People are always asking me what’s left on my “bucket list” [foolishly assuming that I’m going somewhere soon–seven years and counting, asshole!].
Given my madcap and roguish life and times, there is little I have failed to experiment with–except the hundreds of classic books I will never get read.
Top of the summer-reading list of books I’ve never finished is “Don Quixote.” Now there are some highly acclaimed “fancy pants” translations like Edith Grossman’s. However, for my money, an “oldy but goody” (1949) translation by Samuel Putman best captures Cervantes’ bawdy, saucy, and serrated intent.
If you want a Sherpa to guide you through this Himalayan novel (nearly a 1,000 pages), none is better than the classic novelist, Vladimir Nabokov: Lectures on Don Quixote. Conveniently, all his references are to the Putnam translation.
For a brilliant sociological analysis, see “Don Quixote and the Problem of Reality” by Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers II: Studies in Social Reality.