This thesis examines a new reading of Cervantes’s immortal Don Quixote: reading the Quixote as eucharistic art. Just as the Catholic Eucharist, when consumed by the believer, is transubstantiated into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, so too is this proposed reading of the Quixote. Using Michel Foucault’s work in The Order of Things, the author employs Foucault’s statement—that Don Quixote is “the book in flesh and blood” (48)—to explore a eucharistic reading of the novel as the reader’s internalization of Don Quixote’s being. The end of the novel is read not as Don Quixote’s return to sanity, but rather a sacrifice of the self, sealing the text to his being. The “disciple reader” then, through eucharistic reading, metaphysically internalizes the text that is Don Quixote transubstantiated, acquiring his madness in the process: a new Don Quixote. The author lays out a theory for eucharistic reading, noting the Quixote’s singular place in world literature as a prime novel fit for this type of mystical reading. The thesis then examines and analyzes the theory and its effects on intratextual metafictional readers of the novel. As a kind of measuring tool, the author looks at painted representations of Don Quixote within the novel as eucharistic self-portraits of the metafictional disciple reader’s “quixotic” self. The thesis closes with a proposal for future studies regarding artistic representations outside of the text as products of eucharistic reading worthy and in need of future analysis.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Raines, Scott Hawkley, "The Second Coming of Don Quixote: Painting and the Quixote as Eucharistic Art" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8268.
Don Quixote, Eucharist, painting, reading