Sunday, November 11, 2012

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote
First Published in 1605

Many of the books discussed before on this blog have been on “Best Books” lists including Things Fall Apart, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Crime and Punishment, The Odyssey, and King Lear. There is one book that is consistently ranked high on all the best books’ lists and was voted “best literary work ever written,” Don Quixote.

Don Quixote is a parody of the knighthood tales that were popular at the time.

PARODY n. a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing.
Miguel de Cervantes published the first part in 1605 and the second part ten years later in 1615. The work was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into many languages including a great number of different English translations. An interesting fact is that Don Quixote is the second most popular printed work, behind the Bible.

Don Quixote is a middle aged country man who decides to set off on adventures to save the world. Being influenced by the many tales of knighthood and the chivalric code that he has been reading, he begins his adventures. He gets himself knighted and finds himself a noble squire, Sancho Panza. Don Quixote is a man out of time trying to live by the code that has long been forgotten.

The first part of the book is silly and makes fun of many tales of knighthood. The second part is more serious and deals with philosophical issues of deception. There are several free versions of the book in the kindle store.

Don Quixote - Free
The History of Don Quixote, Volume 1, Complete - Free

Don Quixote (Modern Library) - $9.99
Don Quijote (Spanish Edition) - Free

If there is one book that is considered a must read for most people, it has to be Don Quixote. The book was an instant success and has remained popular for more than 400 years! I am reading this book in English and I will try to read it in Spanish when I am done. If your kindle has text-to-speech, you can have it read the greatest novel to you while you drive back and forth from work!

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