Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Don Quixote

There is a new translation of Don Quixote out. The introduction is written by Harold Bloom, and this is an excerpt from it. Good read. I haven’t read Cervantes in thirty years, maybe I should try it in between hours of unconsciousness due to this flu. Bloom:

"Yet how sly and subtle is the presence of Cervantes! At its most hilarious, Don Quixote is immensely sombre. Shakespeare again is the illuminating analogue: Hamlet at his most melancholic will not cease his punning or his gallows humour, and Falstaff’s boundless wit is tormented by intimations of rejection. Just as Shakespeare wrote in no genre, Don Quixote is tragedy as well as comedy. Though it stands for ever as the birth of the novel out of the prose romance, and is still the best of all novels, I find its sadness augments each time I reread it, and does make it ’the Spanish Bible’, as Miguel de Unamuno termed this greatest of all narratives.

Don Quixote may not be scripture, but it so contains us that, as with Shakespeare, we cannot get out of it to achieve perspectivism. We are inside the vast book, privileged to hear the superb conversations between the knight and his squire, Sancho Panza. Sometimes we are fused with Cervantes, but more often we are invisible wanderers who accompany the sublime pair in their adventures and debacles."

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