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Don Quixote Review

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Don Quixote

Published: 1605 (this translation published in 2003)
Pages: ~940 (in two parts)
Completed: No
Enjoyed: No

Seriousness: Not very. Apparently the second part (published 10 years later) it more contemplative, but I didn’t get that far.
Genre: Satire/Adventure/Chivalry
Difficulty: Fairly easy if you have a decent translation
Rating: M – lots of violent brawling, probably not of much interest to kids

Recommend: It’s worth a try. You may like it more than I have.

Up next … it’s anchors aweigh in hot pursuit of Moby Dick.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Don Quixote, Review

 

Just Not That Into It

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*sigh*

I’m sorry, but I just don’t enjoy Don Quixote. I find it repetitive and a bit silly. It’s possibly one of those works that makes more sense in context (i.e. to those familiar with the novels of chivalrous knights errant that it is satirising, and Spanish culture of the time). I’m sure someone else would enjoy it (after all, they keep making Will Ferrell movies), but not me. I’ve skimmed the remainder of the first part, and not been inspired to continue (but then, I am known to be fussy).

Lest anyone complain that I’m not giving it a chance, I did read around 150 pages worth. At least now I have a bit of background to attach various references onto.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Don Quixote

 

Lost in a translation

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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