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Discussion - Don Quixote > Week 8 - .Part 2 throuigh Chapter 50

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments It looks as though the discussion activity is fading as we get deeper into Part 2. Have people sort of had enough of Cervantes? (I have to admit that I was losing fascination with him as things seemed to go on and on without a whole lot of change, but things seem to pick back up in this section as Sancho gets his island and lots of other things happen.)

Is the wooden horse supposed to conjure up the fall of Troy? I don't see how one could have wooden horse in a book without Troy jumping to one's mind, but how does it relate?

BTW, I love Sancho saying (Chapter 41) "you see me pregnant and you want me a virgin." Great image!

What do you think of Sancho's judgments (chapter 45)? Is this consistent with the character Cervantes has been giving us up to this point?


thewanderingjew | 184 comments I think the last paragraph of chapter 41. It is on page 727 in the Grossman translation.
"Sancho, just as you want people to believe what you have seen in the sky, I want you to believe what I saw in the Cave of Montesinos. And that is all I have to say"
Does that mean that DQ is admitting that he did not see what he told the others he saw when he descended into the cave? Is he becoming aware of his "madness". Is it a pretense that he is now admitting or is he simply saying, if you want me to believe you, you have to believe me?



thewanderingjew | 184 comments Everyman wrote: "It looks as though the discussion activity is fading as we get deeper into Part 2. Have people sort of had enough of Cervantes? (I have to admit that I was losing fascination with him as things s..."

It is hard to maintain momentum because the book seems to go on forever like the Energizer Bunny. I am up to chapter 54. I keep on truckin'



message 4: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4409 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "I think the last paragraph of chapter 41. It is on page 727 in the Grossman translation.
"Sancho, just as you want people to believe what you have seen in the sky, I want you to believe what I saw ..."


I found this remark really startling. I agree, he is becoming more self-aware, or at least he's starting to doubt himself. It is a really striking moment of recognition: DQ sees a reflection of his fantasy in Sancho's fantasy, and he knows that to sustain it requires an act of faith, supported in this case by friendship. DQ seems to be breaking down, but he's not ready to give up just yet. Like Augustine's famous entreaty: "Lord make me chaste, but not yet."


message 5: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "Sancho, just as you want people to believe what you have seen in the sky, I want you to believe what I saw in the Cave of Montesinos. "

Is Cervantes making another classical reference here, to the Allegory of the Cave in Plato's Republic???


message 6: by Dianna (new)

Dianna | 393 comments Hey, I know I am way behind in the reading so I really can't comment but please keep making the comments because I find them interesting and I, for one, am planning on sticking it out to the end. It would be like, well, not reading a book to the end. ;p
I mean I stuck through with Atlas Shrugged and this one is so much more entertaining to me.


message 7: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (elizac) | 94 comments I finished the whole book but will admit to getting really bogged down by the time the story reaches the Duke and Duchess. I found myself pretty disgusted with the behavior of the nobles they go to some pretty remarkable lenghts to amuse themselves at the expense of Dq and Sancho.


My question on this section though is this... In Ch 36 the Grossman edition notes that the Duchess' comment "... that works of charity performed in a lukewarm and halfhearted way have no merit and are worth nothing." was supressed by the inquisition. Why? It seems like a fairly benign comment to me and yet it was one of the only things in the whole book supressed. I found one article that didn't really clear up the issue for me so I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas.


message 8: by Dianna (new)

Dianna | 393 comments I am just now coming to the part where they are going to go out again and I have just read the argument between Sancho and his wife. I think it is apocryphal because maybe it is trying to show us how much emphasis society puts on money and wealth. What his wife says is very true, really. Why don't the men ever listen to us women? he he

I'm getting my second wind on the book. I hope it's enough to last me until the end.


thewanderingjew | 184 comments Eliza wrote: "I finished the whole book but will admit to getting really bogged down by the time the story reaches the Duke and Duchess. I found myself pretty disgusted with the behavior of the nobles they go t..."
My question on this section though is this... In Ch 36 the Grossman edition notes that the Duchess' comment "... that works of charity performed in a lukewarm and halfhearted way have no merit and are worth nothing." was supressed by the inquisition. Why? It seems like a fairly benign comment to me and yet it was one of the only things in the whole book supressed. I found one article that didn't really clear up the issue for me so I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas.


I agree, the behavior of the nobility was disgraceful. Those lower than themselves, in station, are viewed almost as toys! Is this the information you found about the quote in question? Its source is: http://www.studiolum.com/en/silva6.htm
Truthfully, I don't have a clue as to what it means.

"Then, why is it that the Inquisition took umbrage only with this phrase from Don Quixote II, 36?

Perhaps we can arrive at the solution if we keep in mind that Cervantes, familiar with the Adagia of Erasmus, and surely an avid reader of the Empresas morales by Juan de Borja (the first part of which, let us not forget, was published in 1581), recalled the concentrated words of the latter author, that carry forth the rich tradition that we have commented in our Silva 1. We need to refer to this reading in order to fully appreciate the intuition that we we are expousing here. The recollection that Cervantes appears to have of Borja’s phrase ("es mucho peor, y de mayor inconveniente, el proceder floja y tibiamente en lo que se emprende que si del todo se dexasse de hacer" [it is much worse, and of greater inconvenience, to proceed in a lukewarm and halfhearted way in that which one undertakes, than if it is left totally undone:]) leads, as we have seen in the aforementioned Silva, directly to an adage commented on by Erasmus. In the same sense of the dialectic between will and action, and the need to undertake actions decisively and without vacillation. And so readers and censors of refined sensibilities were able to capture this.

And now a final question would be: why then, did Borja escape offical censorship? There does not appear to be an easy answer. The Empresas morales, a work that was not widely disseminated in 1581, may simply have escaped the notice of the Inquisition in its first edition, published in Prague, and by 1632 it was already too late to apply to the book that "retrospective zeal" of the inquisitor Zapata. And then, in 1681, when the second edition came out in Brussels, the texts of Erasmus were no longer subject to such minute quibbles.

In any event, we believe that the indisputable similarity of enunciation of the texts of Juan de Borja and of Cervantes, should not escape the attention of critics of Don Quixote".


message 10: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (elizac) | 94 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "Eliza wrote: "I finished the whole book but will admit to getting really bogged down by the time the story reaches the Duke and Duchess. I found myself pretty disgusted with the behavior of the no..."

Yup that's the one I found. Every time I read it It sounds like Gibberish in my brain. I have to wonder if I'm missing something simple.




message 11: by thewanderingjew (new)

thewanderingjew | 184 comments Eliza wrote: "thewanderingjew wrote: "Eliza wrote: "I finished the whole book but will admit to getting really bogged down by the time the story reaches the Duke and Duchess. I found myself pretty disgusted wit..."

Whatever it is your missing, I am missing it too. Maybe someone else can explain it!



message 12: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 2438 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "Eliza wrote: "thewanderingjew wrote: "Eliza wrote: "I finished the whole book but will admit to getting really bogged down by the time the story reaches the Duke and Duchess. I found myself pretty..."

Anyway, it's a good find, both of you.



message 13: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4409 comments Everyman wrote: "What do you think of Sancho's judgments (chapter 45)? Is this consistent with the character Cervantes has been giving us up to this point?
"


These are great! Sancho is confident and smart in these moments, each of which seems to beg for a proverb of its own. It's quite a contrast to DQ, who is literally falling apart at the seams. (Well, his clothes are anyway. The rest of him seems to be following suit.)

I think Sancho's judgments are consistent with his character, as long as his character is allowed to follow a trajectory and not remain static. They might not be consistent with his character in the first book, but in the second he seems to have become more than just DQ's sidekick.


message 14: by thewanderingjew (new)

thewanderingjew | 184 comments Thomas wrote: "Everyman wrote: "What do you think of Sancho's judgments (chapter 45)? Is this consistent with the character Cervantes has been giving us up to this point?
"

These are great! Sancho is confident a..."


I think, in many cases, DQ gives Sancho more credit for what he says than he did before and he displays more patience to him.


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Dianna wrote: "I am just now coming to the part where they are going to go out again and I have just read the argument between Sancho and his wife. "

I loved that chapter. But on a deeper level, it really is about dreams vs. reality, isn't it? The pragmatic vs. the possible?

Every time I get to thinking that DQ is just about a guy getting beaten up in as many ways as possible, I come across those nuggets which raise much more serious thoughts.



message 16: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Thomas wrote: "I think Sancho's judgments are consistent with his character, as long as his character is allowed to follow a trajectory and not remain static. They might not be consistent with his character in the first book, but in the second he seems to have become more than just DQ's sidekick."

That's a good point. Sancho definitely seems to be developing as a character in this book. I don't see as much character development in Quixote, though.




message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Patrice wrote: "Wasn't this a time in which the feudal system was breaking up? People were going to the New World to make their fortunes. It's hard for me to believe that Cervantes intent was to say that people should know their place."

I'm not really up on social development in Spain in that era, but I think we're a bit early for much emphasis on upward mobility. Weren't the ones going to the New World to make their fortunes still, at this point, mostly the Spanish (and English and Portuguese) nobility? The Puritans coming to the New World for religious freedom were a bit later than this, weren't they?

Somebody must know this time in history better than I do. But it does seem to me that Sancho is expressing a point of view a bit ahead of his time. Or am I wrong, and getting my eras muddled?




message 18: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4409 comments Patrice wrote: "I've noticed that there are many references to the color green. There's the green knight, of course, but the color is mentioned in other contexts, again and again. I've been doing a search and ha..."

Interesting observation! On the face of it, green is symbolic of spring or youth -- I wonder if it might not be used in a contrapuntal way, set against the aging of DQ. The splitting of his green stockings comes to mind as symbolic in this regard. Gilliam is right, I think -- DQ is to some extent about aging.


message 19: by Peregrine (new)

Peregrine I think the correlation of the wooden horse to the Trojan Horse is apt. Don Quixote is suspicious enough to want to check out what the horse had in its stomach, citing the episode of the Trojan Horse. And then, there were firecrackers in the horse's belly, which overthrew DQ and SP, just as soldiers in the Trojan Horse overthrew Troy. I think that's a reference most readers would have gotten at the time, and found funny, for sure.

As far as green, I'm thinking of Robin Hood, who wore green . . . And maybe green was camouflage wear for hunting? Just guessing. Green was, and is, also the liturgical colour of hope, and is used in Ordinary Time, i.e. not Christmastide, Eastertide, Advent, Lent, or feast days. Green is also the colour of growing fields. Some associations which come to me without a conclusion, lol.


message 20: by Peregrine (new)

Peregrine Patrice wrote: "I just looked up Christian symbolism, green and found that green is the symbol of the triumph of life over death. "

"Now the green blade riseth
From the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth
Many days had lain.
Love lives again, that with the dead had been;
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green."

Christian hymn, sung to Noel Nouvelet





message 21: by Peregrine (new)

Peregrine Yesss! Touchdown!


message 22: by Dianna (new)

Dianna | 393 comments I am currently reading the duke and duchess part and for some reason all the pagentry reminds me of the story The Emperor Who Had No Clothes...


message 23: by Dianna (new)

Dianna | 393 comments I'm really not sure why Patrice. I just know that in the story of the emperor it was finally a little boy who voiced his thoughts that the emperor was naked because all the high and mighty adults were too scared they would look bad if they pointed out what they saw. I guess I am thinking that maybe all this deceit and humiliation of DQ and Sancho is another way Cervantes is trying to tell us the emperor has no clothes. I don't know how else to describe it.


message 24: by thewanderingjew (new)

thewanderingjew | 184 comments Patrice wrote: "So you're saying that Cervantes is saying that the nobility are no better than anyone else? I definitely see that! Sancho makes a great governor because he has a good heart and a brain, but no n..."

I think it is perhaps that people just see what they want to see. It is in the eyes of the beholder...
They write their own reality and fantasies.


message 25: by Dianna (new)

Dianna | 393 comments I do think Cervantes was saying that Patrice. I also think that people see what they want to see or even if they don't see what they think they are supposed to see they will pretend they do in order not to be looked on as a fool. But it seems like DQ didn't care if he looked like a fool so his fake reality was better for him than some people's real reality. I like this line he gives Sancho after the episode of thed afflicted Duennas and the Trojan Horse..."if thou wouldst have us credit all thou has told us of heaven, I expect thee to believe what I saw in Montesinos' cave--I say no more."

While I was reading this part I kept thinking of when I was a child and I would have imaginary play and I keep going back in my brain to the Bible where Jesus says that unless we are like a child we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.


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