And The Beat Goes On

April 8th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

We were dragged kicking and screaming to Don Quixote. Such is the power of cliche to affect perception. If we recall correctly, we were the only one in our Freshman English Literature (not real title) class to finish the book. Within a week. Though we never publicly admit to being wrong, we may have been, well, less than well informed coming into the whole experience.

We cannot, however, write eloquently on the subject no matter how deep our love. Don’s 400 years old, and it takes one more masterful than we to capture the importance of the work:

Now I’m not suggesting that I would waste hours of my time to read Don Quixote or any other book because Nabokov said so (incidentally, I’ve read that he was not a fan of the Quixote at first). No, I’m saying that I came to read Don Quixote out of a seemingly inevitable collision with the book through others I’ve read. It is a part of the conversation.

Don Quixote is (arguably, but let’s not go there) the first novel as we know it. It was the first quest novel. The other six were developed soon after. Don won a blue ribbon for innovation in literature. how many novels spawn their own adjectives, their own catch phrases (really, how many)? How many novels inspire other forms of art?

Why read Don Quixote? Because to write is to steal, and it’s better to steal from the masters. They have the originals.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Candy // Apr 8, 2005 at 9:48 am

    I read Don Quixote when I was 12, and it blew my freakin’ mind. I literally reeled for days, weeks afterwards. I need to re-read it soon. At that age, I had no notion about novels, of FICTION not existing in the form than what I was so immersed in; I just thought it was the best adventure story, ever. I wonder how my adult eyes will view it?

    Probably as one of the best adventure stories, ever. Heh.

  • Booksquare // Apr 8, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    I think so. It is great reading, though more sad, in my opinion. Besides, this is a case where an older man may be just the ticket!