Ondertexts
Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
Search

Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda

Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda[2†]

Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda is a name that has intrigued literary scholars for centuries. It is the pseudonym of an otherwise unknown author who wrote a sequel to Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” before Cervantes himself could publish his own second volume[1†][2†][3†][4†]. This sequel, titled “Segundo tomo del ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” (1614; “Second Book of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote of La Mancha”), is considered a fraudulent work[1†][2†][3†].

Early Years and Education

The details about Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda’s early years and education are shrouded in mystery due to the pseudonymous nature of his work. The author chose to remain anonymous, and as a result, little is known about his background, including his place of birth, family, cultural background, and early education.

However, some clues in his work suggest that he might have been from Aragon, as he often defended this region in his writings. He also demonstrated a deep knowledge of the classics and a sophisticated understanding of literary techniques, which suggests a solid education.

Despite the lack of information about his early life, it is clear that Avellaneda was well-versed in the literary and intellectual debates of his time. His familiarity with Cervantes’ work and his ability to write a convincing sequel to “Don Quixote” indicate a keen intellect and a deep engagement with contemporary literature.

Career Development and Achievements

Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda’s career is primarily known for his sequel to Miguel de Cervantes’ "Don Quixote"[2†][1†][3†][5†]. This work, titled “Segundo tomo del ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” (1614; “Second Book of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote of La Mancha”), was published before Cervantes could release his own second volume[2†][1†][3†][5†].

Despite being considered a fraudulent work[2†][1†][3†][5†], Avellaneda’s sequel played a significant role in the development of Cervantes’ narrative. In fact, it is suggested that Cervantes might not have composed his own continuation without the stimulus provided by Avellaneda[2†].

Throughout Part 2 of Cervantes’ book, Don Quixote meets characters who know of him from their reading of his Part 1, but in Chapter 59, Don Quixote first learns of Avellaneda’s Part 2[2†]. In that chapter, Don Quixote meets two characters who are reading Avellaneda’s recently published book[2†]. One of those characters is called Jerónimo, like Jerónimo de Pasamonte, which could be another indication from Cervantes about the identity of Avellaneda[2†].

Avellaneda’s work is frequently ridiculed in Cervantes’ book[2†]. However, it is also evident that Avellaneda’s sequel had a profound impact on Cervantes’ narrative, shaping the direction and development of his own Part 2[2†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda is known primarily for one work, the “Segundo tomo del ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” (1614), a sequel to the first volume of Miguel de Cervantes’ "Don Quixote"[2†][1†]. This work, often referred to as the “Quijote de Avellaneda,” was published before Cervantes had finished and published his own second volume[2†][1†].

The “Quijote de Avellaneda” is a significant work in its own right, despite being a fraudulent sequel. It was audacious enough to prompt Cervantes to write his own continuation[2†][1†]. The book is a complex interplay of imitation and innovation, echoing the themes and characters of the original “Don Quixote” while introducing new elements and twists[2†][1†].

Despite the controversy surrounding its authorship and its reception, the “Quijote de Avellaneda” has left a lasting impact on the world of literature. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of the character of Don Quixote and the world that Cervantes created[2†][1†].

Here is a brief overview of the main work:

Analysis and Evaluation

The work of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda, specifically the “Quijote de Avellaneda,” has been the subject of much analysis and evaluation[6†][7†]. Despite being a fraudulent sequel to Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” it has had a significant impact on the world of literature[6†][7†].

Avellaneda’s work is a complex interplay of imitation and innovation[6†]. It echoes the themes and characters of the original “Don Quixote” while introducing new elements and twists[6†]. This has led to a unique interpretation of the Quixotic universe[6†].

Critics and historians of Spanish literature have tended to dismiss Avellaneda’s work, acknowledging our indebtedness to a work that undoubtedly hastened the conclusion of Cervantes’ own sequel[6†][7†]. However, despite its defects, the “Quijote de Avellaneda” is not without interest for the student of the Spanish novel of the Golden Age[6†][7†].

Interestingly, Avellaneda does not terminate the knight’s life at the close of his work[6†][2†]. Instead, he leaves him in health and readiness for further achievements[6†][2†]. This decision has been interpreted as a hint at a possible continuation of the story[6†][2†].

In conclusion, while the “Quijote de Avellaneda” may not be held in the same regard as Cervantes’ work, it cannot be denied that it has played a crucial role in shaping the narrative of “Don Quixote” and has left a lasting impact on the world of literature[6†][7†].

Personal Life

The personal life of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda remains shrouded in mystery, much like his true identity[2†][1†]. The name is a pseudonym, and the true author behind it has never been definitively identified[2†][1†]. This lack of personal information extends to his private life, which remains largely unknown[2†][1†].

There are theories about the true identity of Avellaneda, with suggestions ranging from Fray Luis de Aliaga, confessor of Philip III, to Lope de Vega, and even Miguel de Cervantes himself[2†][1†]. However, these are merely theories and have not been confirmed[2†][1†].

Despite the lack of personal details, the impact of Avellaneda’s work on the literary world is undeniable. His audacious publication of a sequel to “Don Quixote” before Cervantes could publish his own second volume has made him a unique figure in the history of literature[2†][1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

The legacy of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda is as enigmatic as his identity[2†][7†]. Despite the general low regard for his work[2†][7†], his audacious publication of a sequel to “Don Quixote” before Cervantes could publish his own second volume has made him a unique figure in the history of literature[2†][7†].

Avellaneda’s work, despite its many criticisms, undoubtedly hastened the conclusion of Cervantes’ own sequel to his “Quijote” of 1605[2†][7†]. It is possible that Cervantes would never have composed his own continuation without the stimulus Avellaneda provided[2†][7†].

Throughout Part 2 of Cervantes’ book, Don Quixote meets characters who know of him from their reading of his Part 1, but in Chapter 59, Don Quixote first learns of Avellaneda’s Part 2[2†]. From then on, Avellaneda’s work is ridiculed frequently[2†].

Despite the controversy surrounding his work, Avellaneda’s audacious act of publishing a sequel to “Don Quixote” has left an indelible mark on the world of literature[2†][7†]. His work, while generally held in low regard, has nonetheless played a significant role in the history of one of the world’s greatest literary masterpieces[2†][7†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Britannica - Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda: Spanish author [website] - link
  2. Wikipedia (English) - Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda [website] - link
  3. Goodreads - Author: Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda (Author of El Ingenioso Hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, segundo tomo.) [website] - link
  4. Encyclopedia.com - Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda [website] - link
  5. Infoplease - Avellaneda, Alonso Fernández de [website] - link
  6. Oxford Academic - The Oxford Handbook of Cervantes - Quixote and Counter-Quixote: The Cervantes-Avellaneda Duel and Its Impact on the History of the Novel [website] - link
  7. JSTOR - STRUCTURE AND FORM OF “EL QUIJOTE APÓCRIFO” [website] - link
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; additional terms may apply.
Ondertexts® is a registered trademark of Ondertexts Foundation, a non-profit organization.