Friday, May 8, 2020

What Wred's Reading: Don Quixote

You know a novel is good when it's four centuries old and still makes me laugh out loud.  I've read Don Quixote many times, often because I had to teach it, and it still makes me laugh.  It's baggy, but keep plowing on through and you will soon hit some deadpan or slapstick.  When the characters are vomiting on one another, you know you're reading the classics equivalent of a stupid Hollywood comedy, but it also digs a bit deeper into philosophical issues, which is why it has lasted so long.

This translation is a good one, but I've read a few different ones, and as long as the humor is conveyed I have no deep feelings one way or another about one translation being superior to another.  But this hardcover edition is a nice one.  I bought it at a point when I was trying to get really nice editions of books I liked.  A flooded basement (it's a long story about how the books ended up there) soon cured me of Rare Book Collector Disease, and a few moves since then have caused me to shed most of my belongings because I was tired of lugging so much stuff around (it's a slow process, so I still have many things to shed).  It's an irony that one spends half of one's life acquiring things, and the next half shedding them.  If you're sensible that is, some people hang onto a lifetime's accumulation of stuff, just so their relatives can hurriedly chuck most of it in a dumpster after their death--that's a little too irresponsible for my tastes.  I've had to clean out some dead people's houses; it's a big pain, and work that should be done slowly and joyfully by the owner/collector soon becomes a mindnumbing race to the end by others.  Of course, I've benefited from that as well.  I think I got an awesome reggae cd box set from a dead person's garage sale for $3 (of course, I sent it on its way after I was done enjoying it to another new owner), and I am sure that some dumpster diving treasures came from similar situations.

Anyway, if you think classics are boring, then give DQ a try.  It's a hoot!

If you want to read a newer humorous book, then please read my latest novel!

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