This book is a very nuanced look at escapism and identity, a wonderful parody of knight stories, along with being a rousing (and very funny) adventure centering around the titular hero, a man who reads one too many books about knighthood and chivalry and decides to become a knight-errant himself. After recruiting a sidekick and choosing a lady to woo per narrative convention, he sets out to conquer the forces of evil, which include, among other things, giant windmills and rogue "knights". Cervantes' insight and ability to parody were both ahead of his time, and in a time where escapism and voyeurism are well and thriving, it is not difficult to imagine someone watching too many TV shows and believing they're a wild west outlaw or what-have-you. A very fascinating experience, and it works well in any language. Highly recommended.
Don Quixote, Book 1, tells the story of a man more optimistic and idealistic than any other in literature. He sets out as a "righter of wrongs and injustices" and doesn't let anything stand in his way. Book one is also incredibly funny in many parts, both physically and intellectually. Book 2, although a somewhat difficult read and much less humorous, is by far the better work of art. At first, the reader was apalled at the ending of the book, but then he feels that Cervantes was justified in his ending because he wanted us to mourn the absence of chivalry and hope in the world.
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