It helps, picking up Don Quixote again after watching a few a Harley Quinn episodes. I suspect it would’ve helped, too, if we’d watched a few, say, Coyote and Roadrunner episodes from Looney Tunes.
These guys get SO BEAT UP in EVERY CHAPTER.
They are jumped upon, bludgeoned, cracked over the head with lanterns, and—most lately—tossed on a blanket by a bunch mule drivers with too much time on their hands and a spare corral.
Anyway, I thought CANDIDE was violent!
But if I only imagine it as a cartoon, it’s totally okay. Even—or maybe especially—when poor Sancho begins to “erupt from both channels,” when he drinks Quixote’s “magic elixir.”
But before we read a chapter of THAT, we read the first section of Piranesi, when the three tides came in. We are going to read it in short sections like that. Like poetry.
And speaking of poetry, we began two of the five nominees for the National Book Award in poetry:
●“A Treatise on Stars,” by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge (New Directions)
●“Fantasia for the Man in Blue,” by Tommye Blount (Four Way)
We are waiting for these to arrive:
●“DMZ Colony,” by Don Mee Choi (Wave)
●“Borderland Apocrypha,” by Anthony Cody (Omnidawn)
●“Postcolonial Love Poem,” by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf)