Sunday, 6 July 2008

chasing windmills

I couldn't withhold this gem from Cees Noteboom's Roads to Santiago. He's in the town square of Almagro, on his way to Don Quixote's home of La Mancha:
I read the poem on the statue of Diego de Almagro, captain general of the kingdom of Chile (...) He does not resemble Don Quixote, this knight on his steed, he charged not at windmills but against Amerindians, and perhaps ribs* this is why the world - rate* save for Almagro - has forgotten him.

I believe that of the two Don Quixote is the far more deserving to be remembered through the ages.

* mistakes courtesy of predictive texting on my cell phone.

On the page facing the one with this quote Nooteboom said something that reminded of something a blogger I like posted. (The poll and the comments seem to have disappeared, but obviously the question was "which of these was the balcony of Romeo and Juliet?")
Cervantes has demonstrated the power of the imagination once and for all, he only because I am standing here now almost four centuries later staring at the house, the hearth, the bed, the kitchen utensils of someone who is but an invetnion. Only once before have I experienced the same excitement, and that was when I was gazing up at Romeo and Juliet's balcony in Verona, jostled by a hundred Japanese with cameras.

Willym tried to fool us with the same balcony Nooteboom and the Japanese tourists saw. I'm proud to say I chose "None of the above".

PS. Just read the book! That way I won't have to quote every single paragraph I love on this blog - because there are just too many of them.

No comments: