The End is in Sight!

26 June 2012

Of the Eurozone crisis? Obamacare?

No on the first. Maybe on the second. (Don’t worry, Scalia has a gold plated health insurance plan, and it’s for life) But the real cause for celebration is that I am a mere 30 pages (out of 1200) shy of completing my reading of Don Quixote in the original castellano, and the completion of my personal journey to become, as promised on the book jacket, ‘culto’ (a cultured person). I can’t wait!

While I wait for this blinding flash of enlightenment, let me fill you in on everything that’s happened to El Caballero de la Triste Figura and his faithful escudro in the last 500 pages, which was about the last time I shared with you a summary of what has going on, so hopefully you would never have to read it yourself.

Okay? Got it?

Yes, sadly, in the second half of the book almost nothing happens. One theory for why Cervantes’ tank ran dry in the Segunda Parte is that, before he wrote it, someone actually produced a knock off Part II, capitalizing on the huge success of Part I. This apparently dispirited the author and created some horrendous case of Writer’s Block in him, with the result that the second 600 pages really sucks. The only redeeming part for me was Sancho Panza, who becomes a more fully realized character, far eclipsing his one dimentianal Master and providing the occasional muse bouche.

So why did I plod on? Two reasons. One is the Sir Edmund Hillary ‘Because it’s there’ rationale, although had I known how dull it was going to be, I would have invested the time in a summit try on Everest instead. The second is that I still entertain some faint hope of a ‘surprise’ at the end, perhaps a meeting between DQ and his illusory(?) Dulcinea. Vamos a ver.

Rupert Scofield


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