Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)
ph_0111201528-Cervantes.jpg Miguel de Cervantes Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Although Miguel de Cervantes longed for the popular success and financial rewards offered by the stage, he hoped to gain a more prestigious literary reputation as a great poet, as evidenced by the time and dedication that went into his long derivative poem El viaje del Parnaso (1614; The Voyage of Parnassus, 1870), as well as his numerous occasional poems, such as his songs addressed to the Invincible Armada. He believed that his reputation as a writer of narrative would rest on a work to which he devoted much of his energy during his last years, Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (1617; The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda: A Northern History, 1619), a novel that he regarded as the best of all his works. It is no more remembered today and no more widely read than a lifeless pastoral novel written early in his career, La Galatea (1585; Galatea: A Pastoral Romance, 1833). His own age and subsequent generations have recognized his outstanding work to be El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, 1615; Don Quixote de la Mancha, 1612-1620). In this long novel, Cervantes not only made a lasting contribution to the development of narrative form but also created two of the most memorable of all imaginary characters, the immortal knight-errant and his squire, Sancho Panza. Cervantes also played an important role in developing the short story as a genre.