Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances, that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray – he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants – Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together, and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years.
With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote generally has been recognized as the first modern novel. The book has had enormous influence on a host of writers, from Fielding and Sterne to Flaubert, Dickens, Melville, and Faulkner, who reread it once a year, “just as some people read the Bible.”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! It’s one of my all-time favorite novels and was even better the second time around. This was a reread for me, having read it in high school. For this read, I attempted to interpret several excerpts in Spanish and followed along with the Open Yale Course, SPAN 300 which was excellent and it made for a rich learning experience about comparative literature, art, and Spanish language and culture. I would highly recommend this book to everyone and to check out the course as a supplement to your reading as well.
The author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, wrote with such depth, expression, humor, and passion. It transcended literature in the areas of ethnic, cultural, and gender expression at the time it was written and today, it marks such a bountiful telling of a story and text with representation, idealization, and realism that anyone at any life stage can appreciate.
The storyline itself was so full of adventure, emotion, and surprises. A picaresque novel at its finest.