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Don Quixote
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Don Quixote - Revisited > Part 2: Chapters XX - XXVII

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message 1: by Thomas (last edited Sep 10, 2019 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thomas | 4430 comments Three or four iconic adventures crop up in this week's reading:

1. The Wedding of Camacho. Is this story similar to the ones about the lovelorn in Part 1? There seems to be a similar pattern, but this one has a twist which makes me want to ask: When is deception justified? Is it true that all is fair in love and war?

The dancers who troop in as part of the wedding celebration are a fascinating detail, though perhaps a minor one. Still, the eight nymphs in two lines under the headings "Love" and "Interest" seem to demand interpretation.

2. What happens to DQ in the cave of Montesinos? Why does the author feel the need to warn the reader that the account may be apocryphal?

3. Master Pedro and his amazing monkey, a different kind of deception which plays into DQ's delusion in a most comical fashion. Are we as readers subject to a similar delusion when we are engrossed in a story?

4. The story of the councilmen braying. Okay, so there's the donkey theme again, but there's also the imitation or "mirror" thing again. Mimicking the donkeys is initially recognized as a pastoral tool, then a talent, and finally as something to be mocked, disrespected, and fought over. This ridiculous context becomes an occasion for one of DQ's most reasonable and prudent speeches, which in turn provokes a violent response. Maybe it's better to be crazy?


Rhonda (rhondak) | 202 comments I thought it interesting and, in the effort at stirring discussion, which seems to have diminished as of late, that Telemann wrote a one-act opera Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho or, Don Quixote at Camacho's Wedding. If anyone has any interest, I offer a site where it can be heard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XixRt...

It makes liberal use of Spanish themes and rhythms, especially in the choruses. Telemann was almost 80 when he wrote this with poet Daniel Schiebeler's libretto. Telemann was the most brilliant and well known composer of his age. Funny how history works.


message 3: by Susanna (new)

Susanna | 145 comments I love that the "monkey" gets in a snarky dig about Sancho's wife drinking wine while carding her flax.


Rhonda (rhondak) | 202 comments Susanna wrote: "I love that the "monkey" gets in a snarky dig about Sancho's wife drinking wine while carding her flax."

I think it is interesting that this libretto has Sancho saying that while he hates his wife, he loves his donkey. (“Mein Esel ist das beste Tier.”)
I wish I could find an English libretto.


message 5: by Susanna (new)

Susanna | 145 comments Rhonda wrote: I think it is interesting that this libretto has Sancho saying that while he hates his wife, he loves his donkey. ."

Yes, Sancho and his wife are united in their love for the valuable donkey.


message 6: by Susanna (new)

Susanna | 145 comments But, why doesn't Sancho's donkey have a name?


David | 2681 comments Is it really an acnient Greek custom to declare victory and raise a monument when the enemy does not show up or is Cervantes poking fun at the men of the village and the ancient Greeks??
The men in the squadron stayed there until nightfall, and since their adversaries had not come out to do battle, they returned to their village joyfully and happily; if they had known about the ancient custom of the Greeks, on that spot and in that place they would have raised a monument to their victory.
Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote (end of Vol2, Chapter 27)



message 8: by Thomas (last edited Sep 15, 2019 10:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thomas | 4430 comments Susanna wrote: "But, why doesn't Sancho's donkey have a name?"

Good question. Maybe if he had a name he would have been missed when he disappeared unaccountably in Part 1. But Cervantes also seems to forget Sancho's wife's name. Maybe these lapses are indicative of Sancho's bumbling personality... Or maybe they tell us something about Cervantes himself, that he had a Sancho-like side that would make these kinds of mistakes.

I often think while reading this book that DQ and Sancho have a yin-yang like quality. They're polar opposites who complement each other and in some way are dependent on each other to create a whole. Most of us have had idealistic visions of greatness for ourselves, and some time later found ourselves wallowing in some sort of sensual indulgence. DQ and Sancho stand in for those very human qualities rather well.


Thomas | 4430 comments David wrote: "Is it really an acnient Greek custom to declare victory and raise a monument when the enemy does not show up or is Cervantes poking fun at the men of the village and the ancient Greeks??"

The latter, I think. Setting up a trophy would have been an appropriately grandiose gesture for a squadron who waited until nightfall for an old man with a basin on his head to come charging back at them.


message 10: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary | 205 comments Thomas wrote: "the eight nymphs in two lines under the headings "Love" and "Interest" ..."

Instead of "Love" and "Interest," the Burton Raffel translation I am using translates this as "Love" and "Money." Both "Interest" and "Money," although related in meaning (?), strike me as both uncharacteristically didactic and forced. Might a Spanish speaker in this discussion share any insights about this?


Monica | 53 comments Gary wrote: "Thomas wrote: "the eight nymphs in two lines under the headings "Love" and "Interest" ..."

My Spanish version actually mentions "the Cupid god" and "Interest".


message 12: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary | 205 comments Monica wrote: "Gary wrote: "Thomas wrote: "the eight nymphs in two lines under the headings "Love" and "Interest" ..."

My Spanish version actually mentions "the Cupid god" and "Interest"."


Thank you for looking at this. As evidenced by the eight nymphs, "Love" and "Interest" are both positive themes to be wished for the wedding couple. I don't think that the literal translation (Interest) or the loose translation (Money) convey the positive sense of the episode.


Rhonda (rhondak) | 202 comments Susanna wrote: "But, why doesn't Sancho's donkey have a name?"

Scholarship suggests that the naming of animals depended upon one's station in life. While it is natural for an hidalgo to give his faithful steed, (reminds me of Shrek!) a glorious name, as a peasant it would have been an unnatural thing for Sancho to name his donkey.

With that said, I thought the donkey's name was Dapple, probably according to its appearance.


message 14: by Susanna (new)

Susanna | 145 comments Thanks, Rhonda. It makes sense that the donkey's lowly station in life would not afford him a name.


Thomas | 4430 comments Sancho calls him "el rucio," which means the gray. I'm not sure where the translation "Dapple" comes from, since I thought dappled was more like "mottled?"


Kerstin | 568 comments Thomas wrote: "The story of the councilmen braying."

This had me in stitches. Could it be that Cervantes had a bit of fun at the expense of our (elected) officials? I'm not so sure I'll get this out of my head anytime soon ;-)


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