Academic journal article Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America

Postscript to Don Quijote: Hero or Fool? Remixed

Academic journal article Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America

Postscript to Don Quijote: Hero or Fool? Remixed

Article excerpt

For Ana Rueda

IN ONE OF HER poetas, Marianne Moore says that poetry presents us with "imaginary gardens with real toads in them" (135). Don Quixote invents an alternative reality that requires him to show his bravery by attacking evil. The descent into the Cave of Montesinos is one of a number of attempts to demonstrate the strength of his spirit. Deep into part two, he makes a pact with Sancho: "Sancho, pues vos quereis que se os crea lo que habeis visto en el cielo, yo quiero que vos me creais a mi lo que vi en la cueva de Montesinos. Y no os digo mas" (z.41:373). His performance throughout has given us a mock epic.

Once, though, he is presented with what looks to him like a serious threat: the batanes. Dumbstruck by the discovery that the terrifying noise is made by fulling mills, he is stunned and embarrassed. When Sancho bursts out laughing, Don Quixote has to laugh himself. It is only when Sancho launches into an elaborate parody of Quixotic bombast, kicking the usual archaism up a notch, that his master strikes him with his lance and asks for a real test: "Haced vos que estos seis mazos se vuelvan en seis jayanes, y echadmelos a las barbas uno a uno, o todos juntos, y cuando yo no diere con todos patas arriba, haced de mi la burla que quisieredes" (1. …

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