Don Quixote Unbound

Intertextuality, Interpictoriality, and Transculturality in Flix's German Graphic Novel Adaptation (2012)

in European Comic Art
Tilmann Altenberg Reader, Cardiff University, UK

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Comics adaptations of literary classics often struggle to step out of the shadow of their model. This article explores how the recent adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote by German comics artist Flix transposes the Golden Age classic to a contemporary German setting, updating the story to speak to some of postmodern society's concerns. Flix's approach is marked by an ironic distance from his textual and pictorial sources, which he repurposes without losing sight of the Spanish novel's story arc, character constellation, and narrative devices. The adaptation restores the original comicality to a classic that has mostly been read as a tragic story. While the adaptation inscribes itself into Germany's cultural fabric, it proposes a Don Quixote that transcends traditional notions of clearly delimited, monolithic national cultures.

Contributor Notes

Tilmann Altenberg is a Reader in Hispanic Studies at Cardiff University. He holds a doctorate degree in Hispanic Literature from the University of Hamburg. His publications on Spanish and Latin American literature include studies on the picaresque novel, Juan Valera, Alejo Carpentier, and Roberto Bolaño. He has co-edited, and contributed to, several essay collections on topics ranging from Don Quixote to the Mexican Revolution. His work on José María Heredia has established his reputation as one of the leading experts on the nineteenth-century Cuban-Mexican poet. In his current research, he focuses on the Falklands/Malvinas conflict and on Latin American national poets. E-mail: ORCID: 0000-0001-6686-6550

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