About a year ago, I got a song stuck in my head.
I am Don Quixhote! The Lord of La Mancha!
I had to get the soundtrack for the movie of Man of La Mancha and listen to it. A lot.
Then I had to get a copy of Don Quixhote. But then I got busy and I never read past the first 40 or so pages.
At the end of February, we moved into our new house and I began my new commute taking a bus to the metro to work. It’s 45-60 minutes each way. I began reading again in earnest. First, I worked my way through many David Brin novels (including all six books in the Uplift series, which are truly excellent science fiction) and then some other books, none of which I can recall at the moment.
Then I grabbed Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis off the shelf. This sucked me completely in to the Revolutionary War time and I soon picked up Ellis’ book on Jefferson, American Sphinx and then McCullough’s book on John Adams. Among the meany things that struck me (aside from the fact that I have a very different and more negative opinion of Jefferson than I did going in to them) was how prominent Don Quixhote was. Jefferson spoke about reading the novel and discussed it often with, among other people, John Adams. Adams himself writes to Jefferson how he’d reread it on one of his trips across the Atlantic. Now I’m just finishing H. W. Brands’ book, The First American, about Benjamin Franklin. And after repeated descriptions of various situations as being quixotic and at least one further reference to Cervantes, I realized that someone is trying to tell me something.
So, gods help me, it looks like I’ll soon be diving into Don Quixhote. We’ll see how I do. Given that I know of only one other person who actually read and finished Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s The Illuminatus Trilogy I think I am up to the task of a monolithic book. If nothing else, it will make a hell of a lot more sense than Illuminatus ever did.
Though, I do have one more history book on the shelf waiting for me, Reelecting Lincoln, which I should probably get to to keep with the American History theme…