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Vanderbilt University

1. Bauer, Rachel Noël. Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote.

Degree: PhD, Spanish, 2007, Vanderbilt University

This study examines the comic vision of Miguel de Cervantes as manifested in his masterpiece, Don Quixote de la Mancha. Employing theories stemming principally from Mikhail Bakhtin and Michel Foucault, I look at how Cervantes creates humor in his novel and how, in turn, his novel fits into the long tradition of comic literature. The heart of this study is Cervantes’s use of carnivalesque laughter and how it showcases the various cultural identities related to the Spanish Baroque. I focus on reading Don Quixote as forming part of the history of Menippean satire and likewise its relationship to carnivalesque humor. This type of humor intimates the defense of a different type of world that is not dominated by one particular identity or power (whether political, philosophical, religious, or even literary) and as a result is destabilizing in nature. Journey is an essential characteristic to both carnivalesque laughter and Menippean satire, because it necessitates displacement as well as creates spaces for the mixing and clashing of identities. Because it is also a central motif throughout Don Quixote, I examine its effect on the text and how it functions to create different types of humor. The Avellaneda-Cervantes dynamic is another important aspect in understanding the direction of comicality in Don Quixote, in that Cervantes’s humor was multi-directional whereas Avellaneda’s tended to accentuate laughter emanating from the top down. Avellaneda represents the type of humor associated with hierarchy and power whereas Cervantes’s has leveled the playing field. I not only analyze the authors’ differences with regard to comic strategies, but emphasize the importance of reading both works in order to better understand how Cervantes’s comic vision incorporates carnivalesque laughter and therefore enriches his text. The relationship between madness and laughter is another avenue of discussion in this study and I investigate the historical and ethical dimensions of laughter, especially with regard to madness from the vantage point of Erasmus and Humanism. Advisors/Committee Members: Dr. Earl Fitz (committee member), Dr. Andres Zamora (committee member), Dr. William Franke (committee member), Dr. Edward H. Friedman (Committee Chair).

Subjects/Keywords: laughter; madness; Don Quixote; Cervantes; Carnival; Renaissance; Baroque; journey; Menippean; satire; Avellaneda

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Bauer, R. N. (2007). Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote. (Doctoral Dissertation). Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1803/14999

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Bauer, Rachel Noël. “Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote.” 2007. Doctoral Dissertation, Vanderbilt University. Accessed April 18, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/1803/14999.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Bauer, Rachel Noël. “Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote.” 2007. Web. 18 Apr 2021.

Vancouver:

Bauer RN. Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Vanderbilt University; 2007. [cited 2021 Apr 18]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1803/14999.

Council of Science Editors:

Bauer RN. Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Vanderbilt University; 2007. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1803/14999

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