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Read of the Week: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

June 29, 2016

 

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A classic you might not have picked up before, our Read of the Week, Don Quixote, considers what it us to believe in an ideal.

This week’s book in the spotlight comes from Merseycare Reader in Residence, Selina.

For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Although it was written over 400 years ago the language of Don Quixote is thoroughly accessible to the modern day reader; in fact at times it is hard to believe we are reading a novel written at the beginning of the 17th Century.

Cervantes’ novel is a homage to reading, readers and story-telling. It tells the story of an unlikely hero, Don Quixote – an impoverished country gentleman – whose excessive reading of chivalric literature leads him to neglect himself, to the point that his mental health suffers. In this altered state he decides to put the world to rights, setting out on a journey as a Knight errant.

9780199537891It is a fantastical, complex and sophisticated story which has endured over four centuries as it continues to speak to us readers on a very real and human level about what it is to believe in an ideal.

It is one thing to write as poet and another to write as a historian: the poet can recount or sing about things not as they were, but as they should have been, and the historian must write about them not as they should have been, but as they were, without adding or subtracting anything from the truth.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

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