June 21, 2011
I’m not sure if this blog post is really necessary, because I’m not sure if the Wishbone post counted as a post for this week or not. If it did, then this post can carry over to next week’s count.
My Review of Don Quixote- ****
I enjoyed reading Don Quixote, and I commend the work as being revolutionary in its invention of the novel genre, its experimentation with narratology, and its use of slapstick humor. Don Quixote‘s influence can be felt not only in later literary works, but also in modern humor such as Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges. Don Quixote is definitely a first in many fields.
But, like all firsts, Don Quixote has not necessarily achieved the best in all the areas it created. Slapstick humor, the novel, and narratology have all been honed and improved over the years. In Don Quixote, the story often seems repetitive and monotonous, which is why it loses a star. (Is fighting the sheep and getting hurt all that different from fighting the Basque and getting hurt, or fighting the windmill and getting hurt?) The story could do with some cutting down and sharpening.
Nevertheless, considering when it was written and its influence, Don Quixote is remarkable. (In this I differ from Borges’s assertion that Menard’s Don Quixote is better than Cervantes’s. I contend that the faults of Cervantes’s novel are understandable considering it’s time, but would be unforgivable in a more contemporary author’s work.)