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Thread: Modern Story?

  1. #1
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    Jul 2005

    Modern Story?

    Who else who has read Don Quixote thinks it to be a very modern book? The humor in it is very current, although it was written 500 years ago. Who else thinks the way I do?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2005
    I agree. I honestly put off reading this book for some time because I thought it would be boring as some of the older classics can be. I just finished Part 1, and I was amazed at how funny this story is.

  3. #3
    Inquisitive bloke ClaesGefvenberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golding15BF
    The humor in it is very current, although it was written 500 years ago. Who else thinks the way I do?
    I agree. It is, and a person I dealt with today proves your point. The book may be old and the world hs changed since it was written, but: People are no different.


  4. #4

    Did you read the book in English translation? If so, you almost certainly read John Ormsby's translation, which was done in 1885. It took quite a few liberties with the original text (so I have read, I don't speak Spanish myself) and the style of the prose is very much closer to 1900 than 1600.

    Having said that, the book is extremely funny. It has laugh-out-loud moments, which are rare enough in modern comedies, let alone 400 year old jokes (the book is not quite as old as you make out).

    The best thing about the book IMHO is the perfect mix of humour and compassion. Quixote is never made too foolish for too long; he comes out with quite a bit of (almost accidental) wisdom. He suffers embarrassing defeats; but as many fortuitous successes. We find ourselves laughing at the Don one moment, but sympathising with him the next. Thus the most comedic moments move us as much to sorrow as to laughter. This is real skill in writing.

  5. #5
    I have a Samual Putnam translation that also includes other writings of Cervantes, but I'll have to admit to not having been able to read them or Quixote yet (waiting for summer and a break from school reading, maybe by that time I'll know enough Spanish to be able to read the original). It was translated in 1949 or so. I've been looking forward to reading it for a long time now, after hearing many comments such as Golding's.

  6. #6
    Registered User Corona's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Torre del Greco, Italy
    I have just finished reading an italian translation of the work and find this topic to be a stimulating one to discuss it!
    I believe it not to be a "modern" work as I generally believe some of the greatest masterpieces to be outside the realms of time so that a "classic" does predate our contemporary sensibility so that it already "modern" and beyond modernity itself!
    It could be seen as the literary equivalent of Velazquez's paintings as, on top of being one of the most human and deepest depictions of human's soul, it stratifies the problem of representation and the connection of truth and fiction. Not to mention the numberless themes the work presents...

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