I don't want to think about this bullshit, I want to think about Don Quixote, the guy and the book. I'm in Book Two now, which is where things get really weird, because in the ten intervening years Book One had become famous, and Cervantes put that into Book Two. So Don Quixote and Sancho Panza start meeting people who've heard of them because they've read Book One, even though to the characters it's been only a few weeks since that book ended.
On the train home I read this, which I readily imagined in stix form:
Scarce had the fair Aurora given bright Phoebus time to dry the liquid pearls upon her golden locks with the heat of his fervent rays, when Don Quixote, shaking off sloth from his limbs, sprang to his feet and called to his squire Sancho, who was still snoring; seeing which Don Quixote ere he roused him thus addressed him: "Happy thou, above all the dwellers on the face of the earth, that, without envying or being envied, sleepest with tranquil mind, and that neither enchanters persecute nor enchantments affright. Sleep, I say, and will say a hundred times, without any jealous thoughts of thy mistress to make thee keep ceaseless vigils, or any cares as to how thou art to pay the debts thou owest, or find to-morrow's food for thyself and thy needy little family, to interfere with thy repose. Ambition breaks not thy rest, nor doth this world's empty pomp disturb thee, for the utmost reach of thy anxiety is to provide for thy ass, since upon my shoulders thou hast laid the support of thyself, the counterpoise and burden that nature and custom have imposed upon masters. The servant sleeps and the master lies awake thinking how he is to feed him, advance him, and reward him. The distress of seeing the sky turn brazen, and withhold its needful moisture from the earth, is not felt by the servant but by the master, who in time of scarcity and famine must support him who has served him in times of plenty and abundance."
I picture Don Quixote waxing ever more frantic as he soliloquizes at sleeping Sancho, until finally he's doing that flailing thing I like to draw, with the motion blur. And it's followed immediately by this:
To all this Sancho made no reply because he was asleep, nor would he have wakened up so soon as he did had not Don Quixote brought him to his senses with the butt of his lance.
It's weird, I tried reading this book once before and it didn't do much for me, so I put it away for a few years. Now that I'm reading it again, it's affecting me as no book has since Moby-Dick. (Moby-Dick didn't grab me the first time either.) It was my grandmother's favorite, and now I understand why: because she liked jokes about flatulence and old men getting the stuffing beaten out of them. It's been four hundred years, but some things never get old!