August 19, 2017

Don Quixote

I have been reading this book, and have greatly enjoyed it in the recent translation by Edith Grossman. The following discussion is on target, I think: A tidbit in this article greatly amused me:
... creative literature, inasmuch as it is artistically valid, can carry no message. This view is not new, by the way, and should be self-evident. Hemingway, whom I quoted, had expressed it best to a journalist who was questioning him on “the messages” of his novels; he very sensibly replied: “There are no messages in my novels. When I want to send a message, I go to the Post Office.”
I read much the same thing said by Steinbeck when one literary egghead was asking him questions. His reponse was, more or less: "I don't know about any of that, I just write stories."

It makes you wonder if all that crap we got fed in High School English was just a bunch of baloney. It certainly seemed so at the time, and yet I spent years wondering why I was so dense as to miss it all.


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Tom's Essays / tom@mmto.org