At the start of Chapter IX the narrative voice of Don Quixote undergoes a seismic shift. Announcing that his own records of Quixote's 'true' adventures have come to an end, Cervantes' anonymous mouthpiece recounts his discovery of a manuscript written by an Arabic historian which, in the form of an admittedly unreliable translation, will comprise the rest of the book. Cervantes is satirising a common trope of chivalric romances, invoked by the authors of both Amadis de Gaula and Tirant le Blanc - presenting a fantastical story as documented truth has always been a powerful narrative device, still used to great commercial effect in contemporary popular fiction.
By creating this Chinese-box structure of multiple narrators, Cervantes also puts the reader in a dilemma similar to that of Quixote himself, the story's central 'reality' bound up with several conflicting layers of fantasy. This confusion only becomes more pronounced as the book continues, and has been the subject of much scholarly attention.
Howard Mancing discusses the role of 'Cide Hamete Benengeli' in Cervantes' novel.
Online edition of 'Amadis de Gaula', translated and abridged by Robert Southey (1803)
Online edition of Johanot Martorell and Johan de Galba's 'Tirant lo Blanc', translated by Robert S. Rudder