Don Quixote was a difficult book for me to finish. It took a long time for me to get through it, and I can’t say I loved it. But, something about it had me hooked so I persevered. It’s long, repetitive and written in language that doesn’t resonate well with today’s world. It’s also funny and insightful and full of personalities that are the opposite of what they seem. I thought the end of the book was the best and also the more developed portion – which made it go faster as I got closer to the end. I loved that nearly every character was the opposite of what they purported to be and the fun the author had with those contradictions. It was also an interesting look into the state of Spain during the Inquisition and how it affected the lives of ordinary people. There were frequent run ins with persecuted “Moors” and consideration was given at all times to what the inquisitorial officials would think of things. This part of the book is sadly relevant today in our world – we still haven’t learned kindness.
Here are my favorite quotes from the book:
“Sleep thou, who wa’st born to sleep, or follow thy own inclinations; for my part, I will behave as becomes a person of my aspirations.”
“I myself have experienced that the mountains produce learned men, and that philosophers are to be found within the shepherd’s cot.”
“Blood is hereditary, but virtue is acquired, consequently, this last has an intrinsic value which the other does not possess.”
“Let the tears of the poor find more compassion in thy breast, tho’ not more justice, than the testimony of the rich.”
“If ever you suffer the rod of justice to be bent a little, let it not be warped, by the weight of corruption, but by the heart of sympathy.”
“Give thyself no concern about what thou mayest hear, otherwise there will be no end of thy vexation: console thyself with a good conscience and let them say what they will; for, it is as impracticable to tie up the tongue of malice as to erect barricades in open fields.”
“Liberty is one of the most precious gifts which heaven hath bestowed on man, exceeding all the treasures which earth encloses or which ocean hides; and for this blessing, as well as for honour, we may and ought to venture life itself: on the other hand, captivity and restraint are the greatest evils that human nature can endure.”
Great advice from a madman.
1/5 – Awful / would not read again / maybe could not finish.
2/5 – Low quality work / some enjoyment / not worth the time
3/5 – Don’t regret, Don’t love / would add to my shelf if it is a piece of literature
4/5 – Would read again / Definitely would add to my shelf because BOOKS!
5/5 – Would definitely read more than once / Must buy / Gives you the happy book love feels.