Daniel Pecheur's Reviews > Don Quixote

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
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Jul 20, 10

bookshelves: world-literature, favorite-masterpieces
Read in June, 2010

"'Tell us, now, who is the greater madman, he who is so because he can't help it, or he who is so of his own free will?'"
"'This is the spot, O Heavens, that I select to bewail the misfortune into which you yourselves have plunged me. This is the spot where the moisture from my eyes shall swell the waters of this little stream, and my unending sighs shall stir incessantly the leaves of these mountain trees in testimony of the pain that my tortured heart is suffering. And you, rustic gods, whoever you may be, who dwell in this inhospitable place, listen to the plaints of this unlucky lover who long absence and some fancied jealousy have driven to mourn among these rocks and to complain of the cruel temper of that ungrateful beauty, the sum total of human beauty! And you, wood nymphs and dryads, who are accustomed to haunt the thick mountain groves, may the nimble and lustful satyrs, who crave in vain your favors, never trouble your sweet repose that you may help me to lament my evil fate, or at least be not weary of listening to it! O Dulcinea of El Toboso, day of my nigh, glory of my sorrow, cynosure of my path, star of my fortune, may Heaven grant you in full measure all the boons you pray for.'"
An amazing and innovative, superbly entertaining treasure of literature. A long and colossal work indeed that demands some dedication but is truly worth the endeavor. There is nothing else like Cervantes' masterpiece. It's enchanting, humorous, philosophical, outrageous, absurd, beautiful and all around mesmerizing. There simply aren't words I can use here that wouldn't be totally trite and cliche to try expressing the tremendous value of this great two-part work. It's considered the most beautiful literary gem of the Castilian Spanish language which Cervantes masterfully elevated to its peak and it's not possible to fully appreciate the brilliance of the work in its translation. However, one still gets a feel for the sheer beauty of the language, even reading it in English. There are many, many marvelous descriptions and lovely tableaux of words ingeniously welded into the picaresque tales of Don Quixote, the nobleman from La Mancha who has been deluded by an excess of reading about the knights-errant, accompanied by his loyal squire Sancho Panza upon his donkey Dapple. Their many interchanges are cleverly amusing and humorous. There's just something magical, enchanting and pure about the stories of Don Quixote in spite of all the grandiose absurdity and inexhaustible web of misfortunes in which the two main characters constantly find themselves. It's a work of mammoth scholarship, built on a world of knowledge surrounding medieval literature and all the tales about chivalry and knightly romance, yet stamped all over with an unforgettable uniqueness that makes Don Quixote a totally original work. There's nothing else like Don Quixote and I feel greatly, greatly enriched as a lover of literature having read this literary gold mine.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sophiebird Yes. Yes. Wish I could have said it so well. My concern now after reading Don Quixote is that any reading to follow will pale.


Shawn Sorensen I think you got it - Cervantes obviously did a ton of homework before writing Quixote, yet made something so utterly and completely original. Thanks for the quote, too.


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