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Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha #1-2)

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616), often known as Cervantes, was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616), often known as Cervantes, was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes"). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios ("The Prince of Wits"). (Excerpt from Wikipedia)


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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616), often known as Cervantes, was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; 29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616), often known as Cervantes, was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes"). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios ("The Prince of Wits"). (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

30 review for Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha #1-2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    I first finished Part I of Don Quixote fifty years ago, and, although I never got around to reading Part II, over the years I managed to convince myself that I had. I suspect this may be true of many other readers as well, for when people share their favorite parts of the story, they invariably mention the battles with windmills and wine skins, the inn courtyard vigil and the blanket toss, but hardly ever bring up Don Quixote's vision in the dark cavern, the manipulations of the Duke and Duchess I first finished Part I of Don Quixote fifty years ago, and, although I never got around to reading Part II, over the years I managed to convince myself that I had. I suspect this may be true of many other readers as well, for when people share their favorite parts of the story, they invariably mention the battles with windmills and wine skins, the inn courtyard vigil and the blanket toss, but hardly ever bring up Don Quixote's vision in the dark cavern, the manipulations of the Duke and Duchess, the wise decisions of Governor Sancho, or his master's fateful final battle with The Knight of the White Moon. Yet it is here, in the second part, that the world of “Quixote”—inspiring in its romance, sharp in its realism, magnificent in its variety—becomes surprisingly post-modernist and uniquely profound. From the first, Quixote is complex and subtle. It is never a crude contrast between a crack-brained pretender to knighthood and his slow-witted “squire”: Quixote is only crazy on the subject of knight errantry, and Sancho, although naïve and illiterate, is a shrewd man filled with proverbial wisdom (albeit often inaptly applied). In spite of misfortune, they are never mere comedians slipping on the banana peel of existence; every slapstick trouncing they receive offers them yet another opportunity for reflection (often while literally on their backs, smarting from their recent wounds), and it is these discussions, filled with plausible arguments and vast logical gaps, that generate much of the rich humor of the book. Like Didi and Gogo, they are existential clowns, striving to understand a baffling world at least as foolish as themselves. Reckless passion and a kind of rough chivalry pervade the novel's world of folly. The shepherds and goatherds may eat their simple meals around a crude campfire, yet they understand—and admire—pastoral poetry and the noble act of pining away for love. Each wandering wayfarer in the Quixote landscape seem eager to relate some lengthy tale of Romantic obsession and adventure. All this makes our Knight of the Woeful Countenance seem more like a variation than an exception, his devotion to exemplary deeds and his Dulcinea not so much a social aberration as a dedication to one bizarre strain of a still flourishing tradition. It is in the second part, however, that “Quixote” succeeds in surprising the reader. Cervantes published this sequel almost ten years later, spurred to do so by his outrage at the printing of an unauthorized continuation by an Aragonese called “Avellanada.” In Cervantes sequel, the knight and his squire soon learn that almost everyone they encounter on the road is familiar with their history, having read not only Cervantes but Avellanada as well. (Not surprisingly, the Don and Sancho condemn Avellanada as spurious nonsense.) These “readers,” upon encountering our heroes, freely share with them their own interpretations of the pair's adventures, and some of them—notably the Duke and Duchess—actively participate in the narrative by constructing elaborate pranks, the basis of even more marvelous deeds to come. These two things cause a contradictory movement in our characters' consciousness: they become at once more self-reflective and more deeply committed to thei fantasies. By the novel's end, these reflections on the nature of the self and the nature of narrative have caused Sancho to become wiser and allowed the old Don to face his death clear-eyed, without his chivalric illusions. Something happens here which is almost astonishing: in “Quixote” we can sense the novel--not only this particular novel, but the novel considered as a form--becoming aware of itself. Cervantes' casual foray into meta-fiction—which may have started with his human impulse to ridicule the Aragonese thief who hijacked his narrative—becomes an endless quest for an Eldorado rich and strange. The novel seems to mature and become self reflective, newly aware of how consciousness constructs narrative, how narrative may in turn alter consciousness, and how such alterations may further refine the nature of narrative itself. The vast treasures of the quest now lie before us: the works of Fielding, Sterne, Dostoevsky, Proust, Joyce, Nabokov, and many others. Yes, what happens here is astonishing: in “Quixote” we overhear the soul of Western fiction at the moment it begins to talk to itself.

  2. 3 out of 5

    Lisa

    “Don Quixote”, I answered, and looked into almost shocked facial expressions, followed by quiet, uncomfortable giggling. What was the question? If my friends at the coffee table had asked: “What is your favourite book, Lisa?”, and received that answer, they would have nodded knowingly, sympathetically, adding some random fact about the 1000+-page-classic I claimed to love more than the countless other books I have read. But that was not the question. It was: “With which literary character do you i “Don Quixote”, I answered, and looked into almost shocked facial expressions, followed by quiet, uncomfortable giggling. What was the question? If my friends at the coffee table had asked: “What is your favourite book, Lisa?”, and received that answer, they would have nodded knowingly, sympathetically, adding some random fact about the 1000+-page-classic I claimed to love more than the countless other books I have read. But that was not the question. It was: “With which literary character do you identify most?” I was not the first one around the table to answer, and there had been plenty of identification with the brave, the strong, the pretty, the good, the clever heroes and heroines of the literary universe before it was my turn. I had time to think, and to think carefully. There is no one like Don Quixote to make me feel the connection between my reading self and my real life. Who else loved books to the extent that he was willing to immerse himself completely in the illusion of his beloved fiction, against all reason? Who else struggled to survive and keep the spirit of beautiful ideas in the face of ugly, mean, bullying reality? Why was there such awkwardness when I said I identified with Don Quixote? Because he is clumsy, he is bullied by the brutal ordinary people who can’t stand a mind focused on literary thoughts and idealist ideas, he is treated badly and made fun of. He is so very UNCOOL! He makes a silly figure in the ordinary society where appearance and participation in shared activities are more important to social survival and reputation than reflective thinking and expression of individuality. He is off the main track, and that is only acceptable to the world if you are a strong, fighting, violent hero, not if you are a harmless, yet ridiculous dreamer. If you can’t be one of the group, you have to be stronger, more violent than the majority. Just being different is the most dangerous, the most hated thing in the world. Still! But I don’t think there was much choice for Don Quixote. He had seen the raging madness of the world, and made a decision: “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” In the most famous scene of all, the dialogue between Sancho Pansa and Don Quixote reveals the deliberate choice to see more in life than just the mere practicalities of food provision and business: "What giants?" Asked Sancho Pansa. "The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long." "Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone." "Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures.” If you only have one life to live, why choose the boredom of reality when your mind can create an imaginary adventure of giant proportions? What a wonderful match they are, the idealist dreamer and his realist companion, complementing each other perfectly while exploring the real world in the same way Dante and Virgil complement and support each other’s thoughts while they explore the fantastic fiction of Afterlife in the Divine Comedy. To me there is more heroism in seeing a perfect horse in the lame Rosinante, or a beautiful woman in the ugly, mean Dulcinea, than there could ever be in the strongest superhero riding the most powerful horse and gaining the love of the most stunning lady. That is a no-brainer, while it requires deeper thinking skills to see the adventure and beauty in average, weak, ugly life. The moment Don Quixote turns ridiculous, and sad and “quixotic” in my world, is the moment before death when he renounces his ideal in favour of the mainstream understanding of Christian “comme il faut”, breaking Sancho Pansa’s heart, who, in his own, realist and practical way, understands the world’s need for characters like Don Quixote. The sanity Don Quixote gains when he dictates his last testament is the capitulation of the tired, worn-out spirit. He has already stopped living. Another of my favourite windmill-fighting characters, Jean Barois, foresaw the weakness of old age and wrote his testament to the world at the height of his intellectual power, thus haunting the bigot winners of his dying body afterwards with his words of idealistic power from the other side of the grave. And for all those who smile at Don Quixote: it is much braver, and harder, to fight inanimate, mechanised windmills than fire-spitting dragons! And: you have to have more than an ounce of Don Quixote in you to try to review this book of superlatives!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renato Magalhães Rocha

    A book of parallels, Don Quixote by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, through two of the most emblematic characters ever conceived, discusses what's imagined and what's seen, the ideal vs. the real, the conflicts between illusion and actuality and how these solid lines start to blur by the influences Don Quixote and Sancho Panza inflict on each other through the course of this comic (yet sad sometimes...) tale. A second-hand account translated from Arab historian Cide Hamete Benengeli A book of parallels, Don Quixote by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, through two of the most emblematic characters ever conceived, discusses what's imagined and what's seen, the ideal vs. the real, the conflicts between illusion and actuality and how these solid lines start to blur by the influences Don Quixote and Sancho Panza inflict on each other through the course of this comic (yet sad sometimes...) tale. A second-hand account translated from Arab historian Cide Hamete Benengeli - that's how our narrator describes it -, the book tells the story of Alonso Quixano, a country gentleman around fifty years of age, retired, who lives with his niece and a housekeeper in a village of La Mancha. A big chivalry tales enthusiast, he spends most of his time reading books (Amadís de Gaula, Orlando Furioso and Tirant lo Blanch, among others) about knights and their unending courage and dangerous quests. His excessive reading (is reading ever too much? :)) takes a toll on his mind - or "his brains got so dry that he lost his wits." Wishing to seek for adventures and enforce peace and justice, he renames himself Don Quixote, designates Dulcinea del Toboso as the lady of his heart - "for a knight-errant without love was like a tree without leaves or fruit, or a body without a soul" -, puts on an old armor that had belonged to his great-grandfather, gets on his horse (now called Rocinante) and, early in the morning, starts his enterprise as knight-errant. After some muddles, Don Quixote ends up being severely beaten and is returned to his home by a peasant who recognizes him. That is the end of his first sally. At this point, you can't help but ask yourself: what really goes on inside of Don Quixote's head? Could he simply be deemed as crazy? In every aspect but his love for chivalry, it's noticeable how he's witty and sharp - and this becomes clearer as the story goes on. Putting aside the crazy card for a minute, it's impossible not to wonder if and why he's possibly trying to escape reality. Has he been unhappy or unsatisfied with his life? He often talks about how one day a book will be written about him, telling all of his great deeds. Does he feel he's lacking accomplishments in life and therefore embarks on his imbroglio? These are just a few of the superficial questions this apparently simple book raises. After a short period of unconsciousness - during which his friends burn most of his books of chivalry in a funny yet unsettling scene where the parish curate judge one by one if they're appropriate or not -, our clumsy hero decides that he needs an esquire and convinces his neighbor Sancho of joining him on his quests, by promising him governorship of an ínsula. Here, we witness the birth of literary's best relationship between a protagonist and his sidekick. Sancho Panza, described as a farm laborer, honest man but with very little wit in his pate, leaves his wife and children to serve as Quixote's esquire. Big-bellied, a mouthful of proverbs and the ever-faithful companion, Sancho follows his master and obeys his wishes, but not without speaking his mind - until he is forbidden to, since Quixote can't take his blabbering anymore; much to our amusement though, the knight lifts his ban. Matching Don Quixote's supposed insanity is Sancho's so-called stupidity. Sure, he's uneducated and illiterate, but could he be called stupid or dumb? He realizes very early that his master is delusional as far as his chivalry ways go and is often baffled by his actions - but still, never leaves his side; is that because of friendship and his unwavering loyalty? One of the most striking aspects of the novel is its language: written in a playful and light tone, almost evoking innocence, Cervantes was able to make his readers go through moments containing some evil doings and violence without feeling any disgust; some punches and kicks were rather funny and amusing. And how was one supposed to witness Sancho's unfortunate encounter with the blanketers without any giggles? Even being an one thousand pages book, it never feels tiring to read it: its episodic format, constituted mainly of short chapters, keeps you going on just for one more. Before you realize it, you're three hundred pages deep already. Contrary to popular belief that sequels are never as good as the original, a second volume of Don Quixote appeared in 1615 - first volume came out in 1605; nowadays it's mostly published as single work - and is just as good (and has often been regarded by critics as better) than the first installment for its greater character development and philosophical insights. Written by Cervantes partially as a response to an unauthorized continuation of the novel, this infamous part 2 is actually one of the matters discussed by Cervantes on his own sequel, as Don Quixote and Sancho find out through someone who recognizes their names that there's a book written about them. After hearing some of the book's contents, they dismiss it as being full of lies and injuries. This was one of Cervantes innovations where characters were aware that they were being written about. Don Quixote ranks really high on "best books ever written" lists - most of the time, it stands proudly at number one. Based on the number of adaptations alone - dozens of films, operas and ballets -, books that were influenced by it - Madame Bovary by Flaubert; The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Sterne and The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, to name just a few -, comics, cartoons and even a painting by Picasso and a sculpture by Dalí, it becomes quite clear that it isn't without reason that Don Quixote had an enormous artistic impact in the world and is considered to be one of the best works of fiction ever written. Rating: simply put, Don Quixote is an undeniable masterpiece that's both amusing and thought-provoking that never let me down: 5 stars.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    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. Whew ...... The narrator was great on audio but I couldn't keep up in my book for reasons so I just listened. Happy Reading! Mel ❤ 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. Whew ...... The narrator was great on audio but I couldn't keep up in my book for reasons so I just listened. Happy Reading! Mel ❤️

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

    “¡Cambiar el mundo, amigo Sancho, que no es locura ni utopía, sino Justicia!" Antes de comenzar a escribir mi reseña de este libro maravilloso, debo pedirle mis sentidas disculpas a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, puesto que considero una falta de respeto el no haber leído su Don Quijote de la Mancha mucho tiempo antes de todos los que leí y revisioné mucho después, especialmente y teniendo en cuenta de que me considero un lector de clásicos. Entonces, ¿por qué no empezar por el clásico más imp “¡Cambiar el mundo, amigo Sancho, que no es locura ni utopía, sino Justicia!" Antes de comenzar a escribir mi reseña de este libro maravilloso, debo pedirle mis sentidas disculpas a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, puesto que considero una falta de respeto el no haber leído su Don Quijote de la Mancha mucho tiempo antes de todos los que leí y revisioné mucho después, especialmente y teniendo en cuenta de que me considero un lector de clásicos. Entonces, ¿por qué no empezar por el clásico más importante de todos? No diré que es algo imperdonable, pero si lo considero una falta grave. Además, aclaro que una novela de semejante calibre merecería una reseña acorde a su relevancia y aunque no puedo aventurar que sea tan extensa como la obra, trataré de hacerlo de la manera más sentida posible. Don Quijote de la Mancha es considerada la primera novela moderna en la historia de la literatura, de eso no hay discusión ni vueltas. Podríamos considerar que hay antecedentes que nos remontan a la época de las epopeyas griegas, pero estas están escritas en hexámetros y no poseen el cuerpo de una novela propiamente dicha. Otro antecedente se le atribuiría a Los cuentos de Canterbury el Decamerón pero estos están orientados más al cuento aunque posean un hilo conductor entre los distintos personajes que narran sus historias en ambos libros. A mi entender, podría decirse que Gargantúa y Pantagruel, escrito por Rabelais en 1534 es la obra que más se aproxima al contexto novelesco del Quijote dado que ese caso sí nos encontramos con una historia cuya coherencia conceptual y argumental se equipara con la de Cervantes. Algunos teóricos e historiadores literarios pretenden atribuírselo a una novelita llamada "La Princesa de Clèves" escrita por Madame de La Fayette en 1678, pero eso es algo de lo que prefiero no opinar puesto que me ofende de sobremanera. No existe novela alguna que pueda considerarse como iniciadora del género como lo es Don Quijote de la Mancha, que fue la más traducida, la que más se ha editado y que en muchas ocasiones ha sido pobremente imitada, recreada o reversionada. Miguel de Cervantes fue un escritor total, puesto que incursionó en la novela, la poesía y especialmente el teatro, pero fundamentalmente y a partir del Quijote es considerado un auténtico innovador en la literatura considerando que la primera parte de esta novela fue escrita en 1605 y la segunda diez años más tarde a partir del enojo de Cervantes ante la publicación de una segunda parte apócrifa, escrita por un tal Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda en 1614, tergiversando la historia de Cervantes con saña y mala intención, algo que el mismo Cervantes se encargará de ajusticiar tanto en el prólogo como en pasajes de la segunda parte a cargo de su propio Quijote tomando a modo de burla al escritorzuelo de Tordesillas. En realidad, Cervantes no tenía intención de escribir una segunda parte pero esto lo obligó a sacar al ruedo a su hidalgo y escudero y a sellar su muerte hacia el final de la historia echando por tierra cualquier intento trasnochado de resucitar a su personaje. Retomo el concepto de innovador de Cervantes puesto que en Don Quijote podemos encontrar verdaderas características de intertextualidad, o sea, “la relación que un texto (oral o escrito) mantiene con otros textos (orales o escritos), ya sean contemporáneos o anteriores; el conjunto de textos con los que se vincula explícita o implícitamente un texto constituye un tipo especial de contexto, que influye tanto en la producción como en la comprensión del discurso (tomado esto de conceptos de teoría literaria). A qué me refiero con esto, a que constantemente en esta novela encontraremos conexión con otras obras como "Las Metamorfosis" de Ovidio, "La Eneida" de Virgilio, "La llíada" y "La Odisea", ambas de Homero, el "Orlando Furioso" de Ariosto, "El Lazarillo de Tormes", "El Vellocino de Oro" de Apuleyo, infinidad de referencias a los textos bíblicos del Viejo y Nuevo Testamento, el género picaresco, la sátira, el romancero, el barroquismo, obras del Renacimiento, la poesía y por supuesto, lo más importante de todo: las novelas de caballería. Tan innovador es Cervantes que incluso por primera vez incluye pequeñas novelas dentro de la novela principal, como lo son las de "El Curioso impertinente" y "El Cautivo", las historia de Dorotea, el Caballero de la Sierra, el cuento de la pastora Marcela, la curiosa historia de la infanta Micomicona, la dueña Dolorida, la Altisidora y la de doña Rodríguez. Este concepto de novela dentro de otras será explotado por gigantes literarios de la talla de Fiódor Dostoievski o Herman Melville, como podemos comprobar dentro de obras como "Los Hermanos Karamázov", "Los Demonios" o "Moby Dick", por nombrar sólo algunos títulos, lo que prueba la influencia del gran escritor español para las letras que le sucedieron. ¡Y todo esto dicho a partir de los diálogos de Don Quijote, Sancho Panza y un puñado de personajes que no llega a la veintena! ¿Quién puede negar la grandeza innovadora y pionera de Cervantes en la literatura? ¿Quién puede negarlo como uno de los padres de las letras universales? Don Quijote está narrado a partir de las crónicas de un musulmán, llamado el Cide Hamete Benengeli. Cervantes lo utiliza como alter ego para llevar adelante la historia del hidalgo en las dos partes. Luego de terminar la novela reconozco encontré un poco más difícil de leer la primera parte que la segunda. Tal vez, el español antiguo conspira contra el lector que no está acostumbrado a este tipo de narrativas. Leí la edición de Penguin Clásicos revisada por el catedrático de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y especialista en el Siglo de Oro español, Florencio Sevilla Arroyo, quien contribuyó con 1710 notas a pie de página para la primera parte y 1887 para la segunda, lo que demuestra cuánto cuesta adaptar una obra del siglo XVII a nuestros días. Confieso que en algunos casos me fue realmente útiles y en otros simplemente no me ayudaron a comprender la naturaleza del vocablo o frase, pero es preferible contar con 3597 notas al pie que con ninguna. Pero vayamos brevemente a nuestros personajes principales. Alonso Quijano (Quejana en la primera parte), devenido en Don Quijote es el símbolo del idealismo y el heroísmo que todos los seres humanos poseemos en cuerpo y alma y que expresamos en mayor o menor media. Su devoción total a las novelas de caballerías y a enarbolar las banderas de la causa del caballero andante, su idolatría a personajes como Amadís de Gaula y el mismo Orlando Furioso lo llevan a calzarse las armas, vestir su armadura y montar a Rocinante para buscar aventuras inventadas por su propia locura y sus visiones desmedidas. Y todo esto porque como bien lo aclara el Cide Hamete: "En resolución, él se enfrascó tanto en su lectura, que se le pasaban las noches leyendo de claro en claro, y los días de turbio en turbio, y así, del poco dormir y del mucho leer, se le secó el cerebro, de manera que vino a perder el juicio. Llenósele la fantasía de todo aquello que leía en los libros, así de encantamientos, como de pendencias, batallas, desafíos, heridas, requiebros, amores, tormentas y disparates imposibles, y asentósele de tal modo en la imaginación que era verdad toda aquella máquina de aquellas soñadas invenciones que leía, que para él no había otra historia más cierta en el mundo." Nombra a Sancho Panza su fiel escudero y sale al galope para luchar contra todos los encantadores que le persiguen y a la vez, jurando el amor eterna a su amor, doña Dulcinea del Toboso, una doncella que sólo vive en su imaginación y que nunca vio y la que ni siquiera su rostro conoce. Esta Dulcinea si es de carne y hueso en la novela: se llama Aldonza Lorenzo pero nunca se entera del amor que el Caballero de la Triste Figura le profesa eternamente. Se enredará en un sinfín de misiones peligrosas en las que algunas que casi le cuestan la vida. Algunas de ellas son arremeter contra molinos de viento confundiéndolos con gigantes de muchos brazos, sus cruces con el Cortés de la Muerte, el Caballero del Bosque, el Caballero de los Espejos (que es una chanza llevada a cabo por su amigo Sansón Carrasco para probar el estado de su locura), el Caballero del Verde Gabán, su lucha por apoderarse del yelmo de Mambrino que al fin de cuentas es una bacía de barbero, su incursión a la cueva de Montesinos, el rebaño de carneros que confunde con un enorme ejército y por sobre todo con una pesada broma que le juegan el Duque y la Duquesa durante su estadía en el castillo de estos. Todas estas visiones ilusorias o ideales inalterables de don Quijote serán tomadas por otros autores. Podría citar a Lewis Carroll para su "Alicia en el país de las Maravillas" y "Alicia a través del espejo", puesto que tanto molinos de vientos como un rebaño de carneros devenidos en ejército pueden compararse con los ejércitos de naipes y animales fantásticos que crea Carroll en sus libros. Los ideales quijotescos pueden apreciarse incluso en personajes como el Príncipe Mishkin en la novela "El Idiota" de Fiódor Dostoievski con su lema "La belleza salvará al mundo", o en el de Ignatius Reilly de "La conjura de los necios" de John Kennedy Toole. Nikólai Gógol escribe "Almas Muertas", considerado "el Quijote ruso" dado que su afinidad con el hidalgo español es sorprendente si tenemos en cuenta el viaje que realiza y las personas con las que se encuentra su personaje principal, Chichikov junto a su lacayo Petrushka y que tiene innumerables puntos en común entre ambas novelas, algo de destacar en Gógol del que se nota también poseer una verdadera admiración por la obra de Cervantes. Y comento esto por tomar sólo dos casos de la influencia que Cervantes ejerció en tantos escritores y que es vasta puesto que no hay autor que no le admire: como dijera previamente, Fiódor Dostoievski, Herman Melville, pero también Goethe, Gustave Flaubert y su "Quijote con faldas", como llamaron a "Madame Bovary", Jorge Luis Borges, Benito Pérez Galdós, Miguel de Unamuno. En fin, la lista es larga... Pero don Quijote es fiel a sus ideales, nunca ceja ni se detiene, se compromete a defender al débil, como a ese muchacho que está siendo azotado por su amo o aquella doncella que fue ofendida por su enamorado. Siempre tomará su lanza y nunca defraudará a todo aquel que necesite de su ayuda. Qué decir de Sancho Panza, ese escudero fiel, aunque temeroso enamorado del buen comer quien también persigue un ideal que al final consigue, el de ser gobernador de la ínsula Barataria que don Quijote le promete y a través del duque se le concede. Tan sólo diez días durará su gobierno, pero estará poblado de jugosas anécdotas. El significado de la amistad está fielmente demostrado en la figura de este personaje que nunca abandona, que acompaña y que se sacrifica por su amo más allá de su notoria cobardía. Queda también claramente establecido el contraste entre el idealismo de don Quijote y el realismo de Sancho Panza, y esto funciona a modo de perfecto equilibrio entre las partes. Ambos son dos polos opuestos que a la vez se suplementan y complementan hasta en un grado tal que uno no puede funcionar muy bien sin el otro. Se necesitan, se apoyan y se sostienen. Se transforman en uno sólo. Un rasgo único y maravilloso de Sancho Panza es su fuente infinita de refranes y frases. Todo lo que expresa se transforma en una maraña de dichos que a veces confunde y que hacen reír al lector. Y es que Sancho es uno de los personajes más divertidos y más queribles de la literatura. ¿Quién puede no sentir cariño por un personaje como él? Sancho es un personaje justo y necesario y otra hubiera sido la novela él no hubiera estado en ella. Leer todos esos refranes y proverbios de Sancho me hizo recordar instantáneamente a mi abuela, doña Palmira Alende González de Bueno, españolísima de origen, casada con don Inocencio Bueno, ambos originarios de Castilla la Vieja y, oh casualidad, que en la página final del Quijote encuentro que el Cide Hamete nomba su ciudad natal... Mi abuela, famosa por tener frases y refranes que nunca olvidé, que le decía a mi madre y que luego me trasmitía a mí fue una comparación perfecta para las frases de Sancho. Si me habré reído con sus dichos como "Al que juega con la miel se le pega" y "Eso es la lotería más segura", cuando se enteraba de que una de sus hijas estaba embarazada u otras como "Allá Marta con sus pollos" y la que más me gusta: "Mucho te quiero culo, pero no te alcanzo a besar"; todas estas frases son sanchezcas, cervantinas y españolas. Leer a Sancho fue recordar a Palmira. En resumidas cuentas, Don Quijote de la Mancha es la madre de todas las novelas, guste o no. Cervantes supo crear en Don Quijote un personaje único, inolvidable y por que no, alguien del cual todos tenemos algo, ya que de cuerdos y locos todos tenemos un poco. ¡Dios tenga en la gloria a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, al Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha y a don Sancho Panza! Este viaje maravilloso de 1215 páginas valió bien la pena.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fionnuala

    Can I tell you a story - only it may take a little time because sometimes a thousand trifles have to be recounted, as irrelevant as they are necessary, for the true understanding of a tale. Chapter I : Regarding what befell the narrator on visiting a theatre The comic operetta Don Quixote was being performed at my local theatre and I was amongst the audience at the first performance. It was a lively and entertaining re-enactment featuring the knight errant Don Quixote and his erring squire Sancho Can I tell you a story - only it may take a little time because sometimes a thousand trifles have to be recounted, as irrelevant as they are necessary, for the true understanding of a tale. Chapter I : Regarding what befell the narrator on visiting a theatre The comic operetta Don Quixote was being performed at my local theatre and I was amongst the audience at the first performance. It was a lively and entertaining re-enactment featuring the knight errant Don Quixote and his erring squire Sancho Panza, and many of their adventures were recounted. As I sat in the theatre watching the performance I found myself more and more drawn towards the happenings on the stage. I continually shifted in my seat, and half-rose from it many times. I kept wanting to intervene, to give Don Quixote a fine new coat of armour, for example, and to exchange the old shaving bowl he wore on his head for the real Helmet of Mambrino which, as an avid reader with a large library, I knew exactly where to find. I wanted to give his horse Rocinante a really good feed so that he would have some flesh on his poor bones (though I also knew that his and his master’s bony condition had saved them already from being eaten by a hungry lion). I wanted to give Sancho Panza an even larger role in the story, with longer speeches, more proverbs, and greater opportunity to influence events. I wanted to go backstage and meet with the producer - and perhaps get a glimpse of the man who wrote the libretto. But most of all I wanted Don Quixote to finally meet the Lady Dulcinea. Chapter II : In which the diverting adventure of a puppet master is recounted, along with other things that are really worthwhile. The operetta had reached the scene where Don Quixote is sitting in an inn along with other customers watching a traveling puppeteer’s production of the tale of a beautiful princess held captive in a castle. In the course of the puppet show, the puppet princess escapes from the castle and is pursued by her captors. Before anyone realised what he intended, Don Quixote sprang from his seat intent on rescuing the princess. He swung his sword at the hoard of cardboard figures, reducing them, and the entire puppet theatre to smithereens within minutes. Pandemonium ensued. Don Quixote’s reckless actions were just the example I needed. Though it wasn't easy to move fast in my long opera gown, I ran towards the steps at the side of the stage, heedless of the whisperings and murmurings of the people I’d disturbed on the way. Before anyone knew what I intended, I had joined the actors on the stage where the puppet master was loudly bewailing the destruction of his puppet theatre. Don Quixote was dreamily contemplating the havoc he had created when he glanced up and noticed me standing near him. The Knight of the Sorrowful Face never looked so happy. “The Lady Dulcinea at last, freed from her enchantment,” he said, dropping to one knee and covering my hands with kisses. Everyone was stupefied. “If that's the Lady Dulcurea”, muttered Sancho Panza, looking me up and down, “I’ll eat my packsaddle!” “Curb your tongue, you jester and longtime nuisance,” responded Don Quixote, “does it seem right to dishonour and insult a duenna as venerable and worthy of respect as she? Consider and reflect on your words before they leave your mouth.” I wasn’t terribly pleased to be described as a ‘duenna’ but I didn’t have time to debate the point because at that moment, the producer emerged from the wings and began to propel me from the stage. “The Lady Dulcinea will appear at the proper time, dear Don Quixote,” he whispered consolingly, “and those words you’ve just uttered about the duenna belong in a later scene. This is the scene with the puppet theatre in the inn. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” Then he signalled to the puppet master to carry on with his speech and pushed me into the wings - though I struggled a bit. I’d quite enjoyed being addressed as the Lady Dulcinea, duenna or no duenna. Chapter III : Which continues the tale of The Reader who was Recklessly Meddlesome “What do you think you're doing interfering in my production in such a ridiculous fashion?” the producer hissed into my ear, pushing me down a corridor and closing the door to the stage. "It's all so entrancing I just couldn't stay in my seat," I insisted excitedly. “And I want to help Don Quixote, and Sancho Panza too, I want to arrange things better for them." "What would you do for Sancho Panza?" he asked, standing with his back to the stage door and stroking his pointed beard thoughtfully. "I'd give him a lot more speeches," I said eagerly, seeing that he'd calmed down a bit. "Speeches that would show him to be cleverer than he appears at the moment because I'm certain he is really very clever." "And what would you do for Don Quixote?" "I would give him success in a tournament, and I'd like to think he might sometime meet the Lady Dulcinea, even if only briefly." He didn’t answer immediately, just continued to stroke his beard thoughtfully. It seemed that he might be considering my request. “Can I examine your spectacles,” he asked suddenly, holding out his hand. I was so surprised that I handed over my glasses immediately. “Tortoiseshell, I see,” he said, tapping the frames with his index finger, “I've only ever seen it used for peinetas. Can I borrow these spectacles?” “Absolutely not,” I cried, “I can’t see a thing without them and I’ll miss the rest of the play - I’m missing enough as it is.” “Hmm, if you won’t lend the spectacles, perhaps you’d lend your person?” he said with the trace of a smile. “After the interval there’s a short scene involving a duenna called Doña Rodríguez who wears spectacles, and since you want so much to be involved, you could take her place. She only appears once, and only has a couple of lines to deliver. But you must remove that ring,” he said, pointing to a ring I wore on my left hand. I was thrilled to be given a chance to take part and agreed immediately, especially when the director said he might tweak some of the later scenes to allow Sancho Panzo to have a greater role, just as I had requested. He went off to consult with Cide Hamete, the librettist, while a costume person brought me a long and elaborate headdress to wear, complete with a peineta. The whole thing resembled a nun's veil. I donned it unwillingly. What can't be cured must be endured, after all, and the habit does not make the nun. Chapter IV : Which deals wth matters related to this history and no other Immediately after the interval comes the scene where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are being welcomed to the castle of a wealthy duke. All the duennas in the service of the duchess stand in line to greet them. This was my big scene. Each duenna is supposed to be accompanied by a daughter so I also had a daughter whose job was to hold the end of my long headdress. As I stood with all the others, the two heroes passed so close to me I could have reached out and touched their sleeves. Just as they were about to enter the castle, Sancho stopped as if he'd forgotten something, and then he turned to me and said, "Señora Gonzalez, or whatever your grace's name may be..” "Doña Rodriguez de Grijalba is my name,” I responded, settling into my role, "How can I help you, brother?” I was ready to oblige him in whatever way I could until I heard what he wanted. I was to go outside the castle gate and find his donkey and take him to the stable, because the donkey apparently didn't like to be left alone under any circumstances. I didn't think this was at all the kind of duty a duenna was supposed to undertake, and so I told Sancho - in a slightly raised voice. Then we traded a few insults in which the word 'old' was mentioned. The duchess and Don Quixote overheard and the Don castigated Sancho severely (see his lines above) while the duchess explained that though I was wearing spectacles and a wimple, I was in fact still quite young. I was mollified and Sancho went on his way, muttering something about the need for duennas to show more generosity towards donkeys. Chapter V : Which recounts the second adventure of the Duenna, also called Doña Rodriguez I watched the next few scenes from the wings. It seemed to me that the Duke and Duchess were organizing some very elaborate entertainments at the expense of the two heroes, entertainments in which a fair amount of trickery and deceit was involved. The more I watched, the less I liked it, especially when Don Quixote was clawed by a bunch of angry cats he thought were demons. 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. “Ouch,” I cried, "help, help!", but to no avail (see update status: page 772) because Don Quixote was also being attacked, and since Sancho Panza was far away, he couldn't comfort either of us with his soothing proverbs. And so ended my unfortunate and embarrassing mid-night tête à tête with the noble knight. 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. I reckoned I might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, and how would an omelette get made if we didn’t break a few eggs, so I hid behind a windmill prop in the wings and waited my chance. 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. Postscript: Which recounts what will be seen by whoever reads it and other matters which will be understood if the reader reads with attention So now you've heard the story of how Doña Rodriguez, who was only supposed to have one scene in the opera, ended up having three, and of how this crazy reader, who recklessly entered the story, brought this mischief about. If you don't believe any of this could have happened, read Chapter LVI of Don Quixote, Regarding the extraordinary and unprecedentedly successful battle that Don Quixote of La Mancha had with the footman Tosilos in defense of the daughter of the duenna Doña Rodriguez. And when you’ve read that, read Chapter LXIX : Concerning the strangest and most remarkable event to befall Don Quixote in the entire course of his history which features not just one spectacle-wearing duenna but four! 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. What all that signifies however, I cannot quite grasp for the moment, but I’m hoping some attentive reader will soon tell me..

  7. 3 out of 5

    Nayra.Hassan

    يا عشاق القراءة..ها هي نهاية كل منا..فارس بلا قضية..بطل بلا بطولة. عاشق بلا حبيبة.. بصراحة بدأت في قراءتها مرغمة..من يود قراءة كلاسيكيات القرن 17..؟ و لكن سرعان ما جذبني كيخانا الطيب الشغوف بقراءة قصص الفرسان....فيحول نفسه لفارس احمق ويسافر خلف هدف وهمي.. من اجمل ما تم كتابته عن الحماقة عندما تتملك من الإنسان..قد تكون راكضا خلف مثاليات...أهدافك نبيلة..و لكن ماذا عن وسائلك؟ لم يترك سرفانتس طبقة او طائفة في اسبانيا الا وانتقدها ..لاقى فارسنا مهانة متكررة في.. خروجه. .او رحلته لاصلاح المايل !!ا ليعود منك يا عشاق القراءة..ها هي نهاية كل منا..فارس بلا قضية..بطل بلا بطولة. عاشق بلا حبيبة.. بصراحة بدأت في قراءتها مرغمة..من يود قراءة كلاسيكيات القرن 17..؟ و لكن سرعان ما جذبني كيخانا الطيب الشغوف بقراءة قصص الفرسان....فيحول نفسه لفارس احمق ويسافر خلف هدف وهمي.. من اجمل ما تم كتابته عن الحماقة عندما تتملك من الإنسان..قد تكون راكضا خلف مثاليات...أهدافك نبيلة..و لكن ماذا عن وسائلك؟ لم يترك سرفانتس طبقة او طائفة في اسبانيا الا وانتقدها ..لاقى فارسنا مهانة متكررة في.. خروجه. .او رحلته لاصلاح المايل !!ا ليعود منكسرا لكتبه تماما كما انكسر سرفانتس طوال حياته وتجاهله الجماهير.. و بعد وفاته تم طبع دون كيشوت مئات المرات و صارت قراءتها من سمات المثقفين ترجمة عبد الرحمن بدوى اكثر من رائعة

  8. 3 out of 5

    karen

    done quixote!!! pun quixote!! fun quixote?? none quixote... and that's not entirely true; there are some rollicking good times in here, but the first part is so much endlessly episodic violence, and while the second half becomes calmer and more focused, it never got my imagination engaged nor my blood flowing. in fact, although i know he really does love it, i can't help but feel that brian's recommending this to me is similar to the duke and duchess having their fun with don q. i feel like brian is done quixote!!! pun quixote!! fun quixote?? none quixote... and that's not entirely true; there are some rollicking good times in here, but the first part is so much endlessly episodic violence, and while the second half becomes calmer and more focused, it never got my imagination engaged nor my blood flowing. in fact, although i know he really does love it, i can't help but feel that brian's recommending this to me is similar to the duke and duchess having their fun with don q. i feel like brian is pulling a prank on me - that he does not want me to meet my reading goal and is laughingly crowing, "no, karen, you will not read 150 books this year!! i am preventing you!!" i will show you. despite the amount of time i was stalled on this one, i will come right back in the game. but this, i did not love this. and a lot of it is just context. i can appreciate it as an artifact and as a foundation for western literature, but it suffers from the fate of any work that was not edited professionally. tastes change over time. just in the same way that marilyn monroe would have probably had to drop fifteen pounds to rock our modern-day underfed runway ideal, so this book could lose a similar amount of text. stop frothing, bri, seriously if this turned up in some slush pile somewhere, there would be allll kinds of criticism, and it might even get passed around the office (lgm) a few times to the giggles of the editorial assistants: "this guy can't even keep the supporting character's wife's name straight!!", "this is inconsistent!!"," "this is repetitive!""what is this interlude that has nothing to do with anything else doing in here??" "this is flat-out stolen from another source!!!" an editor would go to town on this puppy. but we have the luxury of reading this 500 years after it was written and marveling at how fresh and modern it still sounds. and part of it is very modern. but grossman's frequent "cervantes probably meant ____here" or "this is the wrong reference" would not play in a modern novel. if jonathan safran foer had done this, there would be a crown of pretentious classics majors drawling, "i can't believe he said "perseus" when he meant "theseus"... " guffaw guffaw. but 500 years down the road, we can afford to be more forgiving. vanity press authors take heart! and i am aware i am being nitpicky, i am more just interested in pointing out how a lot of people who love this book would be very indignant to read something produced today that had so many obvious flaws. but i do admire longevity. i just couldn't get into it, overall. there are a lot of great moments here: the burning of the books (nooo!), the puppet show, don q. in a cage, and great non-action sequences in the discussions of the value of drama as a medium and the difficulty of translation and many other minor occurrences. the first half is just episode after episode of this delusional thug with some kind of 'roid-rage, meth-aggression attacking people and innocent lions, unprovoked, and his sidekick who is a grasping fiend who would sell you out for even the promise of a sandwich. and it all reads like marx brothers slapsticky stuff. i mean, how do you break someone's nose with a loaf of bread?? with the second half, it is better and becomes more self-reflexive and much sadder, but a lot of it still remains tedious. the second half, written ten years after the first part, frequently references the unauthorized sequel to don q that some guy wrote and pissed cervantes off. it is like a mean girl passing notes to the cool kids, "did you hear what he said??? that's my man he's messing with!!" etc etc. and i am not a lazy reader, even though my tastes tend toward a faster pace than this, but i have read plenty of slow-paced, dense prose that didn't make me take out my mental red pen and slash away at what i felt was extraneous or repetitious. i can appreciate the message about art and its impact and its potential and its place in the world, but i did not have fun reading this book. and i make no apologies. and for jasmine - who doesn't think there is anything complicated or pretentious in the spanish language - this qualifies, i think. it gets all meta in the second act. for its time, it was seriously mind-bending stuff.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Jason

    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. But I suspected there was something more to Don Quixote than what my 14 year-old impressions were telling me, and I’m glad I finally read this book in its entirety. Having done so, I’ve discovered that Don Quixote is not a bumbling idiot—far from it, in fact. 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. The combination of these traits makes him one of the most interesting characters in literature, and if it weren’t for his fallibility in misinterpreting reality (to put it nicely), the brilliance of Don Quixote would be elevated to unapproachable levels. 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!), but nonetheless this is the kind of writing that just pulls a reader along effortlessly. 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. Historically speaking, there was an erroneous book published in between Cervantes’s own two works under the pretense of being the “real” volume two of the tale of Don Quixote, but was attributed to an unidentified author with the pseudonym Avellaneda. It is likely that this fake version lit a match under Cervantes, and what I love about this little piece of history is that when Cervantes actually completes his authentic second volume, it is riddled with allusions to Avellaneda’s deceptive book, and these allusions become so ingrained in the text that it becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction. At one point Don Quixote meets someone who claims to know him, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the claimant has actually met Avellaneda’s Don Quixote, and the real Don Quixote is horrified that someone should have the audacity, not just to impersonate him, but to do such a horrible job impersonating him, that he goes to great lengths (and yes, we’re talking about the character here) to prove to anyone and everyone that he is the real Don Quixote. 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.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Cervantes, Don Quixote. "In a certain corner of la Mancha, the name of which I do not choose to remember, there lately lived one of those country gentleman, who adorn their halls with rusty lace and worm-eaten target, and ride forth on the skeleton of a horse, to course with a sort of a starved greyhound." Don Quixote is one my favorite comedies of all time. This opening phrase is steeped with irony and sarcasm. We are introduced to the loser town which the author is obviously embarrased to have Cervantes, Don Quixote. "In a certain corner of la Mancha, the name of which I do not choose to remember, there lately lived one of those country gentleman, who adorn their halls with rusty lace and worm-eaten target, and ride forth on the skeleton of a horse, to course with a sort of a starved greyhound." Don Quixote is one my favorite comedies of all time. This opening phrase is steeped with irony and sarcasm. We are introduced to the loser town which the author is obviously embarrased to have known and a out of date (rusty) and poor (worm-eaten) country gentleman (read "redneck") and given a less than 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 galantry (ride forth) and pretention (adorn their halls) and yet a sort of hopelessless (skeleton of a horse) that infuses this sentence with a life of its own. And, the rest only gets better.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    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. Wonderful. 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. 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. Wonderful. 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 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. Some of DQ's delusions hurt only himself (tilting at windmills), but others lead to suffering for his "squire" Sancho Panza (tossed in a blanket) or reluctant beneficiaries of his salvation (the beaten servant, beaten even more once DQ departs) and bemuse people (mistaking inns for castles, sheep for enemy armies and ordinary women as princesses) and are used to justify theft (the golden "helmet"/bowl) and non-payment to inn-keepers. 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. Some characters doubt his exploits, others pander to them, especially the duke and duchess who go to great lengths to treat him in knightly/chivalric manner, and provide new adventures (for their amusement, at the painful expense of DQ and Sancho). 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? Borges wrote the short story "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" (published in The Garden of Forking Paths ). Menard is an imaginary writer, described as if he's real, who “did not want to compose another Quixote” but “the Quixote” by combining the don and Sancho into a single character and by, in some sense, becoming Cervantes. What Don Q Means to Me (This section was added after an epiphany, which prompted me to make my reviews more personal.) I was wary of this book for many years; I feared it was too heavy in ounces and themes/plot/language, but only the former is true, and that can be obviated by a comfy chair (or an ebook). 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. My enjoyment was heightened by reading it whilst my son and his friend who was staying (both aged ~10) repeatedly watched and quoted Monty Python's Holy Grail - very appropriate!

  12. 3 out of 5

    Alex

    I guess the goal of reviewing something like Don Quixote is to make you less frightened of it. It's intimidating, right? It's 940 pages long and it's from 500 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. It's intimidating, right? It's 940 pages long and it's from 500 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 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 1615, 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. It invigorates the story; since Book II feels so different, I didn't get the feeling I often get with wicked long books where I kinda get bogged down around the 2/3 mark. In fact, I ended up liking Book II even better than Book I. 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." Right? 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.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    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. 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... so we have to read some good books early and do injustice to them. 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?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    992. Don Quixote = Don Quijote de La mancha (Don Quijote de la Mancha #1-2), Miguel de Cervantes The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha, or just Don Quixote, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears hig 992. Don Quixote = Don Quijote de La mancha (Don Quijote de la Mancha #1-2), Miguel de Cervantes The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha, or just Don Quixote, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. عنوانها: دن کیشوت؛ دون کیخوته؛ نویسنده: سر وانتس؛ انتشاراتیها: (روایت، نیل، وستا، روزگار، ) ادبیات اسپانیا؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: دون کیشوت؛ نویسنده: سروانتس؛ مترجم: محمد قاضی؛ تهران، انتشارات نیل، 1349 ؛ دو جلد جمعا در 1286 صفحه؛ یکی از کتابهای مجموعه ی ده رمان بزرگ جهان عنوان: دون کیشوت؛ نویسنده: سروانتس؛ مترجم: ذبیح الله منصوری؛ ...، چاپ دیگر: تهران، کتاب وستا، 1389؛ در 564 ص؛ شابک: 9786009104475؛ عنوان: دون کیخوته (دن کیشوت)؛ نویسنده: سروانتس؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ تهران، روزگار، 1390 ؛ دو جلد حدود 1300 ص؛ شابک دوره: 9789643741259؛ این اثر از کهنترین رمانها در زبان‌های نوین اروپایی ست. بسیاری آن را بهترین کتاب نوشته شده به زبان اسپانیایی می‌دانند. سروانتس بخش نخست دن کیشوت را در زندان نوشتند و نخستین بار در سال 1605 میلادی در مادرید منتشر کردند، و بخش دوم آن ده سال بعد در سال 1615 میلادی به چاپ رسید. دن کیشوت زندگی فردی را به خوانشگر نشان می‌دهد که دچار توهم است، و اوقات خود را با خواندن آثار ممنوعه می‌گذراند. در زمان روایت داستان، نوشتن و خواندن آثاری که به شوالیه ها می‌پرداخت، ممنوع بود؛ و شخصیت اصلی داستان، خود را جای یکی از همین شوالیه‌ ها میشمارد و دشمنانی فرضی را در برابر خویش می‌بیند، که االبته کوه‌ها و درخت‌ها هستند. «دن کیشوت» پهلوانی خیالی، و بی‌دست‌ و پاست که خود را شکست‌ ناپذیر می‌پندارد. او به سفرهایی طولانی می‌رود، و در میانه ی همین سفرهاست، که اعمالی عجیب و غریب، از وی سر می‌زند. وی که هدفی جز نجات مردمان از ظلم و استبداد حاکمان ظالم ندارد، نگاهی تخیلی به اطراف خویش دارد، و همه چیز را در قالب ابزار جنگی می‌بیند. تاکنون هیچ کتابی به اندازه ی «دن کیشوت» این‌همه مورد عشق و علاقه ی ملل گوناگون نبوده‌ است. بسیاری از کتاب‌ها هستند که تنها به یک قوم و ملت اختصاص دارند؛ و از حدود مرز یک کشور فراتر نمی‌روند، بسیاری دیگر نیز هستند که در میان ملل دیگر هم خواننده دارند، اما تنها مورد پسند طبقه ی روشنفکر یا مردمان عادی، یا طبقات ممتاز هستند؛ اما دن کیشوت تمام حصارهای جغرافیایی، نژادی، اجتماعی و طبقاتی را در هم شکسته، و عنوان خود را با دنیا و بشریت گره زده است ا. شربیانی

  15. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    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. As I leave my twenties, a mostly intolerable decade, survived thanks to all the books on my ‘read’ shelf, I raise a virtual muglet of hemlock to the written word and to Goodreads (which has steadily declined over the years, sadly, and not because of the users), and this masterpiece, the final orgasmic delight of this decade of life, the sort of novel that arrives once in a while and reinforces the most important thing: transcending the shittiness of existence through the soma of language. Cheers, pals!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    I “audio-read” this book for about two months on my one hour daily commutes to work. 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 I “audio-read” this book for about two months on my one hour daily commutes to work. 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. Most chapters tend to be episodic with several “side stories” interspersed into the main adventure of our heroes. There is even a fairly lengthy novella entitled: “The Man Who Was Recklessly Curious” which is kind of silly yet thought provoking. 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. Art by Realityendshere The novel’s greatest strength for me is the character development. 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. This novel is divided into two parts and I find “Part II” (originally published ten years after Part I) even funnier and more entertaining than Part I. In this second volume Don Quixote and Sancho have become legends in their own lunchtime as “Volume I” is published and become something of a best-seller. 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. ___________________________ Note: This audiobook version is translated by Edith Grossman and read amazingly well by George Guidall.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Belarius

    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. 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 it deserve to be called the greatest novel ever written? I'm willing to put it on the short list. Here's the thing: Cervantes published Don Quixote in the early 17th century, while Shakespeare was still working through his "tragic" phase (Hamlet & whatnot). 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 400-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.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Nicholas Sparks

    The best novel of all time.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Addled Knight Goes Looking for Trouble and Finds It: "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes “El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.” In "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote is one of my favourite novels, exasperating though it is at times with all those stories within stories, knockabout humour and cruel practical jokes. Simply because it’s so complex, we both admire and laugh at Don Quixote. When he speaks we are If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Addled Knight Goes Looking for Trouble and Finds It: "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes “El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.” In "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote is one of my favourite novels, exasperating though it is at times with all those stories within stories, knockabout humour and cruel practical jokes. Simply because it’s so complex, we both admire and laugh at Don Quixote. 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    بسمة الجارحي

    ربما تكون شخصية دون كيشوت أكثر شخصية هزلية في الأدب العالمي، ومضرب الأمثال في الشخصية التي تجمع بين الحماقة والنبل دون كيشوت الذي حارب طواحين الهواء بعد أن ظن عبثاً أنها وحش خرافي، بورجوازي متوسط الحال لديه ولع غريب يصل لحد الهوس بقراءة مغامرات وقصص الفرسان والتي قادته في النهاية إلى محاولة أن يكون واحدا منهم رغم اختلافات الزمان والمكان دون كيشوت بكل قيمه المثالية يصطدم بواقع أبعد ما يكون عن المثالية لتكون النتيجة مغامرات مضحكة ومأساوية في نفس الوقت تعبر عن نماذج بشرية حقيقية لم نعد نقابلها كثيراً ربما تكون شخصية دون كيشوت أكثر شخصية هزلية في الأدب العالمي، ومضرب الأمثال في الشخصية التي تجمع بين الحماقة والنبل دون كيشوت الذي حارب طواحين الهواء بعد أن ظن عبثاً أنها وحش خرافي، بورجوازي متوسط الحال لديه ولع غريب يصل لحد الهوس بقراءة مغامرات وقصص الفرسان والتي قادته في النهاية إلى محاولة أن يكون واحدا منهم رغم اختلافات الزمان والمكان دون كيشوت بكل قيمه المثالية يصطدم بواقع أبعد ما يكون عن المثالية لتكون النتيجة مغامرات مضحكة ومأساوية في نفس الوقت تعبر عن نماذج بشرية حقيقية لم نعد نقابلها كثيراً في حياتنا اليوم تتمسك بعفوية وصلابة بقيم ومبادئ لم تعد تلائم روح العصر، وتستمد معظم تجاربها من الخيال أكثر من الواقع

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Don Quixote, written around 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. A few interesting facts: (1) The book was originally written in Spanish, (2) I read an English translation as when I attempted to read the Spanish, between the changes in language over 400 years and my own limitations of the language at the time I read it, (3) this is considered one of the first "modern" novels and (4) all the great writers in the 19th century looked to this novel and author as t Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Don Quixote, written around 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. A few interesting facts: (1) The book was originally written in Spanish, (2) I read an English translation as when I attempted to read the Spanish, between the changes in language over 400 years and my own limitations of the language at the time I read it, (3) this is considered one of the first "modern" novels and (4) all the great writers in the 19th century looked to this novel and author as the person whose footsteps they should be following in... that's how good it was and how famous it was years ago. So many forget about it now, think of it as just some non-American book, a romance story or a play or film they watched. WRONG! It started as a great Spanish novel -- I'm only being funny with my little attitude here -- that influenced the entire world. If you haven't read it, you should definitely give it a chance. From romance to solid friendships, to travels and cultural experiences, this book tells of life's greatest pleasures and all the emotions that come with it. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Lyn

    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, may be the beginning of slapstick. This is regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, and in a universal group. It is very entertaining, and even at times laugh out loud funny, which is strange considering its age, written around 1600, a contemporary of Shakespeare’s works. Written in two parts, the second written and published ten years after the first, the second part more serious, and is in a different style. Though perhaps more jocular, t Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, may be the beginning of slapstick. This is regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, and in a universal group. It is very entertaining, and even at times laugh out loud funny, which is strange considering its age, written around 1600, a contemporary of Shakespeare’s works. Written in two parts, the second written and published ten years after the first, the second part more serious, and is in a different style. Though perhaps more jocular, the first part is inferior to the second, perhaps Cervantes had matured as a writer and had gotten better. Still, for a 400-year-old novel, it remains somewhat timeless. A good book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hussam H Aql

    إنه دون كيشوت يا سادة؛ الرجل الذي حارب «طواحين الهواء» تلك الشياطين المجنحة؛ مصدر الشرور في الدنيا! قبل أن يتيح له القدر أن يخوض معركته الضارية ضد هذا الجيش الجرار من «قطيع الأغنام» ليثبت فيها بطولته ويخلِّد إسمه، واللتان باءتا بالفشل بسبب خصومه الأشرار من «السحرة»؛ ليحرموه من نصره المؤكد. المسرحية مليئة بالإسقاطات التي تدعو للتأمل؛ ومع ذلك فهي ممتعة وطريفة إلى حد كبير، خاصة حوارات دون كيشوت مع تابعه المسكين سانشو. بعد الإنتهاء من القراءة، والتأمل قليلا؛ أدركت أن هذا الدون لم يكن مجنونا إلى هذا ال إنه دون كيشوت يا سادة؛ الرجل الذي حارب «طواحين الهواء» تلك الشياطين المجنحة؛ مصدر الشرور في الدنيا! قبل أن يتيح له القدر أن يخوض معركته الضارية ضد هذا الجيش الجرار من «قطيع الأغنام» ليثبت فيها بطولته ويخلِّد إسمه، واللتان باءتا بالفشل بسبب خصومه الأشرار من «السحرة»؛ ليحرموه من نصره المؤكد. المسرحية مليئة بالإسقاطات التي تدعو للتأمل؛ ومع ذلك فهي ممتعة وطريفة إلى حد كبير، خاصة حوارات دون كيشوت مع تابعه المسكين سانشو. بعد الإنتهاء من القراءة، والتأمل قليلا؛ أدركت أن هذا الدون لم يكن مجنونا إلى هذا الحد؛ فنحن بعد ربعمائة عام من أول إصدار لهذه الرواية؛ مازلنا نحارب طواحين هواء "دون كيشوت"، لازلنا في دوامة الأحلام والأوهام.. منعزلين عن العالم، نرفض كل شيء، ندّعي حمل لواء الحق والعدل والقيم النبيلة، ونبني أعداء من خيالنا، ثم نبتدع مبررات لهزائمنا المتكررة منهم، لنبرئ أنفسنا، فيزداد الوضع سوءً ولا جديد!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Mio caro don Chisciotte, sono passati decenni dal nostro primo incontro. Bimbetta settenne, m’accompagnasti per mano nel tuo mondo incantato. Imparai a vedere il bello grazie a te che, iniziata l’avventura, trasformasti in castello l’osteria. E sempre grazie a te capii che anche la più folle delle idee si può coltivare e nutrire come il fiore più bello. Ridano pure gli stolti. Continuino a ravvisare mulini a vento al posto dei giganti. Ci salutammo alla fine del viaggio. Sapevo che avrei potuto Mio caro don Chisciotte, sono passati decenni dal nostro primo incontro. Bimbetta settenne, m’accompagnasti per mano nel tuo mondo incantato. Imparai a vedere il bello grazie a te che, iniziata l’avventura, trasformasti in castello l’osteria. E sempre grazie a te capii che anche la più folle delle idee si può coltivare e nutrire come il fiore più bello. Ridano pure gli stolti. Continuino a ravvisare mulini a vento al posto dei giganti. Ci salutammo alla fine del viaggio. Sapevo che avrei potuto ritrovarti. E così è stato. Oggi, ti ho seguito come feci allora. E ritrovo la dignità, la saggezza e la bontà che varcano i confini della follia, quella follia che appartiene esclusivamente ai puri d’anima. E che forse vien chiamata follia in luogo di saggezza o sapienza intrisa d’intelligenza e nobiltà. Vien chiamata follia la smisurata ambizione di sanare soprusi e ingiustizie. Perché solo quella follia fa nascere chi deve resuscitare quelli della Tavola Rotonda, i Dodici di Francia, i Nove della Fama. Solo quella follia dà vita a chi deve cacciare nell’oblio i Piatir, i Tablante, Olivante e Tirante, i Febo e i Belianigi e tutti i cavalieri erranti. E se per il tuo coraggio senti “scoppiare il cuore in petto per la voglia che ha di affrontare quest’avventura, quanto più essa si annunzia difficile”, a me che ti seguo fa lo stesso effetto. Il cuore scoppia in petto ogni volta che la fantasia sfida con irriverenza la realtà, scoppia in petto quando l’ordinario si fa straordinario, quando la diversità se la ride della normalità. Il cuore scoppia in petto per ogni diversità che si fa vessillo e procede a testa alta senza piegarsi al volere dei “normali”. Quei “normali” che vivranno savi e morranno folli, mentre tu, come tutti i puri di cuore, potrai fare il contrario. Non prima d’aver lasciato al mondo un segno indelebile. Un sogno. Non importa quale. Ognuno troverà il suo. Viviamo folli finché possiamo, ché a morir savi siam sempre a tempo. Giace qui l’hidalgo forte il cui valore arrivò a tal punto che ebbe in sorte che la morte non trionfò della vita con la morte. Poco il mondo calcolò. Se ebbe d’orco la figura, un’insolita misura la ventura in lui provò: visse pazzo e morì savio. Adiós, don Chisciotte. Un abrazo.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Lyndz

    So the reason I read this book I think is actually kind of fun. About 8 years ago I was at a 2nd hand store. See, I like to go to those sometimes to pick up glass flower vases to do etchings on and misc other cheap items that I can be artsy-fartsy with. Anyway, So I am at this 2nd hand store and I see this dark wooden (seemingly) hand-carved character. He is about 10-12 inches tall and he has the look of a Spanish knight of some sort. His stature is tall and lanky, with a big chip in his helmet. So the reason I read this book I think is actually kind of fun. About 8 years ago I was at a 2nd hand store. See, I like to go to those sometimes to pick up glass flower vases to do etchings on and misc other cheap items that I can be artsy-fartsy with. Anyway, So I am at this 2nd hand store and I see this dark wooden (seemingly) hand-carved character. He is about 10-12 inches tall and he has the look of a Spanish knight of some sort. His stature is tall and lanky, with a big chip in his helmet. He has this pointy beard and a very stoic look on his face. I thought he was just charming and he was only a few dollars so I bought him with no idea of who he was and promptly perched him on my mantle at home. A few years later I had a friend come over and he informed me that my favorite little stoic knight was actually Don Quixote. Of course I had heard of Don Quixote before but I had never read the book so I didn’t know enough about him to make the connection. I have since received a beautiful dark wooden windmill that I have proudly placed behind Quixote. I am still on the lookout for a Sancho Panza wooden squire. I have no idea if my little wooden figure is valuable (nor do I care) or even hand carved but his wonderful, proud, gallant face always brings a smile to mine. My statue looks very similar to this picture that I found on the web: Random musing over. Start book review. I read this one a long time ago but I liked it. It’s a classic, and one of the few that is actually an enjoyable read. Everyone should read this book at least once in their life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    I was in the fifth grade, devouring The Hardy Boys and Chip Hilton, on the cusp of adolescence, when a nun put this in my hands. Holding the thickness, I wondered at the malicious minds that devised new tortures for parochial education. But soon, a few chapters in, the world turned for me, colors changed; things and people, I realized, were not what they seemed. So, when I smile softly, or bristle instead, at the passing panoply, the quotidian things in life, it's because long ago someone laid C I was in the fifth grade, devouring The Hardy Boys and Chip Hilton, on the cusp of adolescence, when a nun put this in my hands. Holding the thickness, I wondered at the malicious minds that devised new tortures for parochial education. But soon, a few chapters in, the world turned for me, colors changed; things and people, I realized, were not what they seemed. So, when I smile softly, or bristle instead, at the passing panoply, the quotidian things in life, it's because long ago someone laid Cervantes on my desk. Yes, there are faces in the clouds but not everyone sees them. When you're next stopped at a light, turn up your car radio, and match the baselines to the variety of walkers, even if they don't know they're dancing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    1050 pages. & not once was I like, "This ain't worth it." It is! The novel about novels (my favorite motif of all lit is lit within lit... storytelling...you know...?) is actually a novel about love. The three voyages by Don Quixote are obvious metaphors for life and all the characters he meets along the road are romantically inclined, bored and in want of change. Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza, provide ample entertainment for them and for us, the reader. This relationship lasted a m 1050 pages. & not once was I like, "This ain't worth it." It is! The novel about novels (my favorite motif of all lit is lit within lit... storytelling...you know...?) is actually a novel about love. The three voyages by Don Quixote are obvious metaphors for life and all the characters he meets along the road are romantically inclined, bored and in want of change. Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza, provide ample entertainment for them and for us, the reader. This relationship lasted a month and I cannot recall a single detriment. It is structured like The Arabian Nights and The Canterbury Tales---that is, much is told of the character telling the story, and of his or her potential maddness or sanity. This dualism is explored to the fullest & characterized by moments of sheer happiness and almost-delirium. There is a world established here, and did it actually occur? The characters fall into apocrypha and then into stark reality. It is no mistake that Cervantes foretold what the two adventurers realize at about page 900: they will be famous for all time and their images shall be ingrained everywhere. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are immortal in Spain and can be seen pretty much in every town traversed. The self-sppointed prophecy lives to this VERY DAY!!!! That fiction merges with history, that the book is self consious and post modern... all these things and more are part of the Quixote legend. I say the book is about love because everyone suffers from the disease: Don Quixote loves his tales of knight errantry, and his own views of chivalry clash with those of the folks he meets. He is progressively antiquarian. Sancho is in love with his master, has a very stable view on life (he attains the title of governor and insists, ten days later, to quit and continue his life with his knight) and talking in proverbs he displays, until Book II of course, a wisdom that has obviously evolved, like the story, like the character, like the reader. There are plenty of characters in love with damsels, there are peasants in love with a good laugh (even the ass and Rozinante, the "Knight of the Rueful Figure"'s steed, find eternal companionship) and then there is the reader, an IMPORTANT FIGURE IN THIS ADVENTURE (also) who is sure to fall under the enchantment of this classic that defies conventional storytelling and has absolutely no rival.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marita

    Several eloquent reviews have been written about this classic, so only a few words from me. I loved both the beautiful writing and the humour. The humour that appears to be slapstick but has dark undertones, humour that stings, bites and jabs at society.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Introduction Further Reading Acknowledgements Chronology A Note on the Text --The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha Notes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elie F

    Dissatisfaction with Society, Aggression towards Oneself Don Quixote, God's minister on earth, the great knight errant who rights the wrong, is disappointed with the world of his time. He has a half-nostalgic half-progressive vision of a world where people don't tell between thine and mine, where maidens in their modesty wander wherever they wish, where there is no deceit or malice but pure justice and truth. But reality is disappointing. The pastoral harmony is degenerating while Christian faith Dissatisfaction with Society, Aggression towards Oneself Don Quixote, God's minister on earth, the great knight errant who rights the wrong, is disappointed with the world of his time. He has a half-nostalgic half-progressive vision of a world where people don't tell between thine and mine, where maidens in their modesty wander wherever they wish, where there is no deceit or malice but pure justice and truth. But reality is disappointing. The pastoral harmony is degenerating while Christian faith has nothing but an empty form; thus, our Don Quixote with his moral compass and grand ambition sets out to right the wrong by imposing his Chivalric idealism on the pastoral world. However, dissatisfaction with society very quickly turns violent and aggressive. Don Quixote's enemy is the entire society/humanity outside himself; every aggression he commits, he does so by pushing his own natural boundary towards madness; and with only imaginary/metaphysical enemies, he turns aggression towards himself. He infects some imaginative/daring ones with his idealism and stirs them into action, but most of the world with its existential boredom only stares at Don Quixote like a passively smirking windmill, perhaps recognizing in him its own mad idealism behind the monotony of pastoral tranquility. The world laughs at Don Quixote, while Don Quixote laughs at the world (more honorably). Our hero Don Quixote ultimately surrenders, but his legacy lives on as medieval men step forward into modernity.

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