Don Quixote’s Visual Dimension


Program Description:

The iconographic success of Don Quixote has no precedent in the history of literature. Unlike other famous literary characters, don Quixote is an icon instantly recognized even by those who have not read a single line of the book. And what is even more important, the long tradition of illustrations has made Miguel de Cervantes’ novel a text impregnated by its visuality. This program will revolve around three crucial subjects: a) the analysis of the image of don Quixote as an icon instantly recognized and even as a visual or media phenomenon that has become independent from the novel; b) the Cervantine subject of ut pictura poesis, that is, the ekphrastic character of a narrative that reveals a double text, the written one and the visual and imaginary; and c) the long tradition of Don Quixote’s iconographic exegesis as a reflection on historical perspectivism in reading, and as a testimony of its vitality and growth as a text constantly rewritten through evolving graphic interpretations.


Carmen Garcia de la Rasilla

Carmen García de la Rasilla is Associate Professor of Spanish language and culture at the University of New Hampshire. She has a Ph.D in history from the University of Valladolid and a Ph.D. in literature from The Johns Hopkins University and researches and publishes in both fields. Author of Salvador Dalí’s Literary Self-Portrait: Approaches to a Surrealist Autobiography (2009), her other publications include a study of twentieth century Spanish urban history and articles and book chapters on this subject as well as on comparative literature and Spanish Surrealism. She is currently editing a book on the Spanish historical novel and preparing a second monograph on the work of Dalí.

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