Tag: Don Quixote

Is Your Dad’s Mid-Life Crisis like Don Quixote?

Happy birthday to Miguel de Cervantes! The Spanish author wrote one of the world’s most famous comedic novels back in 1605. To honor him and his work here is a quiz on Don Quixote that is hopefully as amusing as the book itself is.



feature image via “Don Quixote and Sancho Panza at a crossroad,” by Wilhelm Marstrand, 1847, Nivaagaard Museum, Denmark

Killer Book Recommendations from Joe Goldberg

Warning: Spoilers for You are up ahead!

Netflix’s You has truly taken the world by storm. With a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes for season 1 and an overall score of 90%, it is not hard to see that the show is a good watch. And with a show centered around a book-loving serial killer, it only makes sense that we get a glimpse into the books Joe Goldberg enjoys enough to recommend them to other people – before he kills them.



Image Via Amazon


In the first episode of the series, Joe recommends this book to Beck, his primary target. The novel itself follows a couple, Otto and Sophie. After Sophie gets bitten by a stray she had been trying to feed, trouble begins to follow the couple. A series of small disasters magnify the issues in Sophie and Otto’s marriage as well as society.


Image Via Amazon


Joe, as a means to educate his young next-door neighbor, constantly lends Paco books. The classic story of Don Quixote is one of four recommendations Joe lends to the boy. Joe explains to Paco that the story is “about a guy who believes in chivalry so he decides to be an old school knight.” Joe also lends Paco The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Frankenstein.


Image Via Amazon


As part of an equal exchange, movie recommendations for book recommendations, Joe recommends a list of books to Ellie, the younger sister of his newest target in season 2. A book from Joe’s list is Bulgavok’s The Master and Margarita. The dark but comedic story takes place in the atheist Soviet Union and centers around a visit from the devil himself. Alongside a talking cat who likes vodka, a fanged hitman, a female vampire, and a valet, Satan wreaks havoc on Moscow’s elite.



The show also plays homage to some Honorable Mentions. These are books that Joe doesn’t actually recommend, but are referenced/seen in the show by him or other characters.


Image Via Amazon

As he questions Beck’s kind-of-boyfriend, Benji, Joe casually references Kerouac’s On the Road. This 1957 novel, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends, follows two friends (narrator Sal Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty) as they road trip across the United States. The story is broken up into 5 parts, three of which detail Sal’s road trip escapades with Dean.


Image Via Amazon

Throughout season 2, Joe can be seen reading the Michael R. Kats translation for Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s novel tells the story of a thief who wallows in the depths of his guilt after he plans to, and subsequently kills a shop owner. It can be assumed that Joe’s reading of this story reflects his guilt for killing Beck in season 1.



Image Via Amazon

After meeting Love, the woman recommends Joan Didion’s work to Joe. She describes the book as “a little dark,” and should make Joe feel “right at home.” Love’s sharing of this novel alludes to her own involvement with murder and mayhem. So, it comes to no surprise when Love shows her murderous side as season 2 comes to an end.



Image Via Amazon

While being trapped in the basement of Mr. Mooney’s bookstore as a child, Joe had ample time to read. So, when he sees an original edition of Ozma of Oz at Peach Salinger’s party, he quickly steals the book, as it reminds him of his time in the basement. The story, the third of Baum’s Oz series, details Dorothy’s second trip to Oz.


Feature Image via Elle.


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Why You Need to Remember ‘Don Quixote’ Author Miguel de Cervantes

These wise words come from Miguel de Cervantes himself, who died today 403 years ago. Don’t know who he is? You should. you really should…
Don Quixote Cover
Image Via Amazon
Okay, I’ll give you some slack. Today is the anniversary of his death. He was sixty-two when he died back on April 22nd, 1616, and that might seem like a bygone era, but his work lives on, influencing not only Spanish culture but the culture of the world.
His influence on Spanish culture is so great that some even call the language “a lengua de Cervantes” (“the language of Cervantes”.
His penultimate work was Don Quixote and it has been translated in over a 140 languages. It is, after the Bible itself, the most-translated book in the world, and is also considered by some to be the first novel.
Don Quixote Cover
Image Via Amazon
So without  Don Quixote, you wouldn’t have all the novels that followed afterwards. That means Madame Bovary, the Harry Potter series, and Game of Thrones.
With that said, let’s learn about good ol’ Miguel.
Miguel de Cervantes
Image Via Today in History
That’s Miguel, and in 1570, at the age of twenty-third, he enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish infantry regiment stationed. Encyclopedia Britannica states that “[h]e was there for about a year before he saw active service” but come “mid-September 1571 Cervantes sailed on board the Marquesa….” and, although “[t]here are independent accounts of Cervantes’s conduct in the action, and they concur in testifying to his personal courage”.
No crap. He was sick, but refused to stay below deck. He fought, even after sustaining two gunshot wounds in the chest and a third bullet permanently marred his left hand. The website, Classical Spanish Books, notes that because of this “he was called ‘The Cripple of Lepanto’.

And he became a writer.


Another picture of Miguel de Cervantes

Image Via Magnolia Box

But before that happened, he was a slave. Seriously. Picture this: it’s 1575 and you’re returning to Spain from Naples when your boat is attacked Barbary pirates. You’re captured, and for the next five years you’re forced into slavery.

Cervantes tried to escape four times without success. At least he had the company of his brother Rodrigo, until, of course, mother paid his brother’s random but not Miguel. Only enough coin for one brother, apparently.

Three years after Rodrigo earned his freedom, Miguel was released in September 1580. Thank God. His family, “with the aid and intervention of the Trinitarian friars, raised the 500 gold escudos demanded for his release”.


Miguel de Cervantes writing

Image Via Alchetron

Despite being a certified action hero with an Oscar-winning story attached to his name, he failed to make much splash as a writer. Come 1585, his first novel, La Galatea, failed to make much headway. His plays did even worse, with only plays having survived. La Galatea is available here.

In 1605 Cervantes published the first part of Don Quixote. It’s about an  elderly man who becomes so enamored by the old stories of brave knights that he seeks out his own adventures, getting lost in his own fantasy word as he takes on a peasant, Sancho Panza, to serve as his squire. Don Quixote is so cool he fights a giant monster, which is really just a windmill.

It became a breakout hit. Audiences loved the humor and the new take on old tales.


Don Quixote and the Windmills

Image Via Amazon

Ten years later, in 1615, Cervantes published the second part of the story.

Cervantes would continue to write, but none of his works were finished before his untimely death on April 22, 1616, in Madrid. His grave is unmarked, forgotten to history.

But we have not forgotten him. No only has Don Quixote influenced fiction as we know it today, but the story itself has survived. You might recall that Terry Gilliam’s film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, was in the news last year. The film adaption turned the story on its head, having a main character convinced he was Don Quixote. The film even stared Adam Driver who played Kylo Ren.

It’s pretty clear we’re still obsessed with Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece. Maybe today’s the day to finally pick up the book?

Man shrugging

Image Via StickPNG

Just a suggestion…

Even if you don’t read the book, look at your books, movies, even your music. Maybe it’s been influenced by Don Quixote and know that Miguel de Cervantes still lives on.



Featured Image Via AZ Quotes