Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is my favorite book of all time. Dream the
impossible dream. Follow Don Quixote along with his faithful sidekick Sancho as
they tilt at windmills and search out heroic deeds to accomplish in the name of
the fair Dulcinia. Should a bar maid’s life be valued any less than a
lady’s? Miguel de Cervantes may have reached the unreachable star!
His book lives on after over 400 years.
The story follows the adventures of a hidalgo named Mr. Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. It had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario". Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle H lo se, and Wilhelm Meister.