Speaker: Christie Cole
"Mechanisms of Wonder: The Performance of Marvels in Don Quixote Part II"
As other scholars of Cervantes have noted, Don Quixote’s imagined reality in Part II of Don Quixote is markedly different than the one presented in Part I of the novel. His adventures are no longer solely the result of his own imagination, but rather they are carefully crafted and manipulated by secondary characters in the work, perhaps most notably, by the duke and duchess. One aspect not so highlighted in prior criticism, however, is how the production of marvels is intimately tied to this manipulation. These marvels—whether they be ingenious scientific mechanisms or spectacular performances—are objects of attention that arouse the emotion of wonder in their audiences. In line with scholars like Robert Fuller and Philip Fisher, I define this as a sudden emotional experience before a novel or unexpected object. Through the presentation of these marvels, Cervantes shows that the intentional manipulation of the senses is an important aspect in producing wonder, as it helps to keep hidden the cause behind the seemingly marvelous object.