Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Plus ça change...

During a recent sojourn in sunnier climes, I set out to read the first part of Don Quijote in the original version.  It was hard going at times, but what struck me was the timelessness of some themes in literature.
I mean, here is a man who is madder than a box of frogs, with his head stuffed full of a romanticised and largely fictional view of past glories and who believes that he can relive those glories in what was – to him – the ‘modern’ age.  Even when the facts are carefully spelled out to him – Sancho told him that that ‘giant’ was a windmill before he went and attacked it – he refuses to accept facts that clash with his carefully constructed concept of how things should be, and acts on the basis of his beliefs instead.  He invariably comes off worst from all his adventures but presents them all as great triumphs and/or blames his evil enemies for using trickery and magic against him.
My question is this – how did Cervantes manage to paint such a brilliant picture of the average Brexiteer politician 400 years before the EU even existed?

No comments: