... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

184: An account of the pleasant reading of Don Quixote, and the dangers wrought by too much read.

The time has come to read Don Quixote.  It has been sitting bed-side for nigh on one year or more, offering up its challenge, presenting its insurmountable volume, and archaically turning phrases; yet now, and only now, by which I mean today in hours passed, one has stood up to ones full height, not literally but literary-ally, and figuratively.  And now have strove and strided forward I am two chapters ahead; eighteen pages lie behind me and seven-hundred and forty-two lay out before me.  And so soon into my adventures, for adventures are what they are (and how I perceive them to be), and already my written language and internal monologue, that voice that speaks within me, has become churned and pestled into rhythms, cadences and vocabulary which in all my years have never passed ‘twixt my lips.

For who am I to adopt such unnatural language as my own, and who am I, unrecognisable to myself; both who I see, and what I read, and both again who I hear and who I think?  I have travelled but a few steps with the great knight-errant Don Quixote de la Mancha and his great steed Rozinant, together with whom I ride side by side, trying not to laugh at his cardboard visor, or paying no due heed to those smirks and chuckles escaping from roadside true-unbelievers.  But in those few steps we have imagined the adventures of giants and princesses – but Lo! – the great Sir Knight draws my attention to a great castle rising high above us, and to two young virgins awaiting us at the gates.

The master of the castle feeds us and the two young virgins doth bring us wine and itty-bitty fishes, for alas it is Friday and no meat can be consumed, but fish is not meat, fish is a fruit, a fruit of the sea – and our bellies do become full, and our minds do flow freely as the wine, as our hearts and souls continue on this fine adventure.  The young virgins do laugh; at first they laugh amongst themselves, but presently they include us both with their laughter and we get along just fine.

The ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha, and of course myself (for I am not a fictional character, and the ingenious nobleman from the region of La Mancha, is not of this world as I am) do enjoy to read, and as we read we see truth, honour, justice and wisdom, we see knowledge, and we see what we must do, and the importance of the adventures we must have.  Don Quixote sees chivalry and a world’s worth of honourable and daring deeds to be done, and I see a big book to be read, and folders full of files to finish writing.  I see Chapter III awaiting me, and a bookmark waving for my attention; the corner of my eye doth stray from MS Word and over toward the Complete and Unabridged published by Wordsworth Classics.

And so at this point I must leave my hero, and your hero must leave you, and together yet separate, you and I return to what we were doing previously.  I return to drinking alternately from a glass of whiskey and a glass of lemonade, and splitting my time between reading and writing, and you return to your driving and working and cheerleading and deep-sea diving; Lo! Forward we go, and where we stop nobody knows.

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