Don Quixote At 400

This is the 400th anniversary of  the publication of Miguel Cervantes’s classic novel "Don Quixote."  It’s probably my favorite story.  How can you not like a book about a crazy man who looks at windmills and sees giants?  A madman who sees beauty where no one else does.

It’s been translated into more than a hundred languages.  A couple of years ago, a panel of authors including Salman Rushdie, John Irving and Norman Mailer chose "Don Quixote" as the best book ever.  It still ranks as the most published book after the Bible.

It’s not an easy read, though.  It takes patience and concentration, but it’s worth it. DQ combines slapstick comedy and profundity.  That’s not easy, either.  Especially when you consider it was written by a man with no formal education.    

                                                                                                                        They say William Faulkner read "Don Quixote" every year.  I wish I could remember how many years (yes, years) it took me to read my 1,050-page paper-back edition.  It was probably something like ten.  I did it mostly during vacations.   

Before the year is over, I’m going to start reading Don Quixote again.  And then, again and again.