Don Quixote read-along.
Part 2, chapters 11-20
As mentioned some time ago, I have decided to pursue my reading of Don Quixote with Lory of The Emerald City.
As we had already read Part I, we started together at Part 2.
You can read here her comments and mine on the first chapters, posted on April 7.
I have been very slow on this, because of other time consuming projects, and also technical issues. But I have found a solution, and now plan to keep reading on a regular basis.
So without further ado, here are my (meager) comments for chapters 11-20.
I’m sure Lory will have much more to add, so please come back to read her comments.
In this part, I find Sancho morphing more and more, and definitely much more cultivated and apt with words:
Sancho recalled him from his reverie. “Melancholy, senor,” said he, “was made, not for beasts, but for men; but if men give way to it overmuch they turn to beasts; control yourself, your worship; be yourself again; gather up Rocinante’s reins; cheer up, rouse yourself and show that gallant spirit that knights-errant ought to have. What the devil is this? What weakness is this? Are we here or in France?
Don Quixote himself sees him as the “good Sancho, sensible Sancho, Christian Sancho, honest Sancho”.
But of course, more crazy adventures are expected.
Chapter 16 on poetry is not without recalling all the passages in the first part about chivalry novels, though Don Quixote manifests here a very open mind in the matter. Who is, by the way, still considered by others as a madman (see chapter 17).
I really enjoyed the confusion introduced by the “Knight of Mirrors” who claims he has vanquished Don Quixote, and how the dialogue evolves between them. Though Sancho recognizes the squire as his neighbor!
As usual though, Don Quixote cannot accept such a simple truth that would not involve some type of magic!
WHAT DO YOU THINK
ABOUT THESE CHAPTERS?
ANYTHING SPECIAL STRIKES YOU?
Yes, Sancho really gets going with his language and his mixed-up proverbs. I find him a very interesting counterpart to Don Quixote’s single-mindedness. He seems to represent the part of us that struggles with reality vs. our own desires, and half-knows what it’s doing yet doesn’t want to fully take hold of the truth. E.g. he fools his master over Dulcinea, so he knows her “enchantment” is all his own deception. Yet he still seems to believe he can get wealth and power out of this crazy quest. It reminds me of how I deal with life sometimes, creating a big muddle out of my own wishful thinking.
I’m also interested in how Cervantes has brought in the meta-fictional element, since the first half of Don Quixote’s history has already been published and people now know about him through it. They are meeting him differently because of this, and the legend and the life are mixing in intriguing ways. Since Cervantes presents himself as re-telling someone else’s book, there’s also commentary about what really happened or why the author framed things in a certain way — with cross-cultural implications since the supposed author was a Moor rather than a Christian. Again, it makes me think about how the stories that are told about us, or that we tell about ourselves, shape our experience and our actions. Adding even more to the question, “what is real?”
Thanks for posting and for reading along, I will follow up in a couple of weeks!
Yes, Sancho appears so much more complex than at first sight!
If I were young and had time, lol, I would like to write something about meta-fiction in this book, there are so many elements about it! Obviously, I totally missed that the first time I read the work, or what parts of the work I read. Utterly fascinating to me.
LikeLiked by 1 person
So it is just the two of you? I participated in an on-line group read of The Odyssey last year. Forgive me if I already mentioned this. I completed the whole book that way, made comments, read everyone else’s comments. It was a new to me way to read a book but felt a bit overwhelming. I like to discuss books with a group of people in real life, after I have finished the book. I am old fashioned. But doing The Odyssey that way did get me through a challenging read.
anyone can join and add comments. I think it’s indeed the first read-along I do with only one other active reader.
Pingback: Don Quixote read-along. Part 2, the end | Words And Peace
Pingback: Don Quixote read-along. Recap post | Words And Peace