Review by Choice Review
Cascardi (Univ. of California, Berkeley) brings together essays by a distinguished group of North American and British scholars, including B.W. Ife, Frederick de Armas, Alexander Welsh, Mary Malcolm Gaylord, Melveena McKendrick, Adrienne Martin, Anne Cruz, and Diana de Arenas Wilson. Looking at aspects of Cervantes's texts and their literary, social, and historical contexts, the contributors cover a range of topics, among them Cervantes's desire for a return to the lofty goals of the Italian Renaissance, his rearticulation of preexisting genres, his fictions beyond Don Quixote, his theatrical works, gender, the juxtaposition of humor and violence in his writings, the New World, and his influence on the development of the novel. A key benefit for the reader is that the concepts treated in each essay spill over into territories marked by others. Clearly intrigued by Cervantes, all the essayists display their own imaginative and critical gifts as they laud Cervantes's achievements. One can learn much about Cervantes, his works, sociohistorical background, and the critical tradition in this exceedingly rich tome. Individual readers will choose their favorite topics and expository styles, but each of the essays makes a worthy contribution to the collection. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Academic collections supporting work at the upper-division undergraduate level and above. E. H. Friedman Vanderbilt University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.