Roberto González Echevarría, the Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literature at Yale University, will be giving a free public lecture on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at Meredith College.
González Echevarría's lecture, “Reading Don Quixote Today,” is one of the events kicking off the seven-month long El Quixote Festival. The lecture, which will be followed by a Q&A and reception with the speaker, will be at 6:30 pm in Jones Chapel.
Miguel de Cervantes’s celebrated Spanish novel consists of two parts, published in 1605 and 1615, respectively. It was an instant success at the time and made the best-seller’s list in the United States as recently as ten years ago. Over the course of four centuries El Quijote has consistently rated as one of the greatest novels ever written. The dates of El Quixote Festival coincide with the birth (September 29) and death (April 23) of Cervantes (both he and Shakespeare share the same death date: April 23, 1616). In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the novel and its author, the state-wide festival will feature art exhibits, literary gatherings, opera, music, dance, theater, cinema, and gastronomy, together with several academic and educational events — including several at Meredith College. For festival founder, Rafael A. Osuba, the festival is the realization of a longstanding dream: “This is a very quixotic project that has captured the imagination of many in our community and reaffirms what can be done when we collaborate and dare to dream big.”
Roberto González Echevarría is the author of numerous books and articles written in both Spanish and English. In 2014 Yale University Press published Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Casebook, which derived from his Open Yale Course of the same name. In addition to three honorary doctorates, he is an inducted member of the North American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received a National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2011. He has lectured throughout the US, Europe, and Latin America and will focus his remarks at Meredith College on the relevance of Don Quixote for readers in the twenty-first century.
The lecture is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kenan Charitable Trust, the Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Meredith College and NC State, and Artist Studio Project.