First edition of Pampelona, first edition of the year 1614 and third general edition after the two of Madrid published in 1613.
These 3 first editions are rare: Brunet mentioned about the first one of Madrid: "First edition of these Novelas so rare that in 1828 Salva did not know a single copy in Spain" (Brunet, I, 1753). He continued: "The second edition is considered almost as rare and as sought after as the first.
The third, Pamplona, 1614 (this one) is hardly less rare than the two previous ones."
Arranged between the first and second parts of Don Quixote, the collection of twelve short stories represents the most finished monument of Miguel de Cervantes' narrative work. It was published in 1613 by his Madrid-based publisher, Juan de La Cuesta.
The collection consists of 12 short stories: « La petite gitane », « L’amant généreux », « Rinconète et Cortadillo », « L’espagnole anglaise », « Le licencié Vidriera », « La force du sang », « L’illustre servante », « Les deux jeunes filles », « Cornelia », « Le mariage trompeur », « Le colloque des chiens », « La fausse tante ».
Three editions of the collection, all equally rare, appeared in 1614, in Pamplona, Brussels and Seville: « La de Pamplona (Nicolás de Asiaín), muy cuidada y atenta a corregir erratas - aunque solo las evidentes -, la edición de Bruselas (Velpio y Huberto Antonio, 1614), que transcribe incluso las erratas evidentes y la famosa edición contrahecha de Sevilla, publicada con portada de Madrid y atribuida a Juan de la Cuesta. Esta edición fue tenida durante mucho tiempo por auténtica segunda edición de Cuesta, hasta que Salvá le adjudicó un origen espurio lisboeta, si bien su cuidadoso estudio tipográfico lleva a pensar en una falsificación editorial de origen sevillano" (López, Materiales para una edición crítica de las Novelas ejemplares, in Los textos di Cervantes, Madrid, 2013, p. 78).
"But there is not only Don Quixote"...
"The Nouvelles exemplaires, which could be called moral tales, complete the picture of the Spanish society, in the style of a handbook of manners, embroidered on the other hand by the fantasy of the entremeses, sketches alertement troussés" (Jean Babelon).
Breaking with the Italian tradition of the short story and its fixed rules, the collection is at the origin of aesthetic processes which were going to bring to the genre a new lease of life. In his prologue, Cervantes claims this founding act.
"The conventional framework of the Italian short story is broken here - to achieve an inner aesthetic balance that no longer depends on apparent and fixed rules. Cervantes starts from tradition to pick up, beyond any convention, the aspects of that humanity that was agitated in the squares and streets of Spain of his time. He achieves this result through the use of entirely new aesthetic procedures, of which he is the initiator; thanks to a tight and lively dialogue, the story progresses, without a flaw, faithfully translating the psychological evolution of the characters; there are no notations that are not deduced, and always with happiness, from the situation itself; the painting is sober, just; the style, brilliant and precise; life is reflected in its multiple aspects; alternately tragic and comic; in certain stories where the elementary instincts of life confront each other - and which count among the best - one attends the birth of a brutal poetry and however never vulgar; because if nothing escapes the penetrating glance of the author, there is nothing either which is evoked with bitterness: but constantly this ironic smile, slightly resigned, and, all in all, benevolent, where an unfortunate but attentive love of men is expressed."
This first edition of 1614 printed in pampelona has become untraceable in contemporary vellum.
Pierre Bergé owned a copy of the third edition of 1614 in a modern pastiche binding estimated at €15/20,000 before expenses. The Librairie Patrick Sourget sold a copy of the second edition of 1614 in contemporary vellum for 30 000 € in June 2002, 19 years ago.
Superb copy of this first edition of 1614 of the short stories of Cervantes, exceedingly rarity in beautiful contemporary vellum binding.