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Abstract

This study explores the distinct ways in which Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and Jorge Luis Borges approach the deconstruction of authorship in both The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha and Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote. By comparing these two great literary works, the present investigation outlines a Derridean analysis of each text, which not only highlights the plurality of authorship, but also the plurality of interpretations and meanings, which are reaffirmed in both stories: In Don Quixote, Cervantes approaches the deconstruction of authorship through his blurring of the traditional lines between author, narrator, character and reader and his affirmation of the multiple-meanings of any given text. In Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, Borges pushes the limits of literary deconstructionism, expanding it to the destruction of linear time and individuality, through his intellectual exercise in anachronism. In this way, both authors participate in a humble and fundamentally liberating project: by deconstructing the concept of authorship and rejecting the idea of ownership over one’s works, Cervantes and Borges aim to emancipate the reader from their imaginative confines and reaffirm the intellectual power inherent in the act of interpretation.

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