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Word Count: 1,195
For much of the opening part of Don Quijote the narrator contents himself with narrating Though we are made aware of his presence as a character by his first-person style his subjective interpretation of Quijotes actions and occasional references to his historical research it is Quijote himself who rightfully takes center-stage throughout the first eight chapters In Chapter IX however the first chapter of Part Two the narrator steps forward into the limelight turning away from Quijotes misadventures for a few pages in favor of his own story the story of the discovery of the second manuscript On first reading this episode one may be tempted to call it merely another tactic employed by Cervantes to support his elaborate framing device designed to cast the novel as a history Indeed the intricacies of the Spanish word histora come into play here as the line between story and history was hardly drawn clearly in the late 16th century when Cervantes was writing Upon closer examination of Chapter IX however we find a surprising pattern the narrators role over these pages mirrors that of don Quijote in Chapter I moving from engaged reader to principled actor By exposing this briefly evident parallel we may well come to an unexpected conclusion about the novel as a whole Chapter IX starts with don Quijote and el vizcano frozen about to begin their duel the original chronicle we are told came to a sudden halt here en aquel punto tan dudoso par y qued destroncada tan sabrosa historia sin que nos diese noticia su autor dnde se podra hallar lo que della faltaba Cervantes 91 Perhaps the most significant word in this sentence for our purposes is the tiny personal pronoun nos With this easily-overlooked construction the narrator places himself in a group with his own readers There was a time he tells us when he experienced the Quijote story for the first time as we do now when
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