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f the twelve stories in Exemplary Novels “Dialogue of the Dogs” stands out as a novel that would have “provided an enduring base for Cervantes’s fame as a great prose writer and incomparable painter of his fellowmen,” according to Professor Scheville.



In this story, the large mastiff Berganza, along with his mat-mate Cipión, unexpectedly finds himself with the ability to speak. The two dogs have a lot to say and may have only one short night in which to say it, as it is unknown when this gift of speech might be taken away.

Our edition is translated by Harriet de Onís (1899-1969) who was considered one of the best translators of Spanish and Portuguese literary works into English. In her introduction to Six Exemplary Novels (1961) she points out that, “In the case of the novella or short story, prior to Cervantes the procedure had been for a person, or several persons, as in The Arabian Nights, the Decameron, and The Canterbury Tales, to narrate a series of stories linked together by a common thread. Each of the Exemplary Novels is complete in itself, diverse in theme and form, completely independent of the others.”



In his prologue to the Exemplary Novels, first published in 1613, Cervantes wrote, “I am the first to essay novels in the Castilian tongue, for the many which go about in print in Spanish are all translated from foreign languages, while these are my own, neither imitated or stolen. My genius begat them, and my pen gave them birth—and they have grown in the arms of the printing press.”

If that statement has the air of literary arrogance, it is only that he speaks the simple truth. This story by Cervantes has grown in our hearts and has embraced our own antiquated printing presses to give rebirth to the Spanish gentleman’s “Dialogue of the Dogs.” We hope it gives you pleasure, as well.

ialogue of the Dogs is published in an edition of 100 copies of which 90 numbered copies are for sale. The book is 52 pages and measures 9 1/4 tall x 11 1/2 inches wide and is printed letterpress on Magnani Revere paper and hand-bound at the Press. There are full-page scenes set in a three-dimensional diorama in the front and back covers of the book creating a box-like structure around the text. Within the text are additional drawings by Peggy Gotthold. The price is $575.00 plus appropriate CA sales tax. Shipping is $15.00.

Dialogue of the Dogs for $575