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In Don Quixote , there are basically two different types of Castilian: Old Castilian is spoken only by Don Quixote, while the rest of the roles speak a contemporary late 16th century version of Spanish.
The Old Castilian of Don Quixote is a humoristic resource—he copies the language spoken in the chivalric books that made him mad; and many times, when he talks nobody is able to understand him because his language is too old.
This humorous effect is more difficult to see nowadays because the reader must be able to distinguish the two old versions of the language, but when the book was published it was much celebrated.
The original pronunciation is reflected in languages such as Asturian , Leonese , Galician , Catalan , Italian , Portuguese , and French , where it is pronounced with a "sh" or "ch" sound; the French opera Don Quichotte is one of the best-known modern examples of this pronunciation.
Cervantes' story takes place on the plains of La Mancha , specifically the comarca of Campo de Montiel. Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.
The location of the village to which Cervantes alludes in the opening sentence of Don Quixote has been the subject of debate since its publication over four centuries ago.
Indeed, Cervantes deliberately omits the name of the village, giving an explanation in the final chapter:. Such was the end of the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, whose village Cide Hamete would not indicate precisely, in order to leave all the towns and villages of La Mancha to contend among themselves for the right to adopt him and claim him as a son, as the seven cities of Greece contended for Homer.
Researchers Isabel Sanchez Duque and Francisco Javier Escudero have found relevant information regarding the possible sources of inspiration of Cervantes for writing Don Quixote.
Both sides combated disguised as medieval knights in the road from El Toboso to Miguel Esteban in They also found a person called Rodrigo Quijada, who bought the title of nobility of "hidalgo", and created diverse conflicts with the help of a squire.
I suspect that in Don Quixote , it does not rain a single time. The landscapes described by Cervantes have nothing in common with the landscapes of Castile: they are conventional landscapes, full of meadows, streams, and copses that belong in an Italian novel.
Because of its widespread influence, Don Quixote also helped cement the modern Spanish language. The novel's farcical elements make use of punning and similar verbal playfulness.
Character-naming in Don Quixote makes ample figural use of contradiction, inversion, and irony, such as the names Rocinante  a reversal and Dulcinea an allusion to illusion , and the word quixote itself, possibly a pun on quijada jaw but certainly cuixot Catalan: thighs , a reference to a horse's rump.
As a military term, the word quijote refers to cuisses , part of a full suit of plate armour protecting the thighs. The Spanish suffix -ote denotes the augmentative—for example, grande means large, but grandote means extra large.
Following this example, Quixote would suggest 'The Great Quijano', a play on words that makes much sense in light of the character's delusions of grandeur.
La Mancha is a region of Spain, but mancha Spanish word means spot, mark, stain. Translators such as John Ormsby have declared La Mancha to be one of the most desertlike, unremarkable regions of Spain, the least romantic and fanciful place that one would imagine as the home of a courageous knight.
The novel was an immediate success. The majority of the copies of the first edition were sent to the New World , with the publisher hoping to get a better price in the Americas.
No sooner was it in the hands of the public than preparations were made to issue derivative pirated editions. Don Quixote had been growing in favour, and its author's name was now known beyond the Pyrenees.
By August , there were two Madrid editions, two published in Lisbon, and one in Valencia. Publisher Francisco de Robles secured additional copyrights for Aragon and Portugal for a second edition.
Sale of these publishing rights deprived Cervantes of further financial profit on Part One. In , an edition was printed in Brussels.
Robles, the Madrid publisher, found it necessary to meet demand with a third edition, a seventh publication in all, in Popularity of the book in Italy was such that a Milan bookseller issued an Italian edition in Yet another Brussels edition was called for in These were collected, by Dr Ben Haneman, over a period of thirty years.
Parts One and Two were published as one edition in Barcelona in Historically, Cervantes' work has been said to have "smiled Spain's chivalry away", suggesting that Don Quixote as a chivalric satire contributed to the demise of Spanish Chivalry.
There are many translations of the book, and it has been adapted many times in shortened versions. Many derivative editions were also written at the time, as was the custom of envious or unscrupulous writers.
Thomas Shelton 's English translation of the First Part appeared in while Cervantes was still alive, although there is no evidence that Shelton had met the author.
Although Shelton's version is cherished by some, according to John Ormsby and Samuel Putnam , it was far from satisfactory as a carrying over of Cervantes' text.
Near the end of the 17th century, John Phillips , a nephew of poet John Milton , published what Putnam considered the worst English translation.
The translation, as literary critics claim, was not based on Cervantes' text but mostly upon a French work by Filleau de Saint-Martin and upon notes which Thomas Shelton had written.
Around , a version by Pierre Antoine Motteux appeared. Motteux's translation enjoyed lasting popularity; it was reprinted as the Modern Library Series edition of the novel until recent times.
John Ormsby considered Motteux's version "worse than worthless", and denounced its "infusion of Cockney flippancy and facetiousness" into the original.
The proverb 'The proof of the pudding is in the eating' is widely attributed to Cervantes. A translation by Captain John Stevens , which revised Thomas Shelton's version, also appeared in , but its publication was overshadowed by the simultaneous release of Motteux's translation.
In , the Charles Jervas translation appeared, posthumously. Through a printer's error, it came to be known, and is still known, as "the Jarvis translation".
It was the most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time, but future translator John Ormsby points out in his own introduction to the novel that the Jarvis translation has been criticized as being too stiff.
Nevertheless, it became the most frequently reprinted translation of the novel until about Another 18th-century translation into English was that of Tobias Smollett , himself a novelist, first published in Like the Jarvis translation, it continues to be reprinted today.
Most modern translators take as their model the translation by John Ormsby. An expurgated children's version, under the title The Story of Don Quixote , was published in available on Project Gutenberg.
The title page actually gives credit to the two editors as if they were the authors, and omits any mention of Cervantes. The most widely read English-language translations of the midth century are by Samuel Putnam , J.
Cohen ; Penguin Classics , and Walter Starkie The last English translation of the novel in the 20th century was by Burton Raffel , published in The 21st century has already seen five new translations of the novel into English.
The first is by John D. Rutherford and the second by Edith Grossman. Reviewing the novel in the New York Times , Carlos Fuentes called Grossman's translation a "major literary achievement"  and another called it the "most transparent and least impeded among more than a dozen English translations going back to the 17th century.
In , the year of the novel's th anniversary, Tom Lathrop published a new English translation of the novel, based on a lifetime of specialized study of the novel and its history.
In , another translation by Gerald J. Davis appeared. Tilting at windmills is an English idiom that means attacking imaginary enemies.
The expression is derived from Don Quixote , and the word "tilt" in this context comes from jousting. The phrase is sometimes used to describe either confrontations where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or courses of action that are based on misinterpreted or misapplied heroic, romantic, or idealistic justifications.
It may also connote an importune, unfounded, and vain effort against adversaries real or imagined. Reviewing the English translations as a whole, Daniel Eisenberg stated that there is no one translation ideal for every purpose, but expressed a preference for those of Putnam and the revision of Ormsby's translation by Douglas and Jones.
Spanish Wikisource has original text related to this article: El ingenioso caballero Don Quijote de la Mancha. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Don Quixote disambiguation. Dewey Decimal. See also: List of works influenced by Don Quixote. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message.
For the Consafos album, see Tilting at Windmills album. Main article: List of works influenced by Don Quixote. Novels portal Spain portal. The Guardian.
Retrieved 5 July The Conversation. Retrieved 1 July BBC News. Retrieved 13 October The Art of Literature.
The Essays of Arthur Schopenahuer. Archived from the original on 4 May Retrieved 22 March Retrieved 14 August Graf's Cervantes and Modernity.
Cervantes, Lope and Avellaneda. Estudios cervantinos. Barcelona: Sirmio. Samuel Putnam New York: Penguin,  , p.
Introduction to The Portable Cervantes. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Books: a living history. Style in Australia: current practices in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, capitalisation, etc.
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She has been watching it. Don Quixote showers the laborer with chivalric verse, comparing his troubles to those of the great knights about whom he has read.
They have just resolved to investigate his books when Don Quixote and the laborer arrive. The family receives Don Quixote, feeds him, and sends him to bed.
He knows many of the stories and saves several of the books due to their rarity or style. He suggests that all the poetry be saved but decides against it because the niece fears that Don Quixote will then become a poet—a vocation even worse than knight-errant.
The priest soon discovers a book by Cervantes, who he claims is a friend of his.
After a full day, Don Quixote and Sancho come to a field of windmills, which Don Quixote mistakes for giants.
Don Quixote assures Sancho that the same enemy enchanter who has stolen his library turned the giants into windmills at the last minute.
Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3. Chapter V A laborer finds Don Quixote lying near the road and leads him home on his mule. Popular pages: Don Quixote.
He was recovering in his bed from this attack when I decided to creep into his chamber during the night and warn him about what the Duke and Duchess were up to.
To get his attention, I had to pretend there was a damsel in distress who needed his help, so I told him that my daughter had been forsaken by her lover and would he please challenge the lover to a duel.
That was exactly the right way to get him onside and he began to pay attention to the rest of what I had to say. I had just begun to explain about all the trickery that was going on in the castle when some figures dressed in black appeared and began to spank me unmercifully.
Chapter VI : Regarding matters that concern and pertain to this adventure Back stage, everybody was complaining about my foolishness and audacity in meddling in the plot and generally making a spectacle of myself.
The director said he regretted letting me play the part of the duenna. I was forbidden to step on stage again, and more or less thrown out of the theatre.
But I didn't want to leave without speaking further with Don Quixote, and even with Sancho, who'd suddenly begun to deliver some of the best speeches of the entire opera, filled with juicy proverbs like pears in a wicker basket.
As the Don and his squire were taking leave of the Duke, I stepped onstage once again and had the most interesting of my encounters with Don Quixote and the wise squire Sancho.
When we had finished conversing, I withdrew to a seat at the back of the theatre to watch the rest of the operetta, completely satisfied that my interventions had been useful and were achieving some effect.
My tortoiseshell glasses had started a craze. When the performance was finally over, I left the theatre, pleased that my recklessness had lead to such a satisfying outcome, but thoughtful too about some of the things that had happened.
Why had Don Quixote addressed me as the Lady Dulcinea? Why had the director asked me to remove my ring? I took it from my pocket and examined it.
It's an old ring, in fact it's been in my family for a long, long time. I had picked it to wear to the theatre because it has a heraldic design, showing a gyron or triangular shape inside a coat of arms.
This book wore my ss out! It's funny and good and I love tomes but I don't think I was totally ready this time.
The narrator was great on audio but I couldn't keep up in my book for reasons so I just listened. Happy Reading!
View all 29 comments. Whatever else Don Quixote may be, I never found it boring. Parts of it were very funny, others had wonderful similarities with Shakespeare, some bits were more serious: it's like a mini library in a single volume.
Overall, it has quite a Shakespearean feel - more in the plotting and tales within tales eg The Man Who was Recklessly Curious, stolen by Mozart for Cosi fan Tutte than the language.
In fact, the story of Cardenio is thought to be the basis for Shakespeare's lost play of t Whatever else Don Quixote may be, I never found it boring.
In fact, the story of Cardenio is thought to be the basis for Shakespeare's lost play of the same name. Humour Very funny - slapstick, toilet and more subtle humour, with lots of factual historical and chivalric detail as well, but it doesn't feel especially Spanish to me.
Certainly long, but I don't understand why, supposedly, so few people manage to finish it. His resolute optimism in the face of severe pain and disaster is extraordinary.
Meanwhile, Sancho wavers between credulity wishfully thinking the promise of an island for him to rule will come true and pragmatism.
Two Parts Part II starts with Cervantes' response to the unknown writer of an unofficial sequel to part 1, though DQ, Sancho and others also critique it in early chapters.
The following story presumes that part 1 is true, and shows how DQ's resulting fame affects his subsequent adventures. A very modern mix of "fact" and fiction.
Sancho gets rather more scope for lengthy meanderings of jumbled and largely irrelevant proverbs. Less slapstick and more pontificating than part I - both DQ's advice to Sancho on how to govern his promised insula and when Sancho has intriguing disputes to resolve.
A Third, courtesy of Borges? What Don Q Means to Me This section was added after an epiphany, which prompted me to make my reviews more personal. I plucked up the courage to read it shortly after joining GR, partly through encouragement from others.
It was a revelation, both in terms of the power of GR friends to enrich my life and my own confidence as a reader. View all 57 comments. Feb 04, Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , translated , classics.
The Double-Edged Sword It is a double-edged sword isn't it, reading great books too early in life? If we read a book too early in life, we may not grasp it fully but the book becomes part of us and forms a part of our thinking itself, maybe even of our writing.
But on the other hand, the reading is never complete and we may never come back to it, in a world too full of books. And if we wait to read till we are mature, we will never become good readers and writers who can do justice to good books.
And if we wait to read till we are mature, we will never become good readers and writers who can do justice to good books Only then can we do justice to ourselves and to great books later on.
One is reminded of Calvino in Why Read the Classics when we meditate on this. Now the question is which books to do the injustice to and which the justice.
Do we select the best for the earliest so that they become a part of us or do we leave the very best for later so that we can enjoy them to the fullest?
Tough choice. I have never been able to resolve. Have you? View all 68 comments. My god this was a long book and when I told my boyfriend I was reading this he tried to tell me I should read Das Kapital with him as well which is almost twice this long like no thank you.
It was an okay book, I definitely enjoyed it more than I've enjoyed other classics I've picked up. It kind of reminded me of reading Candide because it had that same sort of satirical tone.
Sancho was pretty amusing through out the book and Don Quixote's adherence to his belief that he was a knight was someth My god this was a long book and when I told my boyfriend I was reading this he tried to tell me I should read Das Kapital with him as well which is almost twice this long like no thank you.
Sancho was pretty amusing through out the book and Don Quixote's adherence to his belief that he was a knight was something.
Some parts were better than others and I think I did enjoy part one of this a lot more than I enjoyed part two. The digs at whoever wrote the fake second part however through the actually second part written by Cervantes were pretty funny in their pettiness.
I just also think the ending was kind of ridiculous where Don Quixote dies on his deathbed and suddenly he's sane and is denouncing chivalry.
Felt dumb and unnecessary when the whole point of the book was to make fun of Don Quixote for his silliness in trying to imitate the stories of knights and since everything said there had been mentioned in the book at some point.
I feel like I probably lost out on a lot of the word play since I was reading a translated version, though Sancho mixing up words was still included through out.
I got pretty bored hearing Don Quixote complaining about Sancho's proverbs endlessly like how many comments on that does one need?
Definitely enjoyed part one more for the parts of the story that weren't just related to Don Quixote and a footnote said people disliked the inclusion of things like the short novel but I actually liked them and so I missed it in part two.
Just want to take a moment to say contemporary writing is definitely better than any of the classics I've read but I guess it's nice to see where the influence is coming from for all the contemporary books I might enjoy.
View all 7 comments. Jul 16, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , spanishth-c , spanish-classic , favorites. Cervantes, Don Quixote.
This opening phrase is steeped with irony and sarcasm. We are introduced to the loser town which the author is obviously embarrassed to h Cervantes, Don Quixote.
We are introduced to the loser town which the author is obviously embarrassed to have known and an out of date rusty and poor worm-eaten country gentleman read "redneck" and given a less than a complimentary portrait of his magnificent steed, Rocinante starved greyhound.
Cervantes chooses to reveal himself from the get-go "I" and stays with us during the entire two volumes of time-enduring text that is his literary legacy to us.
This is also evident from the long and rambling sentence form. There is gallantry ride forth and pretention adorn their halls and yet a sort of hopelessness skeleton of a horse that infuses this sentence with a life of its own.
And, the rest only gets better. I think my favorite moment - and one of the more existential moments which make this truly a modern book - was when Don Quixote is suspended in air at Dolcinea's window, Riconante having wandered off eating grass.
The entire work is full of comedy and humor. And don't miss the second part which he wrote because after publishing Part 1, life dealt him some harsh cards soldiering wounds, prison, bankruptcy, exile He was so insensed that he wrote a sequel and killed off Quixote so that there could be no more imitators.
Incredible stuff. View all 5 comments. When I read excerpts of Don Quixote in high school, which I think must be a requisite for any Spanish language class taken by anybody ever, I was astounded that something so seemingly banal could be as wildly popular and possess such longevity as this book is and does.
At the time, I did not find Don Quixote to be anything more than a bumbling fool chasing imaginary villains and falling into easily avoidable situations, and the forced hilarity that would ensue seemed to be of the same kind I rec When I read excerpts of Don Quixote in high school, which I think must be a requisite for any Spanish language class taken by anybody ever, I was astounded that something so seemingly banal could be as wildly popular and possess such longevity as this book is and does.
At the time, I did not find Don Quixote to be anything more than a bumbling fool chasing imaginary villains and falling into easily avoidable situations, and the forced hilarity that would ensue seemed to be of the same kind I recognized in farcical skits performed by eegits like The Three Stooges.
He is highly intelligent, highly perceptive and observant, and most surprisingly, and in spite of his delusions of being a knight errant, he is actually also highly self-aware.
Putting the characters aside, though, I have to say that the storytelling here is simply superb. When reading an English translation, I never know whether credit for this ought to be awarded to the author or to the translator or to both!
Each episodic adventure rolls seamlessly into the next and even while the subject of many of these adventures covers similar ground—a maiden who has been dishonored by her man is one such theme, for example—it never seems recycled.
Don Quixote is actually comprised of two volumes written about a decade apart. He even changes his itinerary to avoid a city that the fake Don Quixote purportedly goes to, just to make it clear that Avellaneda is a lying whore and cannot be trusted.
Metafictional stuff like that can be pretty entertaining in its own right, but the fact that it was implemented in a book written over four hundred years ago just makes it all the more mind blowing, or at least it does to me.
All in all, I had a hard time letting go of DQ when I finished this book. It turns out I really fell for the guy. View all 48 comments.
I guess the goal of reviewing something like Don Quixote is to make you less frightened of it. It's intimidating, right?
It's pages long and it's from years ago. But Grossman's translation is modern and easy to read, and the work itself is so much fun that it ends up not being difficult at all.
Much of Book I is concerned with the story of Cardenio, which Shakespeare apparently liked so much that he wrote a now-lost play about the guy. I loved that part, but for me, the pace slowed down a I guess the goal of reviewing something like Don Quixote is to make you less frightened of it.
I loved that part, but for me, the pace slowed down a bit in the latter third of Book I. There are two more "novellas" inserted that have little or nothing to do with the plot; feel free to skip them.
They're discussed in the comments section below this review, if you're interested. Book II was published ten years after Book I, in , and with it Cervantes pulls a typically Cervantes-esque trick: he imagines that Don Quixote is now a celebrity due to Book I's success.
This changes the perspective considerably; whereas folks used to be mystified by Don Quixote, now they often recognize him, which generally results in them fucking with him.
Quixote messes with your head. Cervantes pulls so many tricks out of his bag that you're never sure what's coming next.
For a while I suspected that the footnotes had been written by Cervantes as well, and were all made up. I had to Wikipedia Martin de Riquer to make sure he was a real guy.
That's how sneaky Cervantes is: he makes you think anything is possible. I thought Don Quixote was tremendous. It's like nothing else in the world.
I'm glad I read it. And I'll end with what might be the best quote of all time, and a brilliant thing to say to your wife: "I want you to see me naked and performing one or two dozen mad acts, which will take me less than half an hour, because if you have seen them with your own eyes, you can safely swear to any others you might wish to add.
Don Quixote kicks ass. By the way, for another take on the story, here's Kafka: Without making any boast of it Sancho Panza succeeded in the course of years, by devouring a great number of romances of chivalry and adventure in the evening and night hours, in so diverting from him his demon, whom he later called Don Quixote, that his demon thereupon set out in perfect freedom on the maddest exploits, which, however, for the lack of a preordained object, which should have been Sancho Panza himself, harmed nobody.
A free man, Sancho Panza philosophically followed Don Quixote on his crusades, perhaps out of a sense of responsibility, and had of them a great and edifying entertainment to the end of his days.
This is the entire text of his parable "The Truth about Sancho Panza"; it and others can be found here. View all 81 comments. To compensate for an unliterary childhood no furtive torch readings of Alice under the duvet until the wee hours for me , I hit the universities to read English Literature, which I failed to study, focusing instead on the local record shop and depression.
To compensate for an unliterary literature degree, I ramped up the reading to more sensible levels, and began an ongoing passionate marriage with the written word: a marriage of comfortable convenience spiced up from time to time with trips in To compensate for an unliterary childhood no furtive torch readings of Alice under the duvet until the wee hours for me , I hit the universities to read English Literature, which I failed to study, focusing instead on the local record shop and depression.
To compensate for an unliterary literature degree, I ramped up the reading to more sensible levels, and began an ongoing passionate marriage with the written word: a marriage of comfortable convenience spiced up from time to time with trips into mindblowing orgasmic delight.
Cheers, pals! View all 13 comments. Feb 28, Adina added it Shelves: , classics , spain , the-literature-book-pres.
It was fun for a while and then I got bored. I probably did not start this novel with the right mindset either. Until I started to read the Literature Book and commit to reading more classics I haven't even thought of reading Don Quixote.
However, after I read that it was the first modern novel and other interesting trivia about it, I decided to give it a go.
If I like it great, if not, I can always abandon it and read something else. My ancient copy of the novel has 4 volumes and I finis It was fun for a while and then I got bored.
My ancient copy of the novel has 4 volumes and I finished the 1st one. While reading, I recognized the book's merit, that some of its structure was before its time, that so many authors were influenced by it etc.
I mostly enjoyed it, some parts were funny, some less, I felt pity ans awe for the main character. However, it did not appeal to me that much so I decided not too invest more hours in it.
Next classic on my list is Les Liaisons dangereuses. View all 12 comments. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
When he speaks we are If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. When he speaks we are inclined to share his world view. And then Cervantes reminds us of what a ridiculous figure he is and undermines the effect.
Until Quixote opens his mouth again. This happens again and again - until we end up seeing the novel - and the world - in two incompatible ways at once.
View all 16 comments. The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.
I've not felt such a sense of accomplishment in finishing a book since I closed the cover on Ulysses 15 months ago. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes has been called the Bible of humanity and the universal novel.
After having read it, I believe this to be true. Published in , this two-part book is the work of fiction that single-handedly created modern Western storytelling.
Or is the world not so mundane? As he travels, he meets royalty and clergy, rich and poor, fellow-travelers and the working classes.
Throughout, he is accompanied by Sancho Panza, who is quite his opposite: a realist who sees life as it is but who is too kindhearted to go about forcing his views on others.
Sancho is especially admirable in this regard, because if indeed Don Quixote is great, it is a greatness the world does not recognize.
The world Cervantes creates reflects the cross-section of a society moving from one world toward another, a world which is incapable of recognizing either itself or others because societal standards are changing.
Cervantes seems to be concerned about this changing and societal flux. The glorious truths of dogmatic religion and romantic chivalry may or may not work in the practical world where money, power, and pragmatism are what really matter.
In the pragmatic world, shrewdness, power, wealth, gender, and youth matter. Noble values are ridiculous and pitiable at best, dangerous at worst, and ugly realities whatever way one looks at them.
The question here is Don Quixote a great soul in a small, mean-spirited, cruel world? Is Cervantes on the side of his hero?
Or does he really think there is bliss in avoiding ideals and the written spiritual and romantic books which indoctrinate?
I don't have an answer to this. Neither I think did Cervantes. Cervantes writes about his time and about the Spanish character, but he also writes about human nature, universal hopes, general historical and social factors.
Whatever one thinks of Don Quixote, this extremely long novel is a classic that should be read by all who treasure brilliant literature.
This review feels incomplete, but I think it's best that way. Oct 29, J. The line between wisdom and madness is flipped on its head over and over.
Published in and , Don Quixote still amazes! While reading the first part gets the reader most of the iconic scenes from this work most will recognize Don Quixote battling windmills, or mistaking a peasant for a lady, for instance , a complete read turns Don Quixote and Sancho into old friends that is consequently enjoyable and satisfying.
Don Quixote is unable to revive the age of chivalry in 16th century Spain. Already, living according to these codes is antiquated.
It is a dubious fame for which he and Sancho are continuously pranked. The message is clear for me in this part: Is it better to believe in something and see life as an adventure or not be fooled?
So much could be said. This is admittedly a long read, but very worthwhile! View 2 comments. Sep 27, Apatt rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , fave-classics , favorites.
It made the journeys very pleasant and I barely notice the dull sceneries as they go by. The journey of Don Quixote and his trusty squire Sancho Panza is much more vivid and enjoyable.
I had my doubts about the basic premise of this book. A crazy old guy with a Buzz Lightyear-like delusion travels through Spain with a peasant sidekick.
How did the author manage to fill a thousand or so pages with that? Would the joke not have worn thin to the point of implosion by the end of the book?
Ironically these doubts attract me toward the book rather than repel me. Not being a cat I quite like indulging my curiosity.
The book got off to a rocky start for me with a bunch of sonnets in the first chapter which nearly unmanned me and send me running, but once I am done with them it was pretty much plain sailing all the way.
A two months voyage if you will. While reading the first five or so chapters, I did get the feeling that the story is rather repetitious, basically just one misadventure after another.
Don Q traveling across the land, making a public nuisance of himself, and Sancho going along in the hope of financial gains. However, as I read on these characters do come alive and begin to seem like old friends, to the extent that I was quite happy just to tag along and see what nonsense they get up to.
The basic routine seems to be that the duo travel along with no set destination, come across some people minding their own business, and half the time mistaking them for enemies, giants or wizards, start messing with them and consequently get their asses kicked.
I expected to be tired of such shenanigan well before the end of the book but the author seems well aware of this possibility and switches gear with the narrative as the story progress.
Various colorful characters enter and leave the novel providing needed variation from just Don Q and his antics. Don Quixote mistaking a windmill for a Japanese mecha.
Don Quixote is not like any lunatic I have ever seen or heard about. While his insanity is relentless it also seems to be oddly systematic or deliberate.
He can speak eloquently and sensibly about all kinds of things until he or somebody else shoehorns in the subject of knight errantry then his dementia comes into full display.
Sancho Panza, the Robin to his Batty Man, is no less anomalous. His IQ seems to fluctuate with no discernible pattern, plus he is a proverbs machine, with none of the proverbs ever suited to the occasion.
Consequently, many of the new characters that are introduced in this part of the book know immediately who they are and often help to facilitate their madness just for kicks.
Much hilarity ensues. Toward the end, I did feel that the book is rather overwritten and I imagined that the job of abridging this book probably is not all that hard as it seems fairly obvious which chapters could easy be jettisoned.
However, once I arrived at the poignant final chapter felt a feeling of regret that I have to leave these two crazy buggers now.
Looks like a reread in printed format is in order. Maybe I will read it in the Batcave. View all 39 comments.
Shelves: literature , fiction-finished. I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a fan of popular fiction. I desire enjoyment from certain factors of pacing and style that the literary elite consider "common" and I, in turn, generally find "literature" to be incredibly pretentious.
This has led me to hold what some might consider "uncultured" opinions about various great works. Which brings us to Don Quixote, which many in the literary elite consider to be the greatest novel ever written.
Did I love Don Quixote? I wouldn't go that far. Does i I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a fan of popular fiction. Does it deserve to be called the greatest novel ever written?
I'm willing to put it on the short list. By rights, it should be like so much other "classic literature:" dense, slow, utterly irrelevant to modern life, and soporific.
Instead, it's dense, slow, engaging, and surprisingly relevant. Cervantes manages, almost continuously, to be clever in ways that transcend the year gap and resonate with us now.
There's no question that adapting to the writing style of that era is a challenge, and Don Quixote will be slow going to readers accustomed to modern pop fiction.
But most intelligent readers will consider this a price worth paying. Why Don Quixote still works stems largely from its having taken the formulas of "heroic knighthood" which we are still vaguely familiar with as legend today and showing it to be cartoonish and absurd.
Despite the cultural gap, modern readers will still get the gist of the parody, even if they haven't read the chivalric literature that it is an explicit parody of.
The other reason the story works is because, strangely, we find ourselves continuously at odds with the author over the character of Don Quixote himself.
We are told, at every turn, that Quixote is a fool, a madman, and a sinner. Cervantes breaks from the traditional role of a passive narrator to make constant judgment on Quixote's failures and flaws.
And because we see Quixote so maligned by both his own author and everyone in the book, we as the reader fall in love with him. By writing a book about a dreamer with unassailable ideals but using the narrative voice of a vitriolic cynic, Cervantes forces us to stand up for the nobility and purity that Quixote achieves.
Cervantes has, in effect, martyred his own protagonist in such a dramatic way that it falls to the reader to elevate Quixote to the status of saint.
And any book that can pull that off is worth the difficult prose. View all 6 comments. This was two years ago. I had just toured the palace—one of the finest in Spain—and was about to explore the French gardens, modeled after those in Versailles, when I encountered the gift shop.
Normally I do not buy anything in gift shops, since half of it is rubbish and all of it is overpriced. But this book, this particular volume, called out to me and I obeyed.
It was a foolish purchase—not only because I paid gift-shop prices, but because my Spanish was not anywhere near the level I needed to read it. And at the time, I had no idea I would be staying in Spain for so long.
There was a very good chance, in other words, that I would never be able to tackle this overpriced brick with Bible-thin pages. At least I left myself some hope.
Even with this crutch, and even with an additional two years of living in Spain, this book was a serious challenge. I know many Spaniards, even well-read ones, who have never successfully made it through El Quijote for this very reason or so they allege.
Trapiello has done the Spanish-speaking world a great service, then, since he has successfully made El Quijote as accessible as it would have been to its first readers, while preserving the instantly recognizable Cervantine style.
And while I can see why purists would object to this defacement of hallowed beauty, I would counter that, if ever there were a book to painlessly enjoy, it is El Quijote.
Now, undeniably something is lost in the transition. It is also worth noting how similar the two are; Trapiello has taken care to change only what he must.
Onward to the book itself. But I hesitate. The more I contemplate this book, the more I think that a critic must be as daft as the don and as simple as his squire to think he can get to the bottom of it.
Cervantes was either extremely muddle-headed or fantastically subtle, since this book resists any definite conclusions you may try to wring from its pages.
It is as if a New Yorker cartoonist accidentally doodled Guernica. He is the only author I know who can produce scorn and admiration in the same sentence.
He is able to ruthlessly make fun of everything under the sun, while in the same moment praising them to the heavens.
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We can't. Step right up, your majesty!