March 30, 2017


Don Quixote and Imaginative Places (Eva Brann|Mar. 29th, 2017, iMAGINATTIVE cONSERVATIVE)

The one incident in Cervantes's huge novel that has become American folklore is Don Quixote's adventure with the windmills. As it happens, it contains, almost incidentally, the Don's own statement of the crux of his life, the credo that makes his world one of high adventure. He is moved by his knight errant's sense of duty to attack a band of thirty windmills which he sees as just so many monstrous giants. Thrusting his lance through one of the sails, he is dragged off his nag Rocinante and badly bruised. Sancho Panza trots up on his ass ready with his "I told you so"; it was always plain to him that these were nothing but windmills. But Don Quixote's world is not to be so easily disenchanted. Not so, he explains: An old enemy, a sorcerer wise in the black arts, wishing to cheat the Don of his glory, has turned the giants into windmills. It is Sancho Panza's prose, not Don Quixote's poetry, that is deluded. The point, implicit but crucial, is that it is our mundane soulless world of flour-grinding windmills that is under a spell, a reverse or disenchanting spell cast by the enemies of glory.

Posted by at March 30, 2017 8:09 PM


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