Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spain's Greatest Writer

Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes was eighteen years old when St. Augustine was established here on Florida's Atlantic coast. Both he and William Shakespeare died within days of each other in their respective countries, Spain and England. Their works were published in both countries, though those governments were often at war with each other during their lifetimes and well beyond.

We all know Cervantes' story of Don Quixote that tells of a man who perceives himself to be a Knight errant whose unbalanced mind sees enemies and danger where there is none, attacking windmills with his lance thinking that they were ferocious giant dragons. His chivalrous mind had convinced him to fight for the rights and dignity of his fellow man and woman. At he end the old knight is confronted with reality ,though his steadfast companion/ sidekick Sancho Panza tries to keep up the charade to prevent the Don from becoming an ordinary fellow. Alas, as Quixote comes to the realization that he has been deluding himself, he slips into melancholia and very soon, dies.

Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.

Miguel de Cervantes

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