CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Diccionario Cervantes


Jean Canavaggio


512 pages; 263 color illustrations; hardcover with chrome; 21 x 25 cm


Spanish; 2020





This dictionary offers readers the chance to survey Cervantes’ life and oeuvre as they please through more than 130 entries that make it possible to focus on his family environment, the cities he lived in, his military campaigns and captivity in Algiers, his intellectual background, his attitude to the world and the Spain of his day, his literary output and his posthumous fame.

Anyone who browses through its pages will find current knowledge – divested of legend – where as yet unresolved debates are cautiously addressed: Cervantes’ origins, his departure for Italy, his attempts to escape, his love affairs, his imprisonments, his ideological choices, his lost or attributed works, his poetic disillusionments and his frustrations at the success of more fortunate rivals.

The appeal Cervantes continues to hold today is due above all to Don Quixote. His masterpiece and the mark it has left on those who have reflected on it are accordingly given the space they deserve: the book examines its reception in art (Goya, Doré, Dalí, Picasso), music (Purcell, Telemann, Massenet, Strauss, Falla), film (Pabst, Welles, Gutiérrez Aragón), criticism (Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, Mann, Marthe Robert, Foucault) and literature (Sterne, Diderot, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Galdós, Kafka, Borges).

Jean Canavaggio (1936–2023) was professor emeritus at the Université Paris Nanterre and one of the most prestigious international scholars of Cervantes. Prominent among his contributions in this field are Cervantes (1986, latest ed. 2015), Cervantes entre vida y creación (2000), Don Quijote, del libro al mito (2006) and Retornos a Cervantes (2014). He coordinated Historia de la literatura española (1994−95) and collaborated on Francisco Rico’s edition of Don Quixote. He was editor of a French translation of Cervantes’ works of prose published in 2001 at Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, as well as a translation of Don Quixote brought out in 2015 as part of the same series. He is also the author of Les Espagnes de Mérimée (2016).