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Discussion - Don Quixote > Week 9 - through the end of Book 2

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Sorry to be late posting this -- our power went out yesterday evening (the outage came from the mainland -- what did you do, Laurel? :) -- and I was off island all day today.

We come now to the last section of Don Quixote. It's been a long but fascinating journey -- let's finish it up in style! After this week, we'll have one more week for discussion of the book as a whole (have you firmed up your views yet on a) what Cervantes was trying to accomplish with the book and b) how successful he was?).




message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4406 comments I think the concept Cervantes started out with was a parody of chivalric literature, but as he got into it he had characters who outgrew their roles. Instead of caricatures he had real characters, people with genuine soul. The first book seems rote at times, with set scenes and extraneous dramatic interludes, but the second book comes alive. DQ struggles with his delusions and in the end becomes more human than madman, and Sancho is more than just a comic companion.

So much of the second book seems to be a response to the first book, and the rogue sequel, that it really appears that Cervantes took offense at the reception that the first book received and resolved to make the second installment greater and more definitive than the first. And though there is the whiff of cliche about it, there is no way to define your character more than to kill him off.

If there was one thing that bugged me about this book it was the quick and shallow death of Don Quixote. In the course of a few pages (after hundreds) he regains his "sanity" and dies. It's almost as if an editor stepped in and said "Enough already!" It doesn't exactly ruin the book as a whole for me, but I found the ending deeply disappointing. It seems cheap somehow.


message 3: by Peregrine (last edited Aug 27, 2009 08:52PM) (new)

Peregrine Thomas wrote: "I think the concept Cervantes started out with was a parody of chivalric literature, but as he got into it he had characters who outgrew their roles. Instead of caricatures he had real characters, ..."

Way to tell it, Thomas! I like your points, and am definitely with you on the ending of the book.




message 4: by Laurel (last edited Aug 28, 2009 12:24PM) (new)

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 2438 comments Peregrine wrote: "Thomas wrote: "I think the concept Cervantes started out with was a parody of chivalric literature, but as he got into it he had characters who outgrew their roles. Instead of caricatures he had re..."

I agree. Great post, Thomas!

As for the ending, how about this? A sane Don Quixote is not Don Quixote at all. There is nothing left to do but die.

Does Don Quixote remind anyone of Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey?


message 5: by Peregrine (new)

Peregrine Patrice wrote: "His death also prevents another unauthorized sequel from being published."

And that DQ dies sane and shriven keeps Cervantes clear of the Inquisition.



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