Friday 3 December 2010

Who Wrote Don Quixote?

Hang on! If this fella is translating Don Quixote, whose words
are in the caption? Or is that what he's writing?

There's much sleight of hand and obfuscation around the authorship of Don Quixote, not like the conspiracy theory stuff that surrounds Shakespeare, the deception in Don Quixote is Cervantes' own. It's one of the reasons why adapting this book is far from the hollow task that some adaptation presents. I've become bound up in the metafiction and realise as I go forward how often the tools of comic storytelling lend themselves well to the overlapping narratives that Cervantes created.

Look at this fellow, for example. He's the unnamed translator of most of the book, for all we know he could have made it up. We rely on him to give us the true origin of the book and name its true author:
It's that kind of book. One minute you're wrapped up the crazy adventures of the two hombres next minute the whole notion of fiction collapses around you and it's your own sanity that comes into question.

Deception is an art. Art is deception, and everyone connected with Don Quixote, including Cervantes, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, me and you are part of that deception. This crazy old man wants to be like a knight-errant; knight-errants only exist in books; Don Quixote makes himself like a book; Don Quixote is a book; we make him real; Cervantes makes him real; he outlives Cervantes and you and me...

Maybe I've been overdoing the Night Nurse or maybe this book has got to me. OR... Maybe this book has to get to me otherwise I'll never pull off the deception.


james corcoran said...

This is shaping up really nicely Rob, I have finally taken the plunge and bought a copy of the book.Just to tide me over till I can buy your version mind!

Pat Galea said...

I believe Pierre Menard might be involved somewhere, the sneaky chap.

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