Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda is the pseudonym of a man who wrote a sequel to Cervantes' Don Quixote. The identity of Fernández de Avellaneda has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus on who he was. It is not clear that Cervantes knew who Avellaneda was, although he knew that it was a pseudonym, and that the volume's publication information was false. One theory holds that Avellaneda’s work was a collaboration by friends of Lope de Vega. Another theory is that it was by Gerónimo de Passamonte, the real-life inspiration for the character Ginés de Pasamonte of Part I.
Critical opinion has generally held Avellaneda's work in low regard, and Cervantes himself is highly critical of it in his own Part 2. However, it is possible that Cervantes would never have completed his own continuation were it not for the stimulus Avellaneda provided. Throughout Part 2 of Cervantes' book Don Quixote meets characters who know of him from their reading of his Part 1, but in Chapter 59 Don Quixote first learns of Avellaneda's Part 2, and is outraged since it portrays him as being no longer in love with Dulcinea del Toboso. As a result of this Don Quixote decides not to go to Zaragoza to take part in the jousts, as he had planned, because such an incident features in that book. From then on Avellaneda's work is ridiculed at frequent intervals; Don Quixote even meets one of its characters, Don Alvaro Tarfe, and gets him to swear an affidavit that he has never met the true Don Quixote before.
Humour in Avellaneda's work
There is evidence that some of Cervantes' condemnations are of tongue-in-cheek references to errors or jokes in Part 1. In Part 2, Chapter 59 of Cervantes' version, Don Quixote disregards Avellaneda's Part 2 because in it Sancho Panza's wife is called "Mari Gutiérrez" instead of "Teresa Panza". However, in the early chapters of Part 1 Sancho's wife is called by many names (some within just two paragraphs) including "Juana Panza", "Mari Gutiérrez", "Juana Gutiérrez", "Teresa Cascajo", etc. "Teresa Panza" is settled on only after she becomes a substantial character. It is difficult to decide whether these are true mistakes, as malapropisms, aliases and puns are a running joke throughout the books. Cide Hamete Benengeli is miscalled "Berengena" (eggplant), Teresa is called "Teresona Panza" (approximately, "Fat Belly"), and so on.
English Translations of Avellaneda's work
- Captain John Stevens (1705)
- William Augustus Yardley (1784)
- By Alberta Wilson Server and John Esten Keller ; footnotes by Tom Lathrop ; illustrated by Hal Barnell. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta, 2009, ISBN 9781588711625.