him that life is an unending dialog between a knight of the spirit who is forever striving to soar aloft, and a squire who clings to his master and strives with might and main to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.

—Walter Starkie
Introduction to his translation of Don Quixote

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