Making it Up

As I mentioned in my last post on overcoming my STEM education, I'm in the process of reading* Don Quixote. I wanted to become more familiar with storyline because I'm using it in the novel I'm currently working on.

* For me, reading usually means listening unless it's a more modern piece of fiction.

Quick aside: This will be the first time I've reprised characters from my other novels: Le Chevalier and Caution to the Wind. I wouldn't call this a sequel exactly, since my other two novels weren't connected by anything other than time period. Virtual matchmaker that I am, I decided to introduce Christiana (Mont Trignon's youngest sister in Le Chevalier) to Neil Blakely (Amanda's brother in Caution to the Wind). Even I'm amazed at how well they're hitting it off.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
This file is in the public domain 
because its copyright has expired.
Amanda calls Neil Don Quixote because of his tendency to tilt at windmills and
come to the aid of damsels in distress. He also has a Spaniard as his second-in-command who bears a resemblance to Sancho Panza in appearance and pragmatism.

I'm about halfway through Don Quixote, or "The Quixote" as I understand the more learned call it when they want to sound more learned. Since the first book was written in 1605, I expected it to be hard to digest, but it was nowhere near as troublesome as The Iliad. In fact, I would say Don Quixote is downright funny. I suppose translation makes a difference, so, for the record, the version I chose was translated by Edith Grossman.

My favorite part so far is the prologue. In it, the real Cervantes is having a chat with a friend, lamenting his inability to come up with the references and notes to highlight his sources. At first, I thought this was strange because Don Quixote is a work of fiction. Then I realized that it may not be all that different from the historical notes I've started including in my novels. (The first novel to include historical notes is Willing Love, due out February 2015.)

Cervantes' friend essentially tells him to "make it up" and that other writers do it all the time. Of course, I try not to make up anything that gets included in my historical notes, but then I have access to something Cervantes didn't have: The Internet!

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