More on Don Quixote de la Mancha


My adventures with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza continue.  I am up to CD #16 of 29, having finished Volume I and moved into Volume II.  I wondered how Cervantes could have possibly written a series of exploits of a deluded Knight Errant and his simple sidekick that would hold a reader’s attention.  How different could they be from one another?  It is more complicated, and richer, than that.  A humble inn is used as a gathering place for travelers who happen upon one another and are encouraged to tell their captivating stories.  (Is this what The Canterbury Tales is like?  I haven’t read it, for shame.)

There is a so-called meta-story within Volume I.  It is a manuscript found at the inn, which the travelers listen to for entertainment as it is read aloud by one of them.  Don Quixote literally takes a rest from the main story, retiring to his bedchamber overnight as everyone else stays up to hear the story.  (Very operatic in form–the singer who sings and sings in Act I may get Act II to rest.)  The title of this story is “The Impertinent Curiosity” and it stars Anselmo, Camilla, and Lothario.  Yes, I think this is where “lothario” comes from.  Anselmo and Lothario are best friends.  Anselmo marries Camilla, and his impertinent curiosity about whether Camilla would still be faithful if sorely tested by the advances of his friend is what causes the downfall of them all.  Its well-told.

Volume II was actually written 10 years after Volume I.  Volume II is very cleverly introduced.  Its content is, so far, more philosophical than farcical.  I am intrigued…

5 comments on “More on Don Quixote de la Mancha”

  1. Teri, so delighted to tag along with you on your journey with Cervantes. You have inspired me to revisit Don Quixote and I have the audiobook on my “for later” shelf at the library.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be possible for a reader to start with Volume II, which may well have been Cervantes’s idea. Sancho Panza has absorbed the way Don Quixote’s mind works, and is using it to make his life easier. I do appreciate hearing from Teresa Panza, too. She is a woman with her feet on the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Don Quixote was so taken with the story unfolding in a puppet show (on my drive home from the symphony this afternoon) that he attacked the puppets with a sword, beheading one and maiming others. When he comes to his senses after such incidents, he blames enchantments visited upon him by his enemies and offers recompense for damages. It’s hard to counter such an argument; in fact, Sancho Panza is beginning to use the idea as a matter of convenience when Don Quixote wants him to do something impossible. Here is your lady love. If she looks like an ordinary country maid, it’s because you’ve been enchanted and can’t see how magnificent she is!

      Liked by 1 person

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