There have been many interpretations of Cervantes' works over the centuries. In this 1986 book, John G. Weiger examines what he considers to be the 'substance' of Cervantes: the writer's attitude toward originality, his concern for the reader's visualization of the action and the setting, his understanding of optical illusion, his use of the commonplace, and his view of himself in relation to his contemporaries. Weiger explores Cervantes' use of these and related elements, such as imitation, parody, and the reading process, in Don Quixote, the Exemplary Tales, La Galatea, Persiles y Sigismunda, and some of his theatrical works. Of interest to students as well as scholars of Spanish and world literature, this book offers more than exegetical explication. Rather, it is an examination of the foundation upon which Cervantes constructed his works, from the early La Galatea (1585) to the posthumously published Persiles y Sigismunda (1617).