oa Alternation - Pringle: the aesthetics of empire

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



With Don Quixote, according to Michel Foucault in The Order of Things, 'writing has ceased to be the prose of the world' (Foucault 1974:47) as it was in the Renaissance, when there is an unchallenged continuity between signs and things, or words and world. Flocks, serving girls, and inns become once more the language of books to the imperceptible degree to which they resemble castles, ladies, and armies ... (Foucault 1974:47). This type of resemblance, so clearly undermined by the deluded hero, tells of distinction, not connection. This distinction prompts the observation that language 'now possesses new powers, and powers peculiar to it alone' (Foucault 1974:47). In the second part of the novel, Don Quixote is clearly recognisable to certain people who have read the first part, as he himself becomes his own text:

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