Fighting Melancholia: What Don Quixote Teaches Us, by Françoise Davoine

The Therapist as Therapon: A Healing Sancho Panzo

Don Quixote book sculpture 2 web

The success of Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote – reputed to be the second bestselling book after the Bible – is no doubt due in large part to the author’s remarkable skill in telling a story, as he puts it, “to fight melancholia”. Indeed, the original idea for the eponymous hero first appeared to Cervantes while he was himself imprisoned in Sevilla, on a false accusation – a melancholy experience that triggered memories of a previous traumatic incarceration, when twenty years earlier he had been captured by Barbary pirates (as a soldier fighting against the Ottoman empire) and spent five years as a slave in Algiers.

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