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Cervantes in Algiers A Captive's Tale

by Maria Antonia Garces

Cervantes in Algiers A Captive's Tale Synopsis

Returning to Spain after fighting in the Battle of Lepanto and other Mediterranean campaigns against the Turks, the soldier Miguel de Cervantes was captured by Barbary pirates and taken captive to Algiers. The five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios or prison-houses (1575-1580) made an indelible impression on his works. From the first plays and narratives written after his release to his posthumous novel, the story of Cervantes's traumatic experience continuously speaks through his writings. This text offers a comprehensive view of his life as a slave and, particularly, of the lingering effects this traumatic experience had on his literary production.

Cervantes in Algiers A Captive's Tale Press Reviews

The significance of this book is enormous, as it is the first to chronicle Cervantes's five-year captivity in Algiers as both a traumatic and creative event [. . .] Garces's book will open up new avenues not only for rethinking the connections between trauma and captivity, but also for questioning the complex relations between Christian Spain and Islam in early modern times. --Diana de Armas Wilson [Highly recommended] not because it gives a personal picture of prison life . . . or because it bolsters a new theory of trauma criticism . . . [but] because it accomplishes something that is greatly needed among Hispanists, which is to say that it gets out of the fiction into the real world in which it was produced. --BHR Maria Antonia Garces provides new and fascinating interpretations of Cervantes' texts . . . [Her] book is grounded on the link between trauma and creativity . . . The commingling of history, biography, and trauma studies and, most importantly, the vivid narrative of an Algiers that Cervantes constantly recalls, make of this an exciting and fascinating read. This is an important book that provides new and compelling insights into Cervantes' Algiers. --Renaissance Quarterly

Book Information

ISBN: 9780826514066
Publication date: 31st July 2002
Author: Maria Antonia Garces
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 312 pages
Categories: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Biography: historical, political & military,

About Maria Antonia Garces

Maria Antonia Garces, a former captive herself (a hostage of Colombian guerrillas), is associate professor of Hispanic studies, Cornell University.

More About Maria Antonia Garces

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