02 September 2010

Half a Don Q

I'm halfway through the antics of Don Quixote. This spine-cracking reading is once again part of  the readalong over at Winstonsdad's Blog by Stu, who I want to thank here as I just won a book giveaway from him! Gracias, Stu!

I'm still catching on. It's Week 6 and I'm supposed to cover up to page 600 (I'm reading a hundred pages a week in my Penguin edition/Rutherford translation). As if reading my mind, Stu just declared a cease-read; the reprieve is to last for another week. However, I have an unexpected travel to Manila and so I'm still stuck at the end of Part I (page 479). I still hope to make some progress over the weekend.

The first part of this prancing, entrancing novel ended with more extravagant exuberant excursuses (say that word 20 times) for our ingenious knight. Not least of our hidalgo's glorious adventures is his own caging, like an animal. Talk about irreparable book-madness. Despite his involuntary confinement, it's quite heroic how Don Q still retained his errant spirit. He's still in fighting form against all the elements that conspire to defeat him. It seems like the whole of first part, not only those curious events set in the castle, is enchanting and enchanted.

I found another article on the translations of this "sloppiest" of masterpieces: "Don of a new era" by Ian Garrick Mason. After four centuries, the new era is still smirking in delight.


  1. I don't know if it interests you but I've just discovered that two of the world's very earliest recorded readers of Cervante's masterpiece must be Sir Thomas Browne with his copy of 'Pleasant notes upon Don Quixote' (1654) along with his son Edward Browne and his 5 volume French edition(1695), according to the 1986 facsimile of the 1711 Sales Auction catalogue of their libraries. Unless of course you know of earlier recorded readers......

  2. Most interesting, yes. If Browne read it in English, he must have read the translation of Thomas Shelton: The History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant, Don Quixote of the Mancha (London, 1612) (Part I) or The History of Don Quixote (London, 1620) (Parts I and II).

  3. Don Quixote is my grandfather's favourite book. Though for some reason, I never get around to reading the classics. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one!

  4. Thanks, aloi. It's easily becoming a favorite of mine too. In Part I alone, it already is.