Don Quijote – Miguel de Cervantes

“Se enfrascó tanto en la lectura que se le pasaban las noches leyendo de claro en claro y turbio en turbio, y así, del poco dormir y del mucho leer se le secó el cerebro, de manera que vino a perder el juicio… Rematado ya su juicio, vino a dar en el más extraño pensamiento que jamás dio loco en el mundo, y fue que le pareció convenible y necesario, así para el aumento de su honra como para el servicio de su república, hacerse caballero andante, y irse por todo el mundo con sus armas y caballo a buscar las aventuras”

Reading Don Quijote has been delightful, mostly because of the circumstances surrounding this experience. I read through it in it’s original language, alongside Amable Sánchez, a man whose every word is poetry, and who has been reading, thinking about, and discussing Don Quijote for many years now.

This book has reinforced my belief in the beauty of the spanish language. Every sentence, every word, so carefully chosen, so carefully placed, have made of this book one of the most pleasurable, yet complicated, readings I’ve encountered.

This is a book about ideals, about being true to oneself, and about living an honorable, respectable life. This is a book about a crazy man who says the sanest things you’ve ever heard, but just from time to time that is.

The essence of Don Quijote lies in the numerous lessons which the protagonists teaches us throughout the book, and in its underlying philosophy of liberty.

Instead of writing more about the book I’ve decided to list the lessons I’ve learned by accompanying Don Quijote and Sancho in their adventures.

  • Be a meaning maker. In the first chapter, Alonso Quijano turns his life around by giving new meaning to what otherwise would be an ordinary life. He names his horse Rocinante, the most beautiful woman on earth and his romantic interest Dulcinea, and even himself Don Quijote de la Mancha. From then on, he had a very clear purpose and sense of how he view the world, which gave him power to pull through the hardest of times.

 

(don’t be alarmed, this is a ‘post in progress’)