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The Greatest Novel of All Time Turns 400

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The Greatest Novel of All Time Turns 400

Till the end of August Readers Service Division of the National Library of the Udmurt Republic is staging the exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the first edition of “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra.

In 2002 a panel of 100 prominent authors from 54 countries appointed by the Nobel Institute nominated the list of the top 100 greatest books ever written. Although the books were not ranked, "Don Quixote" received 50% more votes than any other book.

A substantial Russian edition of "Don Quixote" appeared in 37-38 volumes of “The Library of World Literature” series (in 200 volumes altogether) published in 1967-1977. This edition of the novel was foreworded by a prominent literary expert and translator Fyodor V. Kelyin, translated into Russian by N. Lubimov and Y. Korneev and beautifully illustrated by a French artist Gustave Doré.

The exhibition also features a number of biographical and literary sources on Cervantes’s life and literary talent by researchers A. O. Tsomakion, A. Veber, E. I. Vygodskaya and some others. The book “Dorogami Don Kikhota” authored by V. E. Bango discloses the major themes of “Don Quixote” and its relation to the knightly tradition, provides comparison with Avellaneda’s unauthorized sequel often referred to as the “false Quixote”, explores the translations of the novel by Smollett, Florian, Tieck and Zhukovsky.


One more interesting item on display is Vladimir Nabokov’s series “Lectures on Don Quixote” (delivered at Harvard in 1952, where Nabokov was a visiting professor on leave from Cornell) revealing the novel's aesthetics and Nabokov's critical talent.