Saturday, January 15, 2005

Misha chimes in

I took the liberty of moving Misha's comment from my other blog over here. His passion and energy don't deserve to get buried in comments.

I am more in the mood to blast Don Qixote than to praise it... :-) There is a trend in literature that can be clearly made out towards refocusing from trying to embrace the world in a book (Simplicium Simplicissimus, Thomas Jones and all sorts of picaresque novels) to attempts at understanding human nature a little bit better (and that's so much harder!). The latter seems like a more worthwhile goal, at least to me.

The second thing about the novel that makes it impossibly boring for me is that there is no - how shall I put it? - vector of the story. All Don Qixote's misadventures have no connection whatsoever and can be easily repositioned with no loss. The author has made his point in the first quarter of the book, and he could have written twice as much without adding anything new.

On the other hand, as we move forward in time, the writers begin to take pride in writing just enough, in making sure that every episode, every scene is important and contributes to the concept of the work. There is nothing that you can do without.

I have to admit, though, that I only made myself get through the first half. Any poor sinner will repent after being tortured with such volumes and volumes of pointless gibberish!

Yes, I am kind of hard on Servantes, but he deserves it. However, you can't deny that his characters are hilarious and very alive. Well, I am sure I'll have a chance to comment on that as I follow the discussion at Well-Educated Minds...:-)


Blogger Priscilla said...

Misha lost me at, "I only made myself get through the first half..."

8:52 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I'll tell ya, though... I just started the second half today and it's getting to be work. I'm about Don Quixote-ed out. It's a loooong book.

9:10 PM  

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