Monday, December 12, 2005

To Read The Impossible Book

Several hundred pages into Don Quixote, I begin to get its genius.

I had only heard that this was the greatest novel ever written and based my expectations on that. I was so excited to start it this past summer.

It was slow going at first. My expectations were crushed immediately. Having been raised on the Broadway show version, I expected a sweetly insane protaganist, a loveable knight errant. But Cervantes didn't write that. He wrote a violent, deluded buffoon. It was hard to stay with it, but I stayed out of affection for Sancho Panza. I figured if Sancho could stay by Don Quixote's side, so could I.

Because I am studying the history and character of Spain now, the light is beginning to dawn. The Spanish are a hot, rebellious people. All their heroes are flouters of authority -- from Teresa of Avila to El Cid, they smack propriety in the face. And I love it. I am starting... slooooowly... to love the Knight of the Woeful Countenance himself. I am starting to get that he is more Charlie Chaplin than King Arthur.

Ya'll, can you IMAGINE reading Don Quixote on line!!??? Here, if you feel like ruining your eyes and spending the rest of your life scrolling. Be my guest.

I think it's time to take Don Quixote out of the car (it was my beach book) and into the house, into the reading room. Maybe I'll even take it to bed; the place of highest honor for books in the House of PeaceBang.

don quixote


Blogger Gary Freedman said...

I prefer the Cliff Notes version of Don Quixote.

Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

I could have sworn that U*Us already were reading this Don Quixote online. . . ;-)

Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

A rather sweet insane protaganist that is. . . ;-)

Blogger Roger Kuhrt, PhD said...

Ah, the Spanish Soul. I urge you to spend a bit of time with Miguel Unamuno--he was a fantastic Universalist and his book: The Tragic Sense of Life IS the Spanish Soul embodied. He has written several short stories aobut Sancho Panza,etc.

Cheerfully, ROK
PS: and his great poem "The Christ of Vales. . . . (sp)

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Roger, the book I'm reading talks a lot about Unamuno and I know I should read his great work. When I can tear myself away from reading William-Sonoma's great big cookbook from Barcelona, maybe I'll tackle the great Unamuno!


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