A somewhat embarrassing confession: I’ve never read Don Quixote in English. In college, I read it in Spanish for a literature class. I would not classify that as reading for pleasure, although I could appreciate it and deconstruct enough for discussion in class. Since then, nope. Actually, until I picked up a remaindered copy at B&N, I never owned a copy in English, although I’ve still got the Spanish one in a box of old college texts*. I keep picking it up and putting it down. It’s too big to carry comfortably as my commute read; let’s ignore the fact that I could just download a copy from Gutenberg or elsewhere for a nominal amount.
While browsing audiobooks at the library, I had the brilliant idea to listen to it. Except I’m finding that my patience is pretty low. Part of the problem is the narrator, whose voice and characterizations for different characters I don’t really care for. But it is also the book itself. While I can still appreciate the literary and historical allusions and the context in which it was written, I’m just not engaged by the first part. I know that it’s basically a parody of contemporary romances and that the second part will be more to my taste. But Don Quixote is delusional and he’s inflicting his madness on everyone around him, taking advantage of people of lesser status and intelligence, and imposing on them, and just wandering away from disaster he has wrought on others. I’m struggling to keep listening.
*I probably ought to haul that box out of storage and either recycle or donate the books.