The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda by Miguel de Cervantes

The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda is a romance or Byzantine novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, his last work and one that stands in opposition to the more famous novel Don Quixote by its embrace of the fantastic rather than the commonplace. While Cervantes is known primarily for Don Quixote, widely regarded as one of the foremost classic novels of all time, he himself believed the Persiles, as it is commonly called, to be his crowning achievement. He completed it only three days before his death, and it was posthumously published in 1617. The generally accepted idea about the novel's orthodoxy as a Byzantine, neo-classical and Catholic epic romance has been challenged in two books by Michael Nerlich (2005)[4] and Michael Armstrong-Roche (2009).[5] More recently (2016), in a volume of studies celebrating the 400th year anniversary of the novel's publication, the editor Mercedes Alcalá Galán points out that new interpretations of the Persiles have led to an expansion of its meaning, and that her volume emphasises the novel's poetic legacy, its inventiveness, and above all the appeal of the writer's creative passion, "el contagio de la pasión literaria con la que fue escrita." The latest attempt to read something new into the novel makes the claim that beneath the disguise of the heroes as Periandro and Auristela there are further surprising identites, both historical and religious, waiting to be discovered. To mark the 400th year anniversary, the Real Academia Española has brought out a new edition (2017), seventy-five pages of which can be found at:

The 1475th greatest fiction book of all time

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