Lost in a translation

26 Sep

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Okay, so Don Quixote is … wierd (and yes, I always spell it that way), though earns “cool” points purely through the author’s name. Wouldn’t you be impressed if told something was written by “Miguel de Cervantes“?

I don’t speak modern spanish, let alone 17th century spanish, so I’m reading a recent translation by Edith Grossman. Apparently it captures the spirit of the work, which is a satire of the “epic tales of the adventures of a chivalrous knight” genre so popular at that time. The titular Don (an assumed title) is old, mad, chaotic, unpredictable, silly, pompous, and completely out-of-touch with reality. His squire isn’t much better, being sucked in by tales of being made a governor of an insula won by the valour of Don Quixote’s mighty arm (paraphrased from common remarks).

It is, however, a bit silly, and doesn’t seem to have much of a progressing plot, instead being a series of incidents in their quest for adventure. For that reason, and the sheer size of the work (over 900 pages, though it seems that is made up of two books that were originally published several years apart), I doubt I’ll read all of it. Instead, I’ll cherry-pick the odd chapter here and there if the sub-title sounds interesting (though some of them are misleading, and that’s being kind).

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Posted by on September 26, 2010 in Don Quixote


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