I was excited when I initially started reading the novel. A lot of my excitement was generated by Kundera’s reverence for the book – first modern novel, yada yada yada. But I got into it.
You know he’s a madman up front. Cervantes presents what Don Quixote sees and then tells you what is really there. I loved the scene when his supposed friends burn all the books they think influenced his mania. (Books are dangerous!)
The windmill scene was a little anti-climatic though. It was only two pages long. I guess I had heard so much about that metaphor that I expected his battle with the windmill/giants to be more substantial.
And then I lost steam. On the past few train rides home I’ve been exhausted and not at all interested in reading something antiquated sounding. It takes a certain mood to really sink your teeth into old styles of speech and writing.
I have done this with books before. I refuse to put them properly back on the bookshelf – that makes me think I’ve finished reading it. Instead, I set them sideways on a shelf in front of the read books. Then, when I’m in the mood to read something different, it’s there to be paged through.
So Don Quixote has been sidelined but never forgotten. There are just too many books and too many moods to feel badly about this.