Presentation from the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation

Luis Hernando de Larramendi Martínez
Chairman of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation

Supuesto retrato de Miguel de Cervantes, por Juan de Jáuregui

Cervantes could not be missing from the Polymath Virtual Library of the Ignacio Larramendi Foundation. And even less so in the year of the 4th centenary of his death, which was in 2016. An author’s library has been created calledCervantes, maestro universal. Maestro in the sense that the dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language gives in its first meaning: "Said of a person or of a work: With relevant merit among that of its class." And, of course, both Cervantes, as well as his works have a relevant merit. In fact, as already pointed out byUnamuno,OrtegaorMadariagathe words of don Miguel have illuminated all Spaniards who have read his novels, his poems or have seen his comedies and interludes performed during more than four centuries. 

His works were, from Forner’s famous eulogy, the ashlar that supported the entire building that Spanish culture was based on. And always highlighting his vast humanity. How many times have poets been inspired by Cervantes and always in that sense of humour, in that way of viewing life that brings out the good things that we have within. It is possible that someone can say that Cervantes does not provide a philosophical system, but this is because Cervantes provides much more than a system, he provides a worldview. And, of course, in a very positive, vital, deeply human way.

That whichMachadosought in the word "Good". "I am a good man in the good sense of the word." And that is precisely Cervantes’ inheritance. Cervantes drank from many sources and among them were the best philosophers. For the Polymath Virtual Library it is clear that the choice between theEnsayo de los IngeniosbyHuarte de San Juanand Cervantes' worldview is based on the psychological teaching that don Miguel breathed into both his characters, as well as into the the many many times in which he speaks as an author in his works. 

In this Virtual Library, in this microsite, we have chosen to give the word to our polygraphs when writing the Introduction and Biography. Both  Gregorio Mayans y Siscar as well as  Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo devoted memorable pages to Cervantes. The former, as is well known, but should be remembered here, was the first biographer of Cervantes. The Ignacio Larramendi Foundation together with theValencian Library published a cd-rom  calledGregorio Mayans y Siscar digitalin 2002 and that since 2005 this can be found online at theValencian Library Digital. It thereforeincluded theVida de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedrathat this author wrote, a text that is now redesigned and incorporated into this author's library.

We also republish Cultura literaria de Miguel de Cervantes y elaboración del "Quijote",by Menéndez Pelayo, first of the polygraphs edited by this Foundation, first in 1999 in CD-rom format, with the title ofMenéndez Pelayo digital,and then online on its own micrositeMenéndez Pelayo Virtual.

So,Cervantes, maestro universalis included in our Polymath Virtual Library with every right and from here Cervantes will be able to continue knocking down other windmills, those of indifference to the contribution of Spain and that which is Hispanic to universal culture, where our author occupies the first place.


Madrid, 24 November 2016