Don Quixote

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
I'm currently reading Don Quixote and I'm having trouble staying with it. I'm only about chapter 23 or so, but I'm not finding it very good. I'm an avid reader and I read lots of different stuff. Usually I can't put a book down but I have no trouble with this.

I don't hate it, but I don't really find it all that engaging and I don't see anything special about the writing style. I've read books by lesser known authors and books that will probably never be called classics by any "authority" that just surpass this by leaps and bounds in terms of writing style and ability.

So why is it considered a classic?
 
Dec 10, 2005
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I loved that book. I think it's partly dependent on the translation that you get. Some are easier and more enjoyable to read compared with others.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
10,455
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I don't enjoy a lot of the classics myself. Some are formulaic (probably because they're classic and were the first works to do what they did, but this by definition makes them "nothing new") and others can be just mind numbingly boring because we readers live in a different place and time.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
Originally posted by: Evadman
Originally posted by: pontifex
So why is it considered a classic?

Windmills.

ok, that was 1 tiny part of the story so far and almost every encounter is him thinking that whatever is in front of him is something else and he gets his ass kicked every time. it just seems overly repetitive.
 

SSSnail

Lifer
Nov 29, 2006
17,461
82
86
Just think, Johnny Depp from Fear and Loathing with a touch of Capt. Jack Sparrow, on a donkey and giant joust stick, and windmills man. Windmills!
 

Chryso

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2004
4,040
13
81
I think it is considered a classic because of its age.
Pick up an abridged version. It is much easier to stick with.
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,348
1
81
It was perhaps the first major classic written by the Spanish. It has been one of my favorites since I was a young kid and saw the play. I thought it somehow conveyed deeper ideals that transcended the story and the characters. The main character is the ultimate idealist and I think that appeals to people.
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,914
3
0
I saw that documentary about Terry Gilliam trying to make the film.. heartbreaking.. it looked like it was going to be really good. And now if they remake it they won't use the same actor, and that guy was perfect.
 

Q

Lifer
Jul 21, 2005
12,059
4
81
I thought title said "Dear Quintox" when I scrolled really fast :)
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,948
15,088
126
Originally posted by: pontifex
I'm currently reading Don Quixote and I'm having trouble staying with it. I'm only about chapter 23 or so, but I'm not finding it very good. I'm an avid reader and I read lots of different stuff. Usually I can't put a book down but I have no trouble with this.

I don't hate it, but I don't really find it all that engaging and I don't see anything special about the writing style. I've read books by lesser known authors and books that will probably never be called classics by any "authority" that just surpass this by leaps and bounds in terms of writing style and ability.

So why is it considered a classic?

Are you reading a translation? A lost is lost in translations. Also, you need the cultural background to understand it.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,948
15,088
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Originally posted by: Quintox
I thought title said "Dear Quintox" when I scrolled really fast :)

There is only one cure for megalomania. Nuke from orbit of course.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
Originally posted by: sdifox
Originally posted by: pontifex
I'm currently reading Don Quixote and I'm having trouble staying with it. I'm only about chapter 23 or so, but I'm not finding it very good. I'm an avid reader and I read lots of different stuff. Usually I can't put a book down but I have no trouble with this.

I don't hate it, but I don't really find it all that engaging and I don't see anything special about the writing style. I've read books by lesser known authors and books that will probably never be called classics by any "authority" that just surpass this by leaps and bounds in terms of writing style and ability.

So why is it considered a classic?

Are you reading a translation? A lost is lost in translations. Also, you need the cultural background to understand it.

It is a translation. It's published by Penguin Books
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
Originally posted by: Chryso
I think it is considered a classic because of its age.
Pick up an abridged version. It is much easier to stick with.
Pretty much.
Theres a crapload of old stuff considered "Classic" simply because people didnt have much to read back then. There are so many more modern books that are enjoyable to read we shouldnt have things like this forced on us, except as a study of how people perceived their world in the olden days.
 

Liet

Golden Member
Jun 9, 2001
1,529
0
0
Go pick up the translation of the Odyssey by W. H. Rouse. It's all about a guy who wanders around the world for 15+ years tricking people, stabbing them in the eye with red-hot tree trunks, fucking any half-goddess nymph he can find (all while "trying" to get home to his wife), and getting gold and clothing gifts from every house he pops his head into. Then he winds up cutting the heads off a house full of guys, hanging every skank servant that was nice to them, and even killing dogs that licked their hands. He's just a straight-up badass.

Old stuff can be fantastic, don't knock it til you've read it.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,948
15,088
126
Originally posted by: pontifex
Originally posted by: sdifox
Originally posted by: pontifex
I'm currently reading Don Quixote and I'm having trouble staying with it. I'm only about chapter 23 or so, but I'm not finding it very good. I'm an avid reader and I read lots of different stuff. Usually I can't put a book down but I have no trouble with this.

I don't hate it, but I don't really find it all that engaging and I don't see anything special about the writing style. I've read books by lesser known authors and books that will probably never be called classics by any "authority" that just surpass this by leaps and bounds in terms of writing style and ability.

So why is it considered a classic?

Are you reading a translation? A lost is lost in translations. Also, you need the cultural background to understand it.

It is a translation. It's published by Penguin Books

yeah, you are not going to get it. I tried reading that translation and I just gave up.
 

MagnusTheBrewer

IN MEMORIAM
Jun 19, 2004
24,135
1,594
126
As sdifox said, it helps to have some historical/cultural background to appreciate it, o' Dulcinea. That said, Don Quixote reads like a comic book (graphic novel for the whippersnappers) compared to 'The Three Musketeers."
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,948
15,088
126
Originally posted by: MagnusTheBrewer
As sdifox said, it helps to have some historical/cultural background to appreciate it, o' Dulcinea. That said, Don Quixote reads like a comic book (graphic novel for the whippersnappers) compared to 'The Three Musketeers."

If I remember correctly, I spent an entire semester on Quijote back in High School in Buenos Aires.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
after reading some more, i am enjoying it a little more. still not as engaging as other books i've read.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,948
15,088
126
Originally posted by: pontifex
after reading some more, i am enjoying it a little more. still not as engaging as other books i've read.

stick to it, after you read the whole thing you'll enjoy it more.
 

Babbles

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2001
8,253
14
81
I read it (unabridged - anybody that reads abridged should be bludgeoned) when I was a teenager and I liked it well enough. The version I read had footnotes for historical context which does help I think.

Sometimes the 'classics' are over-rated (I really dislike American 'classics' like Moby Dick) however many are really good reads. I like all of Alexandre Dumas' books (Three Musketeers series and the Man in the Iron Mask). Also "Crime and Punishment" has to be one of the best books written. I picked up a relatively newer translation of "War and Peace" and from what i remember reading a previous translation the book was relatively enjoyable.

Classic books that people talk about but nobody reads would be things written by Proust or James Joyce.
 
Feb 6, 2007
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One of the reasons it's a classic is because it was a transitionary piece in the evolution from the epic poems that were popular for centuries (from the Greeks onwards) to the modern novel. Not only did it tell a story, but there was a distinct focus on the development of the characters, as the title character occupies a dual role as both comedic and tragic figurehead. I found the book an enjoyable read in high school, but I admit the second portion devolved into epic romantic poems which could not hold my interest at all. But the windmills... Booyah.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
ok, i'm getting close to the end. Unless something major and/or interesting happens near the end, the book could have ended after Don Quixote's 2nd sally. The 3rd sally so far is pretty damn boring and just seems to drag out all of the stuff we already know.

It took awhile for me to get into it, but after a bit i did enjoy it, and like i said, i they it could have ended after he returns from his 2nd sally and it would have been good.
 

Arcadio

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2007
5,637
24
81
I read the original version in Spanish and found it very interesting and engaging. The characters are very complex. The story is full of weird characters, twists, and symbols that truly make this book an awesome read. I felt really sad when i was done reading it since for the last couple of months the book became part of my daily routine.