From: Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America
3.1 (1983): 3-34.
Copyright © 1983, The Cervantes Society of America
|Quisiera yo, que los tales censuradores fueran más misericordiosos, y menos escrupulosos, sin atenerse a los átomos del sol claríssimo de la obra de que murmuran [. . . .] Es grandíssimo el riesgo, a que se pone, el que imprime un libro, siendo de toda impossibilidad impossible, componerle tal, que satisfaga, y contente a todos los que le leyeren.|
Don Quixote, II, 3
N THIS PAPER
I propose to examine our current needs for editions of Don Quixote,
comment briefly on the extent to existing editions satisfy these needs, and
discuss what direction work in this area should take.
I begin with the following premises. First, textual science to call it criticism is a bit misleading is, like linguistics, international in its fundamentals, however national its application. While the myriad small decisions in editing treatment of spelling details, accidentals, emendations based on knowledge of the language or of the author are unique to each language's literature, the basic procedures and the major steps in the editorial process are universal. Since at present the leaders in textual scholarship are those working
* A paper delivered
before the Cervantes Society of America, December 29, 1982, and previously
at the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, October 8, 1982.
Without implying that they agree with the views expressed here, I would like
to thank E. C. Riley, John J. Allen, Keith Whinnom, and Tom Lathrop for reading
a draft of this paper and making helpful suggestions; I would especially
like to thank Allen and Lathrop, without whose encouragement this paper would
not have been written.
[For two corrections to this article see Daniel Eisenberg Corrects Cervantes 3.2 (1983): 160. -FJ]
on English and American literature, I am going to draw on them later for
perspective and to make suggestions about editing.
My second premise is that a bad edition is worse than none, and our choices should be to edit rigorously, or not to edit. A bad edition is like a false indulgence: not only does it take the purchaser's money under a false pretense, it gives him a false sense of security, and he will not take the truly necessary steps to meet his spiritual or editorial needs. A bad edition, in short, makes a good edition less likely and harder to publish.1
Finally, my remarks are addressed to Americans, or at most to all those whose native language is English. I do not feel competent to assess the requirements for Quixote texts in another culture, and I think examining our own needs is a valid task for the Cervantes Society of America. This approach, I believe, clarifies some points.
Having set forth these premises, I would like to examine some myths about Quixote editions.
The first of these is that the establishment of the text of Don Quixote is exceptionally complicated and difficult, and perhaps there is another myth behind this one, namely, that the text of Don Quixote is quite corrupt. In fact it is not particularly corrupt, and is difficult to edit only because it is long, and because Cervantes' ideas and language are sophisticated. Compared with the problems of many other authors, Spanish as well as foreign, Don Quixote is straightforward. Shakespeare, for example, is a nightmare.2 Shakespeare scholars still do not know whether Hamlet should say Oh, that this too, too, solid flesh should melt, or too, too sullied flesh. We have little of this with Cervantes. To find the true texts of Calderón one must penetrate
the harsh words of Fredson Bowers, Scholarship and Editing,
PBSA, 70 (1976), 161-88, at pp. 162-63.
2 The field is so chaotic that there is not even a full overview of its current state. Fredson Bowers, in The New Textual Criticism of Shakespeare, in his Textual and Literary Criticism (Cambridge: University Press, 1966; first ed. 1959), pp. 66-116, presents the type of problems involved. There are two bibliographies of Shakespearean textual criticism: Trevor Howard-Hill, Shakespearean Bibliography and Textual Criticism: A Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), and James C. McManaway, A Selective Bibliography of Shakespeare: Editions, Textual Studies, Commentary (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia for the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1975). Charlton Hinman, in Shakespearian Textual Studies: Seven More Years, Shakespeare 1971. Proceedings of the World Shakespeare Congress, Vancouver, August 1971, ed. Clifford Leech and J. M. R. Margeson [p. 5] (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971), pp. 37-49, surveys some recent contributions. For a non-technical introduction to the field, see Eleanor Prosser, Shakespeare's Anonymous Editors (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1981).
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||5|
a maze of fakes, forgeries, authorial revisions, sueltas, and last
but not least, Mr. Vera Tassis.3 Alfonso el
Sabio required an analysis of the variants of different
manuscripts,4 and Lazarillo,
whose first two editions are lost,5 has more
recently required the same procedure of its
editions,6 even to decide which text to take
as copytext. In the case of Lorca's Poeta en Nueva York, which I have
investigated in detail,7 an essential manuscript
is missing, and without it we can only do a makeshift edition with much less
authority.8 And of
Celestina,9 which exists in dramatically
different forms, the validity10 and
authorship11 of which are currently intensely
debated, más vale no hablar.
In the case of Don Quixote all the potentially relevant forms of the text have already been collected. Although new manuscripts, like that
3 D. W.
Cruickshank, The Textual Criticism of Calderón's
Comedias: A Survey, in The Textual Criticism of
Calderón's Comedias, ed. Don W. Cruickshank, Vol. I of
Calderón's Comedias, ed. D. W. Cruickshank and J. E. Varey
(Farnborough: Gregg, in association with Tamesis Books, 1973), pp. 1-35;
on the difference between a fake and a forgery see p. 1.
4 General estoria, ed. Antonio C. Solalinde, I (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Históricos, Junta para Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas, 1930), lii-lxxx.
5 See Alberto Blecua, ed., Lazarillo de Tormes, Clásicos Castalia, 58 (Madrid: Castalia, 1972), p. 70.
6 By José Caso González, Anejos del Boletín de la Real Academia Española, 17 (Madrid, 1967), pp. 27-54, to whom should go the credit for first applying the method to this text and for doing much of the dirty work. However, his evidence was reanalyzed by Francisco Rico (En torno al texto crítico del Lazarillo de Tormes, HR. 38 , 405-19), and by Blecua, the latter of whom deliberately redid some of Caso's collation, and arrived at new conclusions.
7 Poeta en Nueva York: Historia y problemas de un texto de Lorca (Barcelona: Ariel, 1976).
8 Even this makeshift edition does not exist; the new edición crítica of Eutimio Martín (Barcelona: Ariel, 1981) is very deficient. See my forthcoming review, in Anales de la literatura española contemporánea.
9 See Keith Whinnom's comment on the proper name, La Celestina, The Celestina, and L2 Interference in L1, Celestinesca, 4, No. 2 (November, 1980), 19-21.
10 J. Homer Herriott began the modern study of Celestina's textual problems in Towards a Critical Edition of La Celestina: A Filiation of Early Editions [p. 6] (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1964), supplemented by his The Lost Zaragoza 1507 Edition of La Celestina, in Homenaje a Rodríguez-Moñino (Madrid: Castalia, 1966), I, 253-60. His conclusions were separately refuted by Keith Whinnom, The Relationship of the Early Editions of the Celestina, ZRPh, 82 (1966), 22-40 and, with new evidence, by F. J. Norton, Printing in Spain, 1501-1520 (Cambridge: University Press, 1966), pp. 141-56. Other recent contributors to the study of the text of Celestina are Erna Berndt-Kelley, Algunas observaciones sobre la edición de Zaragoza de 1507 de la Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, in La Celestina y su contorno social. Actas del Primer Congreso Internacional de La Celestina (Barcelona: Borrás, 1977), pp. 7-28, Kathleen Kish, An Edition of the First Italian Translation of the Celestina (of textual importance for editing the Spanish texts), University of North Carolina Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures, 128 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1973), and Emma Scoles, Il testo della Celestina nell'edizione Salamanca 1570, Studi Romanzi, 36 (1975), 7-124. The state of Celestina textual studies is competently reviewed by Jerry Rank in the introduction (pp. 11-83) to his edition of the Comedia de Calisto & Melibea (1501) (Chapel Hill: Estudios de Hispanófila, 1978); however, the whole topic is in confusion due to the inaccessible work of Miguel Marciales, which I know only through Celestinesca (see in particular Keith Whinnom, Miguel Marciales, Celestinesca, 5, No. 2 [Autumn, 1981], 51-53).
11 Salvador Martínez, Cota y Rojas: Contribución al estudio de las fuentes y la autoría de La Celestina, HR, 48 (1980), 37-55, answered by Dorothy S. Severin in Cota, His Imitator, and La Celestina: The Evidence Re-Examined, Celestinesca, 4, No. 1 (May, 1980), 3-8, Michael Gerli, La Celestina, Act I, Reconsidered. Cota, Mena . . . or Alfonso Martínez de Toledo? KRQ, 23 (1976), 29-46, and Marciales (see previous note).
containing works of Diego de San Pedro and Juan de Flores,12 do come to light, in the case of Cervantes this possibility is remote. There is already a well-founded consensus about the copytexts, the Cuesta principes, as we know, thanks to much work already done, that save for the well-known passages in the second Cuesta edition of Part I (which I will call the second edition), the first editions are closer than any others to what Cervantes wrote. The number of extant copies of these first editions Part I and Part Il is blessedly limited.13 I had hoped to be able to give you an exact figure, but I have found that determining the number of extant copies, especially
Whinnom, Dos opúsculos isabelinos: La coronación de
la señora Gracisla (BN MS. 22020) y Nicolás
Núñez, Carcel de amor, Exeter Hispanic Texts,
22 (Exeter: University of Exeter, 1979), pp. v-xii.
13 The smaller the number of texts, the less tedious, though not necessarily less thoughtful, is the work of the textual scholar. The simplest cases are those in which there survives only a single copy of a single text, like La loçana andaluza.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||7|
of the confusing Part I, is a little project in itself. Robert Flores says,
without offering any explanation, that all the copies of Part
I share a certain characteristic which I will refer to
later;14 I wish he had shared with us how
many copies there are, and where they are located. Be this as it may, there
are only around 15 of Part I, less of Part II, compared with about 100 of
Shakespeare's first folio, every one of which has been examined by a textual
scholar. We have at our disposal a great amount of help in the form of
vocabularies, concordances, indexes,15 and
scholarship about Cervantes' language, ideas, knowledge, and so on. With
such a state of affairs, we may well wonder why a definitive edition of the
most famous author of the Spanish language has never been published.
One obvious reason, which brings me to a second myth, is that such an edition would not necessarily be attractive to a publisher. It would be slow as well as expensive to publish accuracy has its price and would not necessarily sell as well as many might imagine, for it would be competing with many cheaper editions, some with distinguished names attached to them. In the long run, of course, such an edition would surely be profitable, but the investment in publishing it, to say nothing of the costs of producing the edition in the first place, would be substantial. Most Spanish publishers already have an edition of Don Quixote in their catalogues, and any new edition, especially a much better one, is a threat to the investment in those copies.
I do not mean to imply that publishers are petty, and that one or more would not jump at the chance to publish a Quixote edition which would eventually be widely accepted by scholars. I think some would publish it even at a loss, and subsidies for preparing and publishing such an edition should be available if the case for them is clearly and convincingly made. But this, plus the perception that existing editions are meeting needs adequately they do sell copies explains why the initiative has not come from the publishing industry.
Compositors of the First and Second Madrid Editions of Don Quixote
Part I (London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 1975),
p. 18. He also makes this statement in The Compositors of the First
Edition of Don Quixote, Part II, JHP, 6 (1981), 3-44,
at p. 21.
15 The most helpful index to Don Quixote is that which, along with a prologue of Américo Castro, accompanies the Sepan Cuántos edition of the Mexican Porrúa.
I have been speaking about an edition,
and deliberately so, but in fact this is the third and final myth I would
like to comment on. Succinctly stated, this is the myth that one glorious
edition of Don Quixote can meet all our needs. I doubt this is true
for Spain; it is certainly not true for the United States. Our needs are
too diverse, and I propose that future editors consider
I have divided into three categories the potential American users and purchasers of a Quixote edition. First, there are STUDENTS and casual readers who want to read the work in Spanish, but whose linguistic skills and knowledge of Cervantes' culture are limited. These readers need a totally modernized edition of an accurate text, without textual notes. They do need abundant explanatory notes.17 They need to be told, looking at the first chapter for examples, what salpicón and duelos y quebrantos were, what tantum pellis et ossa fuit means, that Bucephalus and Babieca were the horses of Alexander the Great and the Cid respectively, even who Roland was, and so on. They do not need to know anything about the Caballero de la Ardiente Espada other than that he was the protagonist of a romance of chivalry by Feliciano de Silva, and no more about Silva than that he was a prolific author of such works.
Users of this edition would not need extensive references to scholarship. They do need an introductory essay placing the work in its literary context, and pointing out its major themes. This introduction might well include a section on How to Read Don Quijote, calling attention, among other things, to the most important sections, an important piece of guidance for the many who are not going to read the work in its entirety. It should also include a discussion of Cervantes' language, and the edition could very usefully be graced with a vocabulary.
would not want the criteria proposed here to be taken as necessarily appropriate
for the edition of texts other than Don Quixote. In deciding on the
criteria proposed the following factors were considered: that no manuscripts
of Don Quixote survive, that Cervantes was a linguistically sophisticated
writer, that there already exist many editions of Don Quixote, including
facsimiles, that there is a regular and relatively large demand for copies,
and that there is great diversity in readers' preparation, approach, and
goals. To the extent that these factors would not apply to other texts, the
criteria might best be different.
17 One model is supplied by a modest work, Justo Caballero's Guía-diccionario del Quijote (Mexico: España Errante, 1970), whose annotations are intended to accompany any edition of the text.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||9|
It would be a great convenience if the lines
of this edition were numbered. And finally, two hidden sources of the popularity
of Riquer's Juventud edition should be adopted: an index, and descriptive
No such edition, of course, exists. In fact, while Spanish-language editions of common text works have been published for American or British university use, there has never been such an edition of any but fragments of Don Quixote. Such an edition would surely sell very well.
A second category of readers, with different needs consists of SCHOLARS, whether they be professors or lay Hispanists. Here some of our needs are met by existing editions.
Such readers do not need to be told who Babieca, Bucephalus, or Roland were. They do need to be told that the opening sentence of the novel has been the subject of much scholarship, that in naming the University of Sigüenza Cervantes was being funny, and the overtones of the name Aldonça Lorenço.
How should the accidentals (spelling and punctuation) of such an edition be handled? Although each textual feature must be considered separately, as general principles I suggest the conservation of the significant accidental features of the text, and a bias against modernization, on which topic the English and American scholars are quite definite.18 I believe this especially important because Cervantes phonetics (and those of his characters) are all but unstudied,19 and we are not even sure of what modernization costs us.
Elizabethan editors save themselves a vast deal of trouble and risk
by adhering to the original spelling and punctuation (J. Dover Wilson,
quoted by R. C. Bald, Editorial Problems A Preliminary
Survey, Studies in Bibliography, 3 [1950-51], 3-17; I have used
the reprint in Art and Error: Modern Textual Editing, ed. Ronald Gottesman
and Scott Bennett [Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1970],
pp. 37-53, at p. 42). In the discussion which follows I have kept in mind
the questions on modernization posed by Peter L. Schillingsburg, Critical
Editing and the Center for Scholarly Editions, Scholarly
Publishing, 9 (1977), 31-40, at pp. 34-35.
19 Francisco Rodríguez Marín studies La x de Quixote in an appendix to his nueva edición crítica (Madrid: Atlas, 1947-49), and John Jay Allen comments on this question in the introduction to his edition, Letras Hispánicas, 100-01 (Madrid: Cátedra, 1977), I, 28-29. The valuable information offered by Miguel Romera-Navarro, Autógrafos cervantinos, University of Texas Hispanic Studies, 4 (Austin: University of Texas, 1954), has not been given sufficient attention.
It is, however, difficult to reach any consensus
about what the significant accidental features of the text are,
and such evaluation may be ultimately subjective. We can agree, however,
that u / v can not possibly have any phonetic or etymological significance,
and can be modernized for the reader's comfort; I see no purpose that is
served by making a reader, even a scholar, read tuuo and
vuo. The same is true of i / j and i / y, and of
As Amado Alonso said of u / v, these are dos dibujos de una sola
Similarly, I can not see how anything authorial is distorted by using modern accentuation, or through the use of the dieresis (¨) over u. These are transparent elaborations on, rather than distortions of, the text's orthography. In Cervantes' autographs these signs are not found at all (Romera-Navarro, p. 22); the accents of Cuesta's texts are phonetic, even if not according to the current system. It is true that Golden Age word stress sometimes differed from that of the present, in which case, of course, Golden Age practice should be followed,21 and the accentuation of invented proper names (Alfefliquén, Trifaldí22) is sometimes no more than guesswork, but I believe that the editor is the person to deal with these questions, not every reader. The use of an accent on interrogatives is less intrusive than the inverted question mark, favored by James Crosby.23
There are two further modernizations which are less sound theoretically, but which I believe desirable: the division into paragraphs, and the silent resolution of abbreviations. An edition with no paragraphs will simply not be used; I have had the task of reading Golden Age novels without paragraphing, and feel that the lack of paragraph divisions was much an annoyance, and my comprehension increased insignificantly. The abbreviations were the textual feature most freely altered by compositors; their meaning is rarely ambiguous, and
la pronunciación medieval a la moderna en español, ultimado
y dispuesto pana la imprenta por Rafael Lapesa, I (Madrid: Credos, 1955),
21 The standard work on the topic is Felipe Robles Dégano, Ortología clásica de la lengua castellana (Madrid: Tabarés, 1905).
22 I believe that this word is correctly accented as an agudo, with the Arabic -í ending, frequently found in Cervantes (borceguí, maravedí, etc.), and not the Italian or Catalan -i, found only rarely. [See Daniel Eisenberg Corrects, Cervantes 3.2 (1983): 160. -FJ]
23 Política de Dios, govierno de Christo (Madrid: Castalia, 1966), p. 20. This is the most rigorous edition of any seventeenth-century Spanish text from a printed source; it was reviewed favorably by E. M. Wilson, HR, 37 (1969), 420-23.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||11|
this point is best addressed by the editor. The more acceptable of the other
alternatives would be conservation of the abbreviations (tãbien),
not their irritating resolution with italics (tanbien), which call
attention to something of little importance.
Beyond this, however, given our present state of knowledge, I can see no justification for modernization. That the accidentals have been altered by the compositors is not, in my judgment, a justification for their modernization, nor is their irregularity grounds for regularization. They still reflect something of Cervantes' practice, even if it is not always clear just what, and the alteration was executed by Golden Age workers, with Cervantes' manuscript before them. This would make scholars read Aldonça and Pança, yet I do not view that as a great hardship; it also permits them to see that Sancho said vaziyelmo, not baciyelmo.
I would like to speak out, for the same reasons, against modernization of capitalization and punctuation. It was Golden Age usage to capitalize important words, such as Cavallero Andante, and I believe the distinction between that term and the uncapitalized cabrero worth conserving.
Golden Age punctuation has been mostly ignored. The punctuation of such authors as Milton24 and Shakespeare25 has, however, been shown to have important implications. It is indeed a revelation to read a familiar play [of Shakespeare] for the first time in a Quarto or Folio text, summarizes G. B. Harrison. The reader finds himself at once in the atmosphere of the Globe . . . . The differences [in punctuation] are slight but subtle. It is just the difference between a piece of music as played by an amateur and by a master.26
James Crosby has examined the punctuation of Quevedo's Política de Dios, and found that it is based en el ritmo retórico y en la intensidad o el término de las pausas, rather than en la lógica y en la sintaxis (pp. 20-21). What Crosby has observed in Quevedo's text I have observed in Cervantes'. The punctuation is not haphazard or capricious, merely different, and in the case of a linguistically sophisticated
Treip, Milton's Punctuation and Changing English Usage, 1582-1676
(London: Methuen, 1970).
25 Percy Simpson, Shakespearian Punctuation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911); A. C. Partridge, Orthography in Shakespeare and Elizabethan Drama (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964).
26 Introducing Shakespeare (New York: Penguin, 1947), pp. 32 and 36.
author, master of prose style, it is a considerable deformation to replace
it with the system of a different age.
As this is the most innovative proposal I am making, I would like to look at some examples of the punctuation of the Cuesta texts. The punctuation of Don Quixote's challenge to the leonero reads in the original:
Leoncitos a mí, a mí leoncitos? y a tales horas? (II, 17; fol. 60v).
This becomes, in modern editions:
¿Leoncitos a mí? ¿A mí leoncitos, y a tales horas? (II, 160 of Murillo's edition27).
thus altering the value of the pauses. It is clear, incidentally, that it was permissible to use more than one question mark in a sentence, as in the following passage from the Curioso impertinente:
Y porque claro lo veas, dime Anselmo, tú no me has dicho que tengo de solicitar a una retirada? persuadir a una honesta? ofrecer a una desinteressada? servir a una prudente? (I, 33; fol. 186v).
and an example from Sancho:
Por ventura el que ayer mantearon, era otro que el hijo de mi padre? y las alforjas que oy me faltan con todas mis alhajas, son de otro, que del mismo? (I, 18; fol. 78v).
Here is an example with exclamation points, from a comment of Diego de Miranda:
Ta ta, dixo a esta sazón entre sí el Hidalgo (II, 17; fol. 60v),
and the same thing from Pero Pérez:
Ta, ta, dixo el cura, Jayanes ay en la dança: (I, 5; fol. 18 misnumbered 15r).
All the recent editors supply exclamation points to these: !Ta, ta!, and Rodríguez Marín makes the first of them ¡Ta! ¡Ta!, overemphasizing the strength of the words, which, in our first example at least,
Clásicos Castalia, 77-79 (Madrid: Castalia, 1973). Other editions
I will refer to briefly are those of Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce (Madrid: Alhambra,
1979), Martín de Riquer, 3rd edition (Barcelona: Planeta, 1968)
this edition replaces Riquer's older Juventud edition; see Allen, I,
31, and Rudolph Schevill and Adolfo Bonilla (Madrid, 1928-41).
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||13|
are entre sí. Adding exclamation points and all the modern editions have more exclamation points than do Cuesta's takes away from the force of those that are found, and they are found at points well worth emphasizing. An example is when Sancho says, con voz admirativa y grande:
Santa María, y valme, éste no es Tomé Cecial mi vezino, y mi compadre! (II, 14; fol. 52r)
and another is when he says:
A bodas de Camacho, y abundancia de la casa de don Diego, y quántas vezes os tengo de echar menos! (II, 23; fol. 93r).
There is no way that modern punctuation can conserve the effect of that of the following passage:
Cómo, y es possible, que ay oy Cavalleros Andantes en el mundo? y que ay historias impressas de verdaderas Cavallerías! (II, 16; fol. 56r).
or of this one:
Pero dezidme señores, si avéis mirado en ello? Quán menos son los premiados por la guerra, que los que han perecido en ella? (I, 38; fol. 227v).
Modernization of punctuation also eliminates the ambiguous structures of Golden Age prose, which can drift from statement to question or exclamation, or vice-versa, in the same sentence, and from narration to direct address in the same paragraph. I do not have a good example of the former from the Quixote, but here is one from the Espejo de príncipes, with the original punctuation:
O quánto era el contentamiento y gozo que el cavallero del Febo sintió con aquellas palabras assí por saber quién fuesse y que era Donzella humana en quien pudiesse poner sus pensamientos, como por ver el gran favor que le avía dado en dezir que su fama le uviesse traído allí.28
This sentence clearly begins as an exclamation, but by the end it isn't, and there is no logical break for a closing exclamation point. (I solved it, imperfectly, by adding an exclamation point, followed by comma, after palabras.)
passage is found on pp. 258-59 of Volume III of my edition (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe,
Though the passages are too long to read, Don
Quixote drifts from narration to direct address in the speech of the
canon which ends Chapter 47 of Part I, and the change marked in all recent
editions, which use a sentence break, is artificial and, I believe, belated.
There are similar switches in the first speech of Don Quixote in II, 22,
and in the speech of the primo in the same chapter.
No modern edition conserves the effect of the very logically placed colons29 (which I have replaced with semicolons) in the following passages:
Paréceme señor hidalgo, que la plática de vuestra merced se ha encaminado a querer darme a entender, que no ha avido cavalleros andantes en el mundo, y que todos los libros de cavallerías son falsos, mentirosos, dañadores, e inútiles para la república; y que yo he hecho mal en leerlos, y peor en creerlos, y más mal en imitarlos, aviéndome puesto a seguir la duríssima professión de la cavallería andante, que ellos enseñan, negándome, que no ha avido en el mundo Amadises, ni de Gaula, ni de Grecia, ni todos los otros cavalleros de que las escrituras están llenas? (I, 49; fol. 298r).
Respondenles hía yo, que tanto la mentira es mejor, quanto más parece verdadera; y tanto más agrada, quanto tiene más de lo dudoso, y possible (I, 47; fol. 289r).
Pues yo te asseguro, dixo don Quixote, que ahechado por sus manos hizo pan candeal, sin duda alguna; pero passa adelante (I, 31; fol. 172r).
For an author with such control of the rhythms of his prose as Cervantes had, such modernization is not only unnecessary, but harmful.30 Anyone who can read the Cid in old Spanish can read Don Quixote in Golden Age dress. It may take a little bit longer, but this is not a major defect, and may be a small virtue; those who must read quickly can read a modernized version.
colon, according to Gonzalo Correas, Ortografia kastellana (1630;
rpt. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1971), p. 91, sirve para la media
30 However, I am not censoring correction of punctuation, when necessary. Here are two examples for which correction would be desirable:
Qué es lo que dizes niña, mira que dizen que el que canta, es un moço de mulas? (I, 42; fol. 262v)
llegándose cerca conoció que eran caçadores de Altanería, llegóse más, y entre ellos [. . .] (II, 30; fol. 114r).
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||15|
As already stated, these scholarly readers
need annotations explaining the more difficult words and allusions, and
references to the points which have been discussed by scholars and summaries
of many of the discussions. They also need textual notes, so that they can
determine where the editor has emended the text and every modern editor
emends the text somewhere, and rightly so. Editors, being human, make mistakes
in emendation, and if other scholars are informed of their emendations, any
curioso may verify for himself the wisdom of these changes. Textual
notes are a fundamental feature of a modern scholarly edition.
I would like to give you an example of a well-known passage, the pasaje más oscuro del Quixote, in which Cuesta's editions disagree and the modern editors do as well:
Es éste el mejor libro del mundo; aquí comen los cavalleros, y duermen, y mueren en sus camas, y hazen testamento antes de su muerte; con estas cosas, de que todos los demás libros deste género carecen. Con todo esso os digo, que merecía el que le compuso, pues no hizo tantas necedades de industria, que le echaran a galeras, por todos los días de su vida (I, 6; fol. 21r).
Cuesta's second edition reads con otras
cosas, and el que lo compuso. Schevill and Bonilla read
otras and le, in Rodríguez Marín's
text we find otras and lo, those of Allen, Riquer,
and Avalle-Arce have estas and le, the readings of
the princeps, and Murillo reads estas and lo,
so we have all possibilities represented. I will have more to say about this
passage and what I believe the correct readings to be later; the point I
would like to make now is that no edition since that of Schevill and Bonilla
tells us that Cuesta's editions disagree, and that some scholars consider
the readings of the second edition preferable; neither Rodríguez
Marín nor Murillo tells us he has emended the text. And this is the
most difficult passage of the work, about which 15 articles have been
There has only been one edition of Don Quixote, that of Schevill and Bonilla, which had textual notes and which attempted to preserve the orthography of the Cuesta texts; this edition is now out of print. There has never been an edition which does not modernize
are listed in the first note to my Pero Pérez the Priest and
His Comment on Tirant lo Blanch, MLN, 88 (1973), 321-30,
now in Romances of Chivalry in the Spanish Golden Age (Newark, Delaware:
Juan de la Cuesta, 1982), pp. 147-58.
punctuation. We do have several well-annotated editions available for purchase.
The annotations of Rodríguez Marín's nueva edición
crítica retain their value, and they are accompanied by an index.
Of the new, less expensive editions, the most extensively annotated is that
Finally, we most certainly need, though in my opinion less urgently than the preceding editions, a DEFINITIVE edition of Cervantes' text, as definitive as the state of the art can make it,32 an edition for cervantistas, to be consulted rather than read, an edition which no one will buy who does not already own at least one, and perhaps several, other editions. This edition would eventually be the source for the text of editions of the types outlined above, and would be used for linguistic study.
This edition should have no systematic modernization whatsoever, and not a letter would be changed without a record of that change being included in the edition. In fact, the most important feature of this edition would be its textual apparatus; it should include, among other items, the variants of all of Cuesta's editions. Since it would not be intended for reading, and explanatory annotations would be available elsewhere, explanatory notes should be dispensed with. This would make it a more lasting, as well as less expensive, edition.
The first step in the production of such an edition is to secure funding for its preparation. It can not, and should not, be prepared on a volunteer basis, and even at a very high price, contrary to the purpose of the edition, future royalties could not pay the costs. While some scholars would surely be willing to do some of the work without compensation, motivated by their interest in a definitive edition of Don Quixote, it would not be a wise use of the time of these highly-trained people; much of the work would be quite tedious, and could be done by persons without advanced training in Spanish literature.
The second step in producing such an edition is collation of the various copies of Cuesta's principes, in order to locate variants introduced during the printing process as the result of simultaneous
Definitive is an unfortunately transitory status in textual studies,
but it is still an appropriate goal. See Shillingsburg, pp. 33-34, and the
comments of James Thorpe, Principles of Textual Criticism (San Marino,
California: Huntington Library, 1972), pp. 171-73.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||17|
proofreading, and from broken type. The evidence that makes this step a
requirement is overwhelming. There is no reason to suppose that Spanish printers
worked differently than those of other countries printing was an
international trade and the practice of English printers is well
documented.33 The fact that different copies
of Herrera's Anotaciones are not identical is stated in the book
itself;34 Rivers collated six copies of
Garcilaso's princeps, and found no two the
same,35 nor are any two of twelve
copies of Obras en verso del Homero español, studied by E.
M. Wilson, the same;36 previous
incomplete collation of Don Quixote has been most
How many copies need be collated? That is a difficult question, and the authorities will not give one a definite answer.38 There is a
p. 21; Charlton Hinman, Basic Shakespeare: Steps Toward an Ideal Text
of the First Folio, in Two Lectures on Editing (Columbus:
Ohio State University Press, 1969), p. 11; Fredson Bowers, Textual
Criticism, in The Aims and Methods of Scholarship in Modern Languages
and Literatures, ed. James Thorpe (New York: Modern Language Association,
1963), pp. 23-42, at p. 33; Percy Simpson, Proof-reading in the Sixteenth,
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London: Oxford University Press,
34 See Jaime Moll, Problemas bibliográficos del libro del Siglo de Oro, BRAE, 69 (1979), 49-107 (the passage from the Anotaciones is found on p. 67); also see his Correcciones en prensa y crítica textual: A propósito de Fuente Ovejuna, RFE, 62 (1982), 159-71.
35 Obras completas (Madrid: Castalia, 1964), pp. 154-55.
36 F. M. Wilson, Variantes nuevas y otras censuras en las Obras en verso del Homero español, BRAE, 48 (1968), 35-54.
37 Homero Serís, La colecciôn cervantina de la Sociedad Hispánica de America, University of Illinois Studies in Language and Literature, 6, No. 1 (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois, 1918); Edwin B. Knowles, Jr., Notes on the Madrid, 1605, Editions of Don Quijote, HR, 14 (1946), 47-58, and A Rare Quixote Edition, Hispania, 30 (1947), 82-85.
38 It is impossible to generalize about how many collations are sufficient, and a limit to the process will generally be determined on practical grounds. But editors will wish to continue collating until they can feel reasonably confident that all the relevant evidence has been recorded (C. Thomas Tanselle, Textual Scholarship, in Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures, ed. Joseph Cibaldi [New York: Modern Language Association, 1981], p. 45). This question is also discussed by Vinto A. Dearing, Methods of Textual Editing, in Bibliography and Textual Criticism, ed. O. M. Brack, Jr., and Warner Barnes (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 73-101, at pp. 78-79.
consensus, though, that five or six is a
minimum,39 and I would suggest
that if six copies needed to be collated for Garcilaso, and each of these
was different, no less than six should be collated for Don Quixote.
Some textual scholars from outside Hispanic studies that I have consulted,
such as John Andrews of the Folger Shakespeare Library, say that if there
are only fifteen, we ought to collate them all and have done with
Once such collation has been done a modest but very attractive project is easily realized, one which I recommend to the Society: the publication of a more perfect facsimile. The problem with existing facsimiles is that they only reproduce one copy (most do not even tell us which), and since the copies differ, no single copy of Cuesta's editions represents even Cuesta's intentions. On the basis of the evidence collected from collation it is possible to choose, from different copies, the best state of each page, and by assembling these one can prepare a reproduction of Cuesta's editions as he himself would have produced them, were he not constrained by limitations of time and money. This has been done in the case of Shakespeare, producing a definitive facsimile of the first folio, the Norton facsimile, and the procedure used is described in a lecture by Charlton Hinman (cited in note 33). I suggest to the Society, then, as a first step in producing a definitive edition of Don Quixote, the preparation and publication of a definitive facsimile.41
Such a useful tool would not, of course, be a substitute for an edition, since Cuesta's editions, like all those of the period, have
Textual Criticism, p. 33, n. 20. See also Thorpe, pp. 70-71 and
40 This is not such an impossible task as it might seem; the best method is to do the Roman copy-shop in reverse, with one reader and a room full of graduate student checkers. Both in terms of manhours and money, it is on the same scale as other editorial projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
41 A facsimile also needs to be carefully supervised; see Ernest W. Sullivan, Bibliography and Facsimile Editions, PBSA, 72 (1978), 327-29 (and those who turn to this article would do well to also read the preceding one, by S. W. Reid, Definitive Editions and Photocomposition, pp. 321- 26). A. David Kossoff has told me that he witnessed the retouching of what was actually punctuation during the production of one of A. Pérez Gómez's facsimiles. On the value of facsimiles, see the comments and references of Crosby, p. 21.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||19|
numerous errors of different sorts. Here we have the heart of the editing
process: the application of the editor's judgment and knowledge to the data
I will have some examples of this process shortly, but I would like, first, to call your attention to the Center for Scholarly Editions, sponsored by the Modern Language Association. This center, successor to the earlier Center for Editions of American Authors, has two main functions: the dispensing of advice, and the conferring of its emblem, An Approved Text, to deserving editions. The Center has no prescribed rules to follow, although every edition must include a statement or essay describing the history of the texts . . . and defending the rationale for any emendation of [the] copy-text, and a report of variant readings. The Center wishes editors to explore the literature on editing, become acquainted with the issues, follow the arguments, and sort out what makes sense, as a scholar would do in approaching any other subject; however, it does believe that punctuation, spelling, and capitalization have an important bearing on the meaning and implications of written and printed texts; it believes that an author's practice in these matters is of interest in its own right and worth trying to establish. The Center also will insist on rigorous proofreading.42
The emblem An Approved Text, whose commercial significance will be considerable, is a reasonable goal for any editor who wishes to produce a definitive edition; I recommend to the Cervantes Society editors that they seek it.
At this point I think I should make some remarks on the topic of compositorial analysis and its relation to Cervantes' accidentals. I am going to pause to make these remarks because some of us, including myself, have felt intimidated by the studies that have been published on this topic. Compositorial analysis is only one of the tools available to the editor. It is not, and was never intended to be, a substitute for good judgment. It was developed as a means of handling substantive i.e., major variants, not accidentals.
quotations are from their Introductory Statement, published in
PMLA, 92 (1977), 583-97, which includes an extensive narrative
bibliography on editing; see also the article of Shillingsburg cited in n.
18. For orientation about their standards for proofreading,
see the Statement of Editorial Principles and Procedures of the Center
for Editions of American Authors, revised edition (New York: Modern Language
Association, 1972). (Proofreading can be combined with collation, and two
chores made one.)
Flores' published goal is to identify the
characteristics of spelling and punctuation of Cuesta's compositors, subtract
these from his texts, and thereby to arrive at Cervantes' manuscript, or
as Flores puts it, to recover Cervantes' orthography
(The Need for a Scholarly, Modernized
Edition of Cervantes' Works, Cervantes,
2 . 69-87, at p. 78; see also
Compositors, pp. 87-89). To do such completely is impossible. It is
theoretically impossible. Such has never been done for any author, and it
certainly can not be done with Cervantes.
I am going to give you an example to illustrate why it is impossible. It is an example which, for simplicity, I am making up, but it is faithful in spirit to the problems involved. Let us assume that the number of commas found in the first edition of Part II varies, and let us further assume that it varies consistently by forms, so that we can identify two of the four compositors who worked on the edition43 as ones with higher proportions of punctuation than the others. The question then is, did two of them add commas, or did the other two subtract them?
This is a question which can be answered, at least in theory. It is answered by a basic procedure for this type of study: analyzing the work of the same compositors in setting another text, one for which there is a control, a text which they worked from and which can be examined. Although it would be worth checking, I doubt that any MS the Cuesta compositors used survives, since dead manuscripts were regularly recycled, but many of his publications were set from printed sources. In 1616, for example, Cuesta published an edition, of Josephus' Jewish War, a lengthy text on which at least some, and perhaps all, of his 1615 compositors worked. Josephus' text was certainly set from one of the two previous editions of that translation, and it would not be a difficult task to determine which. By doing a compositorial analysis of Cuesta's edition of Josephus one could, having identified the compositors and matched them with the compositors of Don Quixote, Part II, compare the work of the latter with a control text, and determine how each of them handled commas.
Let us further assume that this enormous piece of work has been done, and we have verified that the two compositors with many commas in Cervantes' text added commas to the text of Josephus; it
Flores' article cited in note 14.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||21|
would then be a safe conclusion that they added commas to the text of Cervantes,
and typesetters certainly did this sort of thing. So now we have confirmed
that there are indeed too many commas in a portion of Don Quixote.
To remove the excessive punctuation, however, would require us to identify
which commas are the work of the compositors, and which are Cervantine.
There is no way to do this. By analyzing the syntactic structures of the
text this would have to be a manual analysis, incidentally; there is
no program to do it on a computer one might be able to determine that
with certain syntactical structures the one set of compositors consistently
added punctuation. But Spanish syntactical structures, especially of this
period, are too diverse for this to be done with every type of structure.
Let us make the same point another way. Compositorial analysis is a statistical method, and statistics depend on quantities of examples. It's one thing to take a word which appears fifty times in the text; it's quite a different thing with a word that occurs only five times. The ultimate case is the hapax legomenon, the word that an author uses only once, and with such a word compositorial analysis breaks down completely.
Flores' own published data demonstrate that one cannot generalize from how the compositors handled frequent words to how they handled less frequent words. The compositors themselves are not consistent. The same compositor (C) who spelled barbero with a b spelled vozes with a v and vazia with a b, and compositor F spelled vozes with a v and viuda with a b. The same one (E) who does not capitalize general, barbero, or enano does capitalize gigante and ciudad. When we can not generalize about the treatment of the frequent words, we certainly can't about the infrequent words.
There is a further difficulty with the laudable goal of recovering Cervantes' orthography, and that is the assumption that Cervantes had a consistent orthography to be recovered, which assumption is basic to Flores' method as well as to his goals. Flores is very definite in speaking of Cervantes' orthography. Cervantes, who was writing at greater leisure [than the compositors] he tells us was not likely to fluctuate aimlessly back and forth from one spelling to the other (Compositors, p. 88). It is unlikely that Cervantes could equally well have written trahia, traía and traya, aora, agora and ahora, or barbero, Barbero and baruero (p. 88). The different spellings,
punctuation patterns, and setting habits [of Cuesta's compositors] destroyed
the uniformity of the original manuscript (Compositors,
p. 63; italics mine). (Earlier, however, Flores had admitted that it
was improbable that Cervantes's orthography would have kept constant throughout
his work [p. 17].)
Now, everything that we know about Cervantes tells us that he was not a man who placed a high value on order, conformity, and consistency. His life and the diversity of his writings speak eloquently of his experimentation, his interest in novelty, his concern for the ideas and the big picture rather than the details. The compositors' inconsistency itself suggests struggles with an inconsistent authorial manuscript. But we have better evidence than these inferences about his orthography. I refer to the documents he wrote in his own hand, ten of which were reproduced and analyzed by Miguel Romera-Navarro.44 Here is what Romera-Navarro tells us about Cervantes' own spelling, undistorted by any compositors: De los seis escritores clásicos con cuya escritura estamos algo familiarizados Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Quevedo, Gracián y Calderón, el menos uniforme en la forma de la letra, en el empleo de mayúsculas y minúsculas, en el uso de ciertas vocales y consonantes, en ligar o no ciertos vocablos, en las contracciones y abreviaturas, en la puntuación y en el aspecto general de su escritura, el menos uniforme, repito, el más irregular, aun dentro de una misma página, aun firmando su nombre mismo, es Cervantes (p. 2). Romera-Navarro also comments on Cervantes' punctuation: Los documentos no traen un solo caso de coma, de punto y coma, de dos puntos . . . , ni el acento, las diéresis o el guión en la division de una palabra al fin del renglón . . . . Jamás aparecen el paréntesis, el subrayado, ni otro signo ortográfico auxiliar, excepto el punto, y éste rarísimamente (p. 22).
I would like to look at only one example of Cervantes' orthography, the most frequent example, his signature.45 Sometimes he signs documents Miguel de cerbantes and sometimes Cerbantes. And here is a further point: he spelled Cerbantes with a b, and this is one of the few consistencies to be found, a strong spelling preference, since he rarely used, in the autographs, b for
the study cited in note 19.
45 Numerous reproductions of Cervantes' signatures to non-autograph documents are reproduced by Luis Astrana Marín as illustrations to his Vida ejemplar y heroica de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Madrid: Reus, 1948-58).
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||23|
v (Romera-Navarro, p. 16). Yet in his books Cerbantes
is only found inside his books (the Adjunta al Parnaso, the preliminaries
of La Galatea, the description of La Galatea in Don
Quixote, I, 6), and on none of the title pages, which spell
Cervantes with a v or u. Which is to
say, the topic was not important enough for him to tell any of his publishers
to be sure to spell his name as he signed
So I believe that the theory that Cuesta wreaked havoc on a carefully-spelled MS of Cervantes will not stand. I do not doubt that some further progress in recovering Cervantes' accidentals is possible, and we should welcome it. But I must also point out that it is extremely slow and time-consuming research, and even were we to concede the possibility of a complete recovery of Cervantes' orthography, it is not even in the foreseeable future. As an illustration, I believe a fair one, of the utility of compositorial analysis in questions of accidentals, I would point out that this method has given us several very important facts, but what it has told us about Cervantes' spelling is that he wrote some forms of the auxiliary verb haber without the initial h, and that he wrote Dulzinea with a z (Compositors, pp. 88-89; compare Romera-Navarro, pp. 16-18).
These are details, just as whether he wrote cautivo or captivo, whether or not he capitalized cura, even a much more important case whether he wrote vuesa merced or vuestra merced are all details. I do not mean that they are unimportant details, or that we have any reason not to accept emendations with open arms. But they are details all the same, and we should keep them in perspective. They were not particularly important to the author, either, as Flores himself tells us, when he states that Cervantes would be hard pressed to restore his accidentals to Cuesta's texts (Compositors, p. 89).
Having gone this far, I'm going to echar el resto and say something in defense of Cuesta and his employees. Flores is hard on modern editors, but he is poison on Cuesta's compositors. He spells out in words for us their three thousand four hundred and sixty-nine important variants (Compositors, p. 85). This is a staggering number
Memorial to Felipe II, the famous document on which was written
busque por acá en qué se le haga merced (reproduced
by Astrana, IV, 454), is not in his handwriting, but it was obviously produced
with great care and at Cervantes' direction, and in it, as if to avoid omitting
anything, we find his name has been spelled Miguel de çeruantes
(p. 85). The compositors had an unpardonable devil-may-care attitude
towards their copy (p. 87). They are guilty of remorseless distortion
of the authorial orthography (Need, p. 85). These compositors
took on their shoulders all the rights and none of the responsibilities
attached to proofreaders and editors (Compositors, p. 85).
These are strong words. Were Cuesta and his employees fools?47 Of course, they weren't. They are seen as deficient because twentieth-century standards are being applied to their seventeenth-century labors. No recent scholar has claimed that Cuesta's shop was any worse than those of his contemporaries; Rudolph Schevill says: comparado con otras primeras ediciones, v. gr., las de El Buscón, Guzmán de Alfarache y El Peregrino en su Patria, no parece [la edición príncipe de Cuesta] digna de tanto desprecio (I, 10 of his and Bonilla's edition). There is evidence to support the view that Cuesta's work was better than average; Astrana Marín called his shop una de las mejores de Madrid (Vida, V, 610), and Francisco de Robles, who chose Cuesta to print Don Quixote, was the librero del rey, as well as the most famous and successful book dealer of his day. In setting the second edition of Part I, from which Flores takes his figures on Cuesta's inaccuracy, he was, as Flores has also shown (and Astrana stated, Vida, V. 629), working under great time pressure. It says something, I think, that Cuesta would subcontract work to the Imprenta Real, and the compositor of that shop who worked on the second edition was neither more nor less careful than Cuesta's men. And Flores himself, in another of his contradictions, says Cuesta should not be commended or condemned on account of Don Quixote (Compositors, p. 41).
There is some further information relevant to our assessment of Cuesta, in a book which I found while preparing this paper. It is the following:
Libro y Tratado para enseñar leer y escriuir breuemente y con gran facilidad cõ reta pronunciacion y verdadera ortographia todo Romance Castellano, y de la distincion y diferencia que ay en las letras consonãtes de vna a otras en su sonido y pronunciacion. Compuesto por Iuan de la Cuesta [. . .] En Alcala en casa de Iuan Gracian questa en Gloria. Año. 1589.
have been influenced by the words of Whinnom, in The Relationship
(cited in note 10), p. 25.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||25|
This book is a treatise on how to teach reading
and writing, written by a teacher (maestro) for the use of other teachers.
It first presents, like a cartilla, syllables for pronunciation exercises,
and explains how to progress from letters to syllables to words; besides
a discussion of the pronunciation of each letter, it includes an extensive
list of Latin abbreviations the novice reader might encounter, with the
resolution of each. In the section on writing there is a long discussion
of how to choose and prepare plumas, how to hold the pen in the hand,
how to place the pen and hand on the paper, and how to form the various letters
with regard to an imaginary line; a number of woodcuts illustrate these points.
Other topics discussed at some length include the correct and incorrect way
to divide words at the end of a line, the use of the hyphen, and the use
of capital letters.
This book is not an unknown one; it is found in the standard reference works on printing, such as Palau y Dulcet, Gallardo's Ensayo, and Juan Catalina García's Ensayo de una tipografía complutense (Madrid, 1889). It was used by Rufino José Cuervo48 and Amado Alonso;49 it is found in the Conde de la Viñaza's Biblioteca histórica de la filología castellana, and the section on writing is discussed extensively by Emilio Cotarelo y Mori in his Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de calígrafos españoles, I (Madrid, 1914), 237-43, in which the title page and some of the writing examples are reproduced. It has, I understand, also been used by writers on the history of education, as it suggests that advanced students be used to help with the teaching of the beginners (the relevant passages are reproduced by Gallardo and Cotareli). Yet I have been unable to find it in any Cervantine bibliography or, save a brief reference by Rodríguez Marín in his appendix on La x de Quixote (IX, 26-27 of his edition), any mention of it in a Cervantine context at all.
The question immediately arises: is this the same Juan de la Cuesta, or are we dealing with a homonym? Even on the surface it would seem that this is the same person; Juan de la Cuesta was not a common name, and I have run across no other men so named. If a Juan de la Cuesta had written on navigation, or veterinary medicine, or taking confession, or if he lived in Seville or Bilbao, we might well
Obras (Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1954), II, 277.
49 Cronología de la igualación C-Z en español, HR, 19 (1951), 37-58 and 143-64, at p. 37; De la pronunciación medieval a la moderna en español, passim, particularly I, 299-303.
suspect that there were two men of the same name; to suppose that the author
of a treatise on reading and writing, head of a school located (according
to Cotarelo) in Alcalá de Henares, should come to be a Madrid printer,
through stages (Segovia and Alcalá) on which I will shortly elaborate,
is not at all implausible.
Furthermore, this Juan de la Cuesta was not just any educator; he was a famous maestro, yet the documents concerning Cuesta the printer make no attempt to distinguish him from a famous homonym.50 The book in question was written por comissión de los Señores del Consejo Real, the aprobación tells us, and the author declares: como es muy notonio mi pupilage ha sido siempre tan grande que en esta mi ante ha sido el más copioso de el reino y de gentes muy principales no solamente de esta comarca sino de la corte y de hijos de criados y officiales de su magestad muy principales y de todos los reinos de España (fol. 62r; the passage is also found in Gallardo).
The author is also someone who has looked at books closely, with an eye for their typography. There are frequent references to impressores, to moldes, to different types of letters found in books. When we add to this that the book was published by the widow of Juan Gracián, who dealt with the same Robles family of booksellers that Juan de la Cuesta the printer was to deal with,51 and that no one, ancient or modern, informs us that Cuesta the educator
number of such documents are found in Astrana Marín's Vida,
V, 609-17, and in the books of Cristóbal Pérez Pastor,
Bibliografía madrileña (Madrid, 1891-1907), Documentos
cervantinos (Madrid, 1897), and Noticias y documentos relativos a
la historia y literatura españolas, Memorias de la Real Academia
Española, 10-13 (Madrid, 1910-26). Using some of these documents is
an article tacitly employed by Seb. Dueñas Blanco in his La
edición príncipe del Quijote y la imprenta de Juan de
la Cuesta, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1933), 139-59): J. J. Morato,
La imprenta de Juan de la Cuesta, RBAM, 2 (1925), 436-41;
on the Madrigal-Cuesta press in general, see also Astrana, V, 603-15.
51 BIas de Robles contracted with Gracián for the printing of La Galatea, and his son Francisco de Robles with Cuesta for that of Don Quixote; both Robles describe themselves in documents as librero del rey. Francisco de Robles is identified as Cervantes' unnamed friend of the prologue to Don Quixote, I, by Francisco Vindel, Cervantes, Robles y Juan de la Cuesta (Madrid, 1934).
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||27|
and author and Cuesta the printer were different people, the necessary conclusion
is that they were the same person.
This interest in written communication found in the book makes Cuesta's change of occupation plausible; a change from the teaching to the publishing profession is certainly one many more recent teachers have made. The identification of these two Cuestas also serves well to explain why we have so little information about the activities of Cuesta the printer before his appearance in Madrid in 1599, when he entered the printing establishment of María Rodríguez,52 widow of the printers Pedro Madrigal and Juan Íñiguez de Lequenica. That his entrance into the world of printing should be as employee rather than proprietor is not surprising; a teacher of reading and writing, even a famous one, could scarcely have accumulated the funds to enter the capital-intensive trade of printing any other way.
Cuesta's book, according to the dates of the preliminaries, was written by 1584, some five years before its publication. He had entered the printing trade no later than 1588, for in that year we find his name on a work of Horozco y Covarruvias, the Tratado de la verdadera y falsa profecía, published in Segovia. His name is also found on 1589 and 1591 editions of Horozco's Emblemas morales. He was presumably called to Segovia to print these works; Segovia did not have, and was not to have for a long time to come, a regular press.53 That a printer would pack a press and a box of type on a wagon and travel Castile's dusty roads is well known.
I find it inconceivable that María Rodríguez would employ, as regente of her well-known shop and replacement for the also well-known Íñiguez, someone who had not printed a book in eight years. It is almost as unlikely that the expensive equipment used to print
noviembre de este mismo año 1599 entró por hermano de la antedicha
cofradía [Hermandad de los Impresores de Madrid] Juan de la Cuesta,
cobrándose por su entrada 22 reales de la casa de María
Rodríguez, donde trabajaba, y donde continuó como oficial,
hasta que en fines de 1603 o principios de 1604 quedó como regente
de la imprenta de Madrigal (Bibliografía madrileña,
I, xxvii). For Rodríguez's marriage to Íñiguez, see
Dueñas Blanco, pp. 156-57.
53 This information on Segovia and Cuesta's activities there is taken from Tomás Baeza González, Reseña histórica de la imprenta en Segovia (Segovia, 1880).
the Segovia books was left idle during the same
period.54 Therefore Cuesta must have been
in the printing trade during these intervening years in which his name is
not found, and he could not have been living in Segovia, where no books were
published; he was living somewhere else, and working for someone else. There
is an obvious place where he would have lived, Alcalá, and there is
an obvious employer, the publisher of his book, Juan Gracián's widow,
María Rodríguez* (Astrana, Vida,
VII, 760). Her husband had died in 1587 (see the entries for 1587 in Catalina
Garcia's Ensayo, cited on p. 25). It is reasonable to suppose that
she would have sought out someone of linguistic skill and administrative
ability to help her run the press after her husband's
death,55 yet insisted that the name of her
dead husband, whom she seems to have revered, appear on her books, as it
consistently does. It is also possible if Cuesta was working in the shop
of Juan Gracián's widow, where his book was published, that he set
his own manuscript, in which case we have something quite rare a book
typeset by its author and well worth reproducing in facsimile.
The full investigation of this book, which should be compared with Cuesta's Segovia books and the work of Flores' typesetter F, now identified as Cuesta himself,56 and an assessment of its significance for editors of Cervantes is not possible in this paper. What is clear, however, is that Cuesta was not an ignorant fool, negligent in his handling of Cervantes' manuscript, but a thoughtful man who had some stature as an expert on writing, spelling, and other accidentals. In fact, the printer-publishers, in Golden Age Spain as elsewhere,
James Schneer, Juan de la Cuesta, First Printer of Don Quixote
de la Mancha. A Bibliographic Record of His Work (University:
University of Alabama Press, 1973), p. xi, identifies Cuesta as a hide merchant
of Segovia who printed a few books (two, according to Schneer) as a sideline.
Schneer's unspecified source must be Astrana, V. 609, n. 1, where two documents
relating to Cuesta's hide trading are indeed found. These are, however, dated
in Madrid, in 1602.
55 There is a parallel between Cuesta's entry into the Madrigal shop, which took place the same year as the death of Rodríguez's second husband (who himself had previously been a printer in Alcalá), and what I argue to be the circumstances of his entry into that of Gracián's widow.
56 Don Quixote, Part II, p. 43, n. 27.
* [See Daniel Eisenberg Corrects, Cervantes 3.2 (1983): 160. -FJ]
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||29|
were men of some culture,57 not exactly the
passive recipients of authors' initiative and slaves of public taste that
they are often presumed to be. It is scarcely surprising that the people
who bought books, and most of the authors, expected a printer to act
as a sort of editor,58 and especially so
in the case of accidentals. (Modern punctuation, like standardized spelling,
is a product of printers, not authors, as any reader of medieval manuscripts
Cuesta himself (typesetter F), presumably the most experienced and the one who was setting the standard for his shop, was the compositor who was freest in emending Cervantes' text. If he and his employees made some spectacular goofs with the text of Don Quixote, like yelmo de Mambrino for Sancho's deformation yelmo de Malino, it must be said in his defense that Cervantes was very sophisticated and atypical in his use of language, using popular speech, foreign words, playing with words' meanings, inventing words not at all the sort of text compositors were used to handling. The typesetters ignored things that were unimportant, and changed, in general, the ones they were expected to change. Modern editors do the same. It is only the definitions of unimportant and expected that have changed.
The text as published by Cuesta, with the spelling and punctuation added or altered, was not a bad text, then, by the standards of
Gracián, for example, wrote the dedication of the translation of
Heliodorus he published; it is reproduced in the edition of Francisco López
Estrada (Madrid: Real Academia Española, 1954), pp. 10-11; one of
Nucio's employees had studied at the Sorbonne (Jean Peeters-Fontainas,
Bibligraphie des impressions espagnoles des Pays-bas méridionaux
[Nieuwkoop: B. De Craaf, 1965], I, xvii). Some comments on publishers may
be found in D. W. Cruickshank, Literature and the Book
Trade in Golden-Age Spain, MLR, 73 (1978), 799-824. James M.
Wells, The Scholar Printers (Chicago and London: University of Chicago
Press, 1964), publishes the annotated catalogue of an exposition.
58 It had been the compositor's duty to correct or normalize the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization (known nowadays as the accidentals) of the manuscript (Philip Caskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography [New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972], p. 110; italics mine).
59 More than by anyone else, modern punctuation was created by the great printer and scholar Aldus Manitius. (See The Historical Development of Punctuation Marks, pp. 182-94 of the book of Partridge cited in n. 25, supra.)
the time. If we can improve on it, in substantives or accidentals, then by
all means let us do so. But if we cannot recover Cervantes' accidentals,
and I believe that in more than a minor way we cannot, it really does not
much matter. If we somehow were to find the MS from which Don Quixote
was set, or could reconstruct it using statistical methods, we might well
find that it was as poorly punctuated as Cervantes' autographs, which have
only periods, and those rarísimamente. Would we want to
respect the punctuation of such a manuscript? We would want to conserve and
publish its readings, to be sure, but not to follow it in preparing a critical
edition.60 Cervantes would disapprove of
us if we did. Lacking evidence to the contrary, Cuesta's texts are punctuated
and, with exceptions, spelled as Cervantes wanted them to be. Note that while
Cervantes did criticize the impressores of Part I for the
ruzio error (in II, 4 and 27), he makes no comment on their handling
The recent overemphasis on compositorial analysis of Cuesta's texts would seem to reflect a desire, shared by many editors, to reduce the establishment of a text to a series of rules that can be mechanically applied, and a reluctance to trust one's judgment.61 Editors fear receiving the criticism their predecessors have received as a result of their errors in judgment.62 However, an editor has the obligation to use his or her judgment and correct when he or she has a reasonable confidence that the original text is in error. To allow over-respect
the comment of Cruickshank, Textual Criticism, p. 34. Also on
this question, see James Thorpe, Watching the Ps & Qs. Editorial Treatment
of Accidentals (Lawrence: University of Kansas Libraries, 1971), especially
pp. 19-21, who observes that the editor will do best to spend only
a modest amount of his time on accidentals mainly a losing cause
and devote himself to substance (p. 21).
61 See the comments of W. W. Greg in his classic article, The Rationale of Copy-Text, first published in Studies in Bibliography, 3 (1950), 19-36; I have used the reprint in Bibliography and Textual Criticism (note 38, supra), pp. 41-58, in which these comments are found on p. 50. The address of A. E. Housman, The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism, makes many of the same points, though the context is different (first published in Proceedings of the Classical Association, 18 , 67-84; reprinted in Art and Error [note 18, supra]. pp. 1-16).
62 The latest such attack is by Santiago de los Mozos, Enmiendas injustificadas en ediciones del Quiiote, BRAE, 54 (1974), 105-22.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||31|
for the first edition to inhibit emendation is not good
editing.63 Let me give you some examples,
all of which are from Chapter 6 of Part I.
The first of these is el que le compuso, which the second edition, and those of some later editors, make el que lo compuso. I believe that this change was mistaken. Le as a masculine direct object pronoun referring to an object, while no longer in use, is well documented in Golden Age Spanish, and there are other examples in the text of Cervantes.64 Why was this correction made at all? Because this phenomenon was in flux in Golden Age Spanish, and le was a minority usage; the compositor felt he was improving the text.65
My second example is whether we should read con estas or con otras cosas que todos los demás libros deste género carecen; estas is found in the first edition and otras in the second.
Now, no one in the last fifty years would say that because otras is found in the second edition, it is automatically right. But I would suggest to you that just because it is found in the second edition, it is
is not the function of an editor of Shakespeare simply to retain every reading
in his copy text which can conceivably be regarded as acceptable (Charlton
Hinman, Shakespearian Textual Studies, in Shakespeare 1971
[cited in note 2, supra], p. 49). This is, however,
the approach of many Cervantine editors, such as Riquer, p. 273: Aunque
esta interpretación es un poco forzada y no da una solución
perfecta, permite conservar la lectura de las ediciones primitivas,
and p. 391: Las ediciones modernas suelen empezar el epígrafe
del presente capítulo con parte del que va al frente del siguiente
. . . . Ello está muy acertado, pero
siempre es mejor respetar el texto de la primera edición, que
revela estos detalles, que podrían ser descuidos, que hacen comprender
el modo de trabajar de Cervantes (italics mine). When everyone
agrees that we are dealing with errors, then the logical step in preparing
a more perfect text is to correct them, as, I believe, Cervantes would want
us to do. Those scholars who wish to study the errors are already well-served
by existing editions and by facsimiles.
64 See note 5 to my article cited above, in note 31; another example is found at II, 291, 5 of Rodríguez Marín's edition.
65 Rafael Lapesa, Historia de la lengua española, 9th edition (Madrid: Gredos, 1981), pp. 405-06. This topic is treated in depth by Francisco Marcos Marín, Estudios sobre el pronombre (Madrid: Gredos, 1978).
not automatically wrong, either.66 The passage
clearly makes much more sense with otras; estas makes
no sense at all, and that is the key criterion. It has nothing to refer to.
Estas can not refer to the features of the Tirant the
priest has just mentioned; he is adding to them with the preposition
con. But if he says that the book has the defects he has just
pointed out, and other things, too, he is speaking in a normal way
and adding strength to his criticism of Tirant. So even if the compositors
made gratuitous emendations, judgment leads me to say that in this instance
one of them was right, and we should be appreciative.
My final example is a few lines further on, when the examiners discover the pastoral novels in Don Quixote's library, and the priest wants to save them from the bonfire because they are libros de entendimiento, sin perjuizio de tercero. Here we have a possible emendation which all the scholarly editors mention in a note, but no one since Rodríguez Marín adopts: that the priest should say libros de entretenimiento. What the compositors did or didn't do is irrelevant to this point, since this emendation was not even suggested until the eighteenth century. Yet, of course, it is not wrong just because it is not found in any of the early editions. Examination of Cervantes' use of the two words, and of his ideas about the function of literature, leads me to the conclusion that this emendation is correct, just as Allen, in my opinion, was correct when he made two other emendations found in none of the early editions, the reading llovía for vía in I, 4 (toda aquella tempestad de palos que sobre él llovía), and the relocation of the ruzio passage to a more appropriate home in I, 25.
Entendimiento was not a quality that books had. People can entender, inanimate objects can not, and therefore people, not books, can have entendimiento. People's entendimiento is repeatedly mentioned in Don Quixote:
El cura le estuvo escuchando con grande atención, y parecióle hombre de buen entendimiento (I, 47; I, 566 of Murillo's edition).
modern editors in fact follow the second edition on occasion; see E. C. Riley's
review of Murillo, Allen, and Avalle-Ance's editions, BHS, 57 (1980),
346-49, at p. 347.
|3 (1983)||On Editing Don Quixote||33|
Y si es que la imitación es lo principal que ha de tener la comedia, cómo es possible que satisfaga a ningún mediano entendimiento? (I, 48; I, 570 of Murillo's edition).
Y cómo es possible que aya entendimiento humano, que se dé a entender que ha avido en el mundo aquella infinidad de Amadises (I, 49; I, 577 of Murillo's edition).
Ésta sí sera letura digna del buen entendimiento de vuestra merced, señor don Quixote mío (I, 49; I, 579 of Murillo's edition).
Ni es razón, que un hombre como vuestra merced, tan honrado, y de tan buenas partes, y dotado de tan buen entendimiento, se dé a entender, que son verdaderas tantas, y tan estrañas locuras, como las que están escritas en los disparatados libros de cavallerías (I, 49; I, 583 of Murillo's edition).
. . . ha se de advertir, que no se escrive con las canas, sino con el entendimiento (II, Prologue; II, 34 of Murillo's edition).
. . . y assí en esta segunda parte no quiso ingerir novelas sueltas, ni pegadizas, sino algunos episodios que lo pareciessen [. . .] y pues se contiene, y cierra en los estrechos límites de la narración, teniendo habilidad, suficiencia, y entendimiento para tratar del universo todo (II, 44; II, 366 of Murillo's edition).
. . . para componer historias, y libros de qualquier suerte que sean, es menester un gran juizio, y un maduro entendimiento (II, 3; II, 64 of Murillo's edition).
Literature, however, could offer entretenimiento:
Hanse de casar las fábulas mentirosas con el entendimiento de los que las leyeren, escriviéndose de suerte, que facilitando los impossibles, allanando las grandezas, suspendiendo los ánimos, admiren, suspendan, alborocen, y entretengan (I, 47; I, 565 of Murillo's edition).
. . . desta manera se harían buenas comedias, y se conseguiría felicíssimamente lo que en ellas se pretende, assí el entretenimiento del pueblo, como la opinión de los ingenios de España (I, 48; I, 572 of Murillo's edition).
Un Viriato tuvo Lusitania, [. . .] cuya leción de sus valerosos hechos, puede entretener, enseñar, deleitar, y admirar a los más altos ingenios que los leyeren (I, 49; I, 578-79 of Murillo's edition).
. . . rebien aya el curioso, que tuvo cuidado de hazerlas traduzir de Arábigo en nuestro vulgar Castellano para universal entretenimiento de las gentes (II, 3; II, 59 of Murillo's edition).
la tal historia es del más gustoso, y menos perjudicial entretenimiento, que hasta agora se aya visto (II, 3; II, 64 of Murillo's edition).67
Allen proposes (I, 123, n. 23 of his edition)
that the priest intended to distinguish the pastoral novels from the romances
of chivalry, and in this he is surely correct. Yet we can explain this
distinction in terms of entretenimiento. While the priest surely shares
Cervantes' view that literature should contain some provecho to benefit
the reader, it was normal to seek in books not lessons, but entertainment.
This is what the priest is looking for, and he has just finished explaining
how, with a few exceptions, he hasn't found it in the romances of chivalry,
for which he has ojeriza (I, 48; I, 566 of Murillo's edition)
and rencor (I, 48; I, 569 of Murillo's edition). After cutting
the romances of chivalry to shreds, here, in the pastoral novels, are works
which can offer something that fulfills the purpose of fiction, that is
entretenimiento, harmless, presumably beneficial
entretenimiento. The other candidate for mouthpiece for Cervantes'
literary views, the canónigo, makes the same criticism of the
romances of chivalry.
So for these reasons, I believe that the correct reading is libros de entretenimiento. Even though none of Cuesta's editions have it, I am confident that Cervantes would approve of this emendation.
Having cited these examples of judgment applied to the process of editing, I'm going to close, and I will close in the same way many self-help meetings do, with the serenity prayer, which is very appropriate to the textual scholar:
|God, grant me the serenity|
|to accept the things I cannot change,|
|the courage to change the things I can,|
|and the wisdom to know the difference.|
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
67 All textual quotations, save the title page cited on p. 24, have been treated according to the principles described above as desirable for the scholarly edition; the only other place where Don Quixote can be read in a modern typeface but with the original consonants and punctuation is in the excerpts reproduced by Flores in The Loss and Recovery of Sancho's Ass in Don Quixote, Part I, MLR, 75 (1980), 301-10. 1 would be glad to receive comment on the difficulty, or lack of it, which these unmodified accidentals caused the readers of this paper, as I intend to follow this format in my edition of Amadís de Grecia, to be published, Deo volente, by the Florida State University and University of Florida Presses. To my eye and ear the results are surprising, and pleasing.
|Fred Jehle email@example.com||Publications of the CSA||HCervantes|