Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Men of La Mancha

Day 268 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Ben has been reading Zorro by Isabel Allende.  "It's a great read," he says, "but a very different version of the traditional Zorro."  Here's a link to the Spanish edition at Amazon.  According to Ben, "Isabel's Zorro is a spoiled dandy."

Another young man is reading Don Quixote, the masterpiece of Miguel de Cervantes, in a fine thick paperback edition in Spanish from our foreign language shelves at Babbitt's.  He was getting a stack of books but when Sarah at the register held up that one, I went and got him our newest arrival, not yet shelved, a hardcover that states "This book is made to last" right on the copyright page, and you can see that it is.

It's a  lovely edition, red with gold lettering, full title in modern Spanish, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, edited by Fajardo and James A. Parr, from Pegasus Press, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 1998. It is signed by the editor and annotator, Salvador Fajardo, and our young man might come back for it, or let someone know what he wants for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas (and thinking of Christmas "pudding"), I just learned from the ever informational Wikipedia that Cervantes is responsible for "the proof is in the pudding" via his longer statement, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."  

Yesterday I voted before breakfast.  Today I am thinking of eating dessert first.


Julie Kistler said...

I remember my sister the Spanish major reading "Don Quixote" in Spanish at some point in her education and finding it tough going. That's always a shame, when something you love in translation is so difficult in its native tongue for someone to whom it isn't native. I found the same thing with "The Three Musketeers" back in high school French, and "The Brothers Karamazov" in a college Russian class. Struggling through trying to figure out the words took the joy out of it for me. So I retreated to the English translations often enough to remind me why I loved it in the first place!

marydee said...

So, would that be *thinking of Antonio Banderas* or...

Ok, so here is the rundown of a ridiculous stack of books in my bedroom. My eyes are certainly bigger than my stomach (or, free time as it were) this month. Forgive me if any of these are repeats from a previous list - I sometimes leave a book sitting for a while.

The Cookbook Collector: A Novel by Allegra Goodman
The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The Unswept Room and One Secret Thing by Sharon Olds
Nemesis by Philip Roth
Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
Zero Decibels:The Quest for Absolute Silence by George M. Foy
The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures by Phoebe Gloeckner

I am currently reading 'The Wave.' Susan is the author of 'The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks' which I found both thrilling and educational - great whites so close to California! And, the surfer element of both books is a lure for me - I'm a sucker for surfers.
You'll see some of your recommendations on my list, I trust. Thanks for the book ideas!

Kathleen said...

Yes, I do see some familiar titles on your list, Mary. I would be afraid of the shark book, but maybe I could handle it if drinking a Landshark with old Saturday Night Live episodes running continuously in the background.

I love your stack!