Since we're reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes as our first book in the #YumiBookClub & it can seem a little daunting I thought that I would just share some quick summaries of the chapters that we've made it through already. These are just my own notes that I took after reading each chapter, but I hope that they help anyone who just wants a quick version so that they can jump in with us later on in the reading. You can view the reading schedule here. Everyone is welcome & any version of the book is acceptable (yes, audios too). We'd love to have you join us!
Feel free to comment on this post or pop over to the Ravelry group and join the discussion that we have going on there. If you share a post on social media, please use #YumiBookClub so we can find each other there. Happy reading!
I'm really enjoying this book so far & I absolutely adore how ridiculous Don Quixote (DQ) is in all his adventures so far. The imagery & humor that Miguel de Cervantes incorporates has actually had me laughing and forcing my husband to listen to random passages just because they amused me so much. Two of my favorite parts are when DQ is being fed & watered at the Inn in Chapter 1.2 & when his friends are cleaning out his library in Chapter 1.6. (There's a great little joke about them finding the book, "La Galatea" written by Miguel de Cervantes & the housekeeper is hilarious.)
"... and she out of tenderness for the stair-case, sent them all out of the window." - describing the housekeeper's care for the books which caused DQ's madness - Chapter 1.6
Of the Quality and Amusements of the Renowned Don Quixote De La Mancha
DQ is a man nearing 50 who loves reading fictional tales of knights so much that he not only shirks his responsibilities as an estate owner in order to read and buy them, he has also decided that he is one of these knights of legend. He cleans up an old, dilapidated set of armor, renames his scraggly horse (Rocinante) & himself (DQ is not his actual name), & selects his lady love for whom he will "battle monsters" & uphold honor. His lady, Dulcinea del Toboso (also a made-up name), has no idea of any of this.
Of the Ingenious Don Quixote's First Sally from His Home
DQ ventures out on his first adventure. He ends up at an inn being fed watery fish, burnt bread & wine through a straw by prostitutes because he can't take off his helmet. He envisions himself in a castle with fair damsels, though and is only distraught because he hasn't actually been knighted.
The Diverting Expedient Don Quixote Falls Upon, In Order to be Knighted
DQ is bothered that he hasn't actually been knighted yet so he begs the innkeeper to bestow knighthood on him. The innkeeper agrees, thinking that it will be comical for both himself & his patrons. DQ goes about guarding his armer in a field outside the inn & knocks out two muleteers with his lance because they moved his armor to water their mules. (DQ had set his armor upon the cistern for the night's guarding.) A crowd gathers & they start throwing stones at DQ, the innkeeper breaks up the mob & convinces DQ that all the requirements have been fully met for him to be knighted immediately. The innkeeper, a boy & the two prostitutes perform the knighting ceremony & DQ profusely thanks all of them before riding off in search of other adventures. Before he leaves, the innkeeper convinces DQ that he really needs to carry money, clean shirts & bandages on his future journeys.
Of What Befell Our Knight, When He Sallied from the Inn
DQ is returning home to pack supplies for his next adventure when he hears screams. He goes to investigate & finds a 15 year old by tied to a tree & being whipped by his master for shirking in his sheep-guarding duties. When DQ discovers that the boy also hasn't been paid for any of his work (regardless of how poorly he's done it), he tells the master to take the boy home immediately & pay him his wages since he's already been beaten. After DQ leaves them, the master beats the boy twice as badly.
DQ then finds a band of merchants who he insists must acknowledge the beauty of Dolcinea. When they don't (because they've never seen her), he tries to attack but his horse trips & DQ falls to the ground & can't get up because of his armor. One of the merchant's party proceeds to beat DQ with his own lance until it's nothing but splinters. The whole time DQ continues to hurl insults at them. They leave him, he still can't get up. He blames the horse for everything.
In Which the Story of Our Knight's Misfortune is Continued
Since DQ can't move, he begins reciting lines from one of his stories about knights errant. A neighbor of his happens across DQ & helps him out of his armor & onto the neighbor's horse, he then leads DQ home. The whole while DQ is envisioning this neighbor & thir journey as parts of his stories come true. The neighbor realizes that DQ is crazy because DQ keeps refering to the stories, quoting lines & calling the neighbor (and himself) by the names of the characters. They arrive at DQ's home to find the housekeeper, DQ's niece, & his closest friends, the Curate & the Barber, discussing what could have happened to DQ & lamenting letting DQ read so many tales of nights errant.
Of the Diverting and Minute Scrutiny Performed by the Curate and the Barber, in the Library of Our Ingenious Hero
While DQ rests, the housekeeper, his niece, the curate & the barber decide to examine DQ's library in an effort to eradicate any & all books that could have caused DQ's lunacy. The housekeeper wants them to sprinkle holy water first (to avoid being cursed by the authors) & then to burn every book. The curate & the barber determine to read at least the title pages first in order to decide if the books are all evil or if some are salvageable. Some are passed to the housekeeper who gladly throws them out the window for burning, some are set aside to be considered at a later date & some are taken home by the curate or the barber to be read. At length they get tired of sorting each individual book & sentence numerous volumes to burning without any examination at all. The housekeeper is thrilled at this.
The Second Sally of Our Worthy Knight Don Quixote De La Mancha
DQ wakes up yelling verses from his stories & immediately starts fencing with the wall. His friends run in to check on him & the housekeeper determines to burn all the remaining books in the house, even the ones not in the library. The door to the library is boarded up & DQ is told that while he was away an enchanter came and used magic to take away it and all the books. DQ believes this & stays home for 15 days before he & his new squire, Sancho Panza, leave on their next adventure in the dead of night without telling anyone of their going. DQ has promised Sancho an island to govern as payment for being a faithful squire.