Through the centuries Don Quijote has delighted readers, inspired artists, stimulated thinkers, and helped form historians' perception of early modern Spain. It has, furthermore, played a major part in the development and theoretisation of one of the modern world’s most characteristic literary forms: the novel. In its own playful and non-systematic fashion, Honest Entertainment, Transcendental Jest. Six Essays on Don Quijote and Novelistic Theory explores the reception of Cervantes’ masterpiece with special attention to its significance for the theory of the novel. A book about books about a book about books, this volume is essentially an introduction to the theory of a seminal modern literary genre as approached from the vantage point of the outstanding, truly epoch-making work. Chapters can be read separately as introductions to individual cervantists or theorists of the novel (including Friedrich Schlegel, Viktor Shklovsky, Georg Lukács, and Milan Kundera), but are also connected via a unifying theoretical theme —the question of what is the ultimate direction of novelistic mimesis: towards abstract ideas or worldly phenomena?— and the discussion of the continuous recurrence of the opposition between Enlightenment and Romanticist literary aesthetics in the theory of the novel.