The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. A founding work of Western literature, it is often labeled ”the first modern novel” and is sometimes considered the best literary work ever written.
Although the two parts are now published as a single work, Don Quixote, Part Two was a sequel published ten years after the original novel. While Part One was mostly farcical, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception. Part Two of Don Quixote explores the concept of a character understanding that he is written about, an idea much explored in the 20th century. As Part Two begins, it is assumed that the literate classes of Spain have all read the first part of the story. Cervantes' meta-fictional device was to make even the characters in the story familiar with the publication of Part One, as well as with an actually published, fraudulent Part Two.