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Old 08-31-2018, 08:42 AM
6,056 posts, read 5,652,811 times
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Thanks so much for joining in,CityBridge!

Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
DQ's dissatisfaction with the lack of chivalry in his world leads him to this flight of madness (otherworldly fantasy) that demonstrates the need for casting off such madness and focusing on the world.
Is he really motivated by dissatisfaction with the lack of chivalry? Or is he motivated by longing for chivalry? I haven't yet seen in his own words expressions of dissatisfaction but rather expressions of (false) truths and expressions of joy in what his adventures could be. And does his madness demonstrate the need to focus on the world? Not thus far, I don't think.

Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
The characters, seemingly not mad, encountered by DQ actually suffer delusions and fail to see the world as it is.
But do they though? What are some examples of the other characters (those NOT in the romances) failing to see the world as it is? The romantic characters - I guess romance by definition is false reality. But the curate? He has opinions which may not be accurate, but I haven't seen him failing to see the reality around him. More thought about this in the future.

But now, Chapters 47 - 51

This is an incredibly important section, I think. Chapters 47 and 48 in particular. It's taken me more than a day to think about it enough to feel that I might even vaguely understand.

Q in his cage in the wagon and the party with him are joined on the road by a new party, which is headed by a Canon (a clergyman, higher than a curate, on the staff of a cathedral.) The Canon is so important, I think, because he speaks for Cervantes.

The Canon talks about chivalric romances. He has tried to read many, but thinks they are just like fables. They may give entertainment, but they're not instructive or truthful. The Canon (and Cervantes, I think) say that truth is ESSENTIAL to fiction. "Fiction is all the better the more it looks like truth. . . fiction should be wedded to the understanding of the reader and constructed in such a way that, reconciling impossibilities, smoothing over difficulties, keeping the mind on the alert, they may surprise, interest, divert and entertain..." He says he's never seen a chivalric romance that has a connected plot. So I (me, 601) began to wonder if Cervantes uses in DQ the Q story to provide a connected plot, while including the romances as counterpoint (or maybe just for entertainment?)

Cervantes, via the Canon, is also probably responding to the reactions to his first novel. He says, "I have no mind to submit myself to the stupid judgements of the silly public." He asks if books, or plays, should be published/performed just because the public loves them? Or should books and plays be held to a higher standard of truthfulness? We're still asking this question about art - books/music/plays/movies/tv and etc. today (sez me, 601). He puts the blame on authors/poets/playwrights themselves: "the fault does not lie with the public, that insists upon nonsense, but with those who do not know how to produce something else."

The Canon says that plays (and so literature), according to Tully (I looked that up - he means the Roman we know as Cicero), "should be the model of meaning and the image of truth. ". . . after listening to an artistic and properly constructed play the hearer will come away enlivened by the jests, instructed by the serious parts, full of admiration at the incidents, his wits sharpened by the arguments, warned by the truths, all the wiser for the examples, inflamed against vice, and in love with virtue, for in all these ways a good play should stimulate the mind of the hearer.

So, has reading DQ made me enlivened, instructed, full of admiration, sharpened my wits, warned, wiser, against vice, and in love with virtue?

hmmmmm, some of those, maybe.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:53 AM
3,171 posts, read 2,497,052 times
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I am so sorry that I bailed on reading this. I did try, and maybe one of these days will try again. I just saw someone mention it on the whatareyoureadingnow thread. That prompted me to come and search this out and see that you finished it all by your lonesome.

The time was just not right for me.
Obviously from your comments and those of others, it's definitely a book worth reading and I will keep that in mind.
Well done sixoone.
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