I started reading the false Quixote today which I'm sorta surprised to find is pretty good, tho pretty harsh toward the main characters. (Where the real Don Quixote is very simpatico.) Part of me soooorta wonders if Cervantes actually is Avellaneda because that would be an amazing prank.

Cervantes spends a fair bit of time in book II of the real Quixote talking about how shit Avellaneda is, and I got the impression the general consensus was that the false Quixote wasn't that great, but maybe I'm swayed by the translator's introduction where they ask you keep an open mind b/c they feel like had Cervantes never published the original, the false Quixote would have lived on as a great Spanish novel.

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(They also admit by comparison Cervantes' Quixote kinda beat it out of the park) -- anyway so far I agree with them. It's good enough to make me wonder if Cervantes wrote it as a brilliant ploy to add this crazy meta-plot element to book II. Even if not, it's pretty decent fanfic. (Even tho Avellaneda is def not a Cervantes fan lol)

It's definitely written unsympathetically -- Quixote is basically a dense psychopath and Sancho is a hopeless idiot -- but I think you can read it sympathetically in the spirit of the original even while the narrator is being ultra-pious and condemning sins or whatever. I'm enjoying reading it, and sorta tempted to re-read the original after this...

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