Beginning Don Quixote. “…A Manual for Life.”

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After a day of distributing treats to the children in my class, it seemed a fitting end to come home and find a few treats for myself.  Particularly this novel which I have been meaning to read for ages:

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It is the 400th anniversary edition of Don Quixote with an introduction by Amherst College professor, Ilan Stavans. But the best part to me is that the publisher, Restless Books, has put forth a series of videos and book group discussions  “which serve as a map to this restless classic, which speaks more eloquently than ever to our perennial willingness to sacrifice in order to fully realize our dreams.” Videos 1 and 2 were released on October 6; the first book group discussion (online) begins November 6. It carries on until February 6 when the final group book discussion takes place.

Therefore, you, too, have time to read and discuss Don Quixote with Ilan Stavans, who describes this book as, “…not only a novel but a manual for life. You’ll find in it anything you need, from lessons on how to speak and eat and love to an exhortation of a disciplined, focused life, an argument against censorship, and a call to make lasting friends, which, as Cervantes puts it, ‘is what makes bearable our long journey from birth to death.'”

All the reader has to do is look for this symbol as he reads:

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I’ve earmarked each page, eight in all, which indicate a video session is available. I’m so eager to begin and hope that you, too, may feel inspired.

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7 thoughts on “Beginning Don Quixote. “…A Manual for Life.””

  1. We read the Edith Grossmont translation of Don Quixotic in our book club a few years back, maybe 3 or 4. I loved it. It is very funny and also very wise. I am not ready to read it again yet but may one day. It is my favourite book I would take to the desert island if I had to. So much in it. Enjoy😊

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    1. I have begun the Edith Grossman translation (several times) which I enjoyed very much. What happened to me is that I become so confused about Don Quixote. Is he noble? Or, is he a buffoon? This is what i plan to read through to find out. I can see why you would take it to a desert island; there are many pages and lots of substance in this novel!

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  2. Thanks for the tip on the video series; I’ll have a look. And how timely, too – I recently started the John Rutherford translation of Don Quixote and am just coming to the second part.

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    1. Scott, I’m so interested that you’re reading this now as well! Great timing is right, and I hope the videos are helpful to you. If you’d like, I can email you the part of the book from which each one is released.

      I’m certain you will have many astute observations on this book, which I tend to look on as a beast. Not in length, but in content. I don’t mean that to sound adversarial to Cervantes, I’ve just been confused over the character of Quixote. But, that could largely be because I’ve not yet read it in its entirety. Still, windmills as giants are a little bizarre to me…

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    1. I’ve been interested in it for a long time, too, even picking it up again for Richard’s Spanish Lit Month. I haven’t progressed past the windmills part, but this time I’m determined to do so. I can understand being a little “scared” to take it on. 😉

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