Tuesday, December 4, 2007

scarce sufficient to afford a dish of hodge-podge

classic books (number 1):
don quixote by miguel de cervantes
part one first published in 1605, part two in 1615

in a village of la mancha the name of which i have no desire to recall, there lived not so long ago one of those gentlemen who always have a lance in the rack, an ancient buckler, a skinny nag, and a greyhound for the chase. a stew with more beef than mutton in it, chopped meat for his evening meal, scraps for saturday, lentils on friday, and a young pigeon as a special delicacy for sunday, went to account for three-quarters of his income. the rest of it he laid out on a broadcloth greatcoat and velvet stockings for feast days, with slippers to match, while the other days of the week he cut a figure in a suit of the finest homespun. living with him were a housekeeper in her forties, a niece who was not yet twenty, and a lad of the field and market place who saddled his horse for him and wielded the pruning knife.
(samuel putnam 1949)

in a certain corner of la mancha, the name of which i do not choose to remember, there lately lived one of those country gentleman, who adorned their halls with a rusty lance and worm-eaten target, and ride forth on a skeleton of a horse, to course with a sort of starved greyhound.
three fourths of his income were scarce sufficient to afford a dish of hodge-podge, in which the mutton bore no proportion to the beef, for dinner; a plate of salmagundy, commonly at supper; gripes and grumblings on saturdays, lentils on fridays, and the addition of a pigeon or some such thing on the lord's day. the remaining part of his revenue was consumed in the purchase of a fine black suit, with velvet breeches and slippers of the same, for holydays; and a coat of home-spun, which he wore in honour of his country, during the rest of the week.
he maintained a female house-keeper turned of forty, a niece of about half that age, and a trusty young fellow, fit for field and market, who could turn his hand to anything, either to saddle the horse or handle the hough.
(tobias smollett m.d. 1755)

-don quixote de la mancha: 1949 modern library edition and 1998 edition translated by samuel putnam
-don quixote: 2001 modern library edition translated (1755) by tobias smollett
-don quijote (norton critical editions): 1999 norton edition translated by burton raffel
-don quixote: translated by edith grossman (unabridged cd version)
-cervantes: by richard l. predmore
-miguel de cervantes don quijote de la mancha, romances y músicas: cd boxset by jordi savall

don quijote by honoré daumier

don quijote by honoré daumier

lyceum don quixote by william nicholson pryde

(number one in a series on my most loved books)


Milena said...

"When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical may be madness. To surrender dreams, this may be madness. To seek treasures where there is only trash... Too much sanity may be madness, and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be."

Wonderful book. I think I'm going to read it again ;)

the art of memory said...

it is a great book and i love all the different translations.
the smollett is so truly odd, like his name.

and thanks so much for the quote, it fits in so perfect with the aim of this blog.

dave said...

You should definitely see Albert Serra's Honor de cavalleria (2006), which is Quixote through the filter of the sparsest of cinemas, and the most minimal of windy soundscapes.

the art of memory said...

i have been excited to see it.

Anonymous said...

I do not know, I do not know