Don Quixote week 2 – does a shaving bowl make a good helmet ?

This stage of the book we find out more about the Don’s faithful squire Sancho Panza ,that he isn’t maybe the brightest spark in the back as he recounts the happenings of the previous days to people ,There is also a wonderful scene where the Don thinks he has found a mythical helmet to wear but it turns out to be an old shaving bowl this reminded me of the scene in lost in la Macha the film about terry Gilliam’s failed attempt at a don Quixote film .there is an unpaid inn bill that crops up as the adventures continue .

There is a great note in the foot notes about a joke using word play that can’t easily be translated about costs and ribs as the spanish words costas and costillas sound very similar ,This highlights one of the hardest areas of translation wordplay and jokes ,these are some of the hardest things to translated and Grossman did the best thing by not changing the passage and subsisting it for a similar concept ,which I have seen in other translations .

Here is a great video I found about a toy robot Don Quixote made by some one .


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 01:07:18

    If you’re not opposed to another latecomer, Stu, I’d like to join your DQ readalong this week although I’ll be playing catch-up for a week or so due to poor planning on my part. Will be reading Cervantes in Spanish (rereading him actually), so I’ll try to match up chapters with the English translation you’re reading each week once I catch up. That helmet sequence you wrote about is an all-time comedy classic all right, though! P.S. Have been following your blog “silently” for a while and love the range of material you cover, so it was a nice surprise to have you visit me at my blog earlier today. Thanks and cheers!


    • winstonsdad
      Aug 02, 2010 @ 01:13:30

      thanks for the comment found your blog via frances ,great to have you on board ,be interesting to see what you make of what we say about the grossman translation ,all the best stu


  2. Tom C
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 07:49:24

    Another hiliarious week then? I think so. I’ve posted my thoughts here


  3. Tom C
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 07:51:20

    PS – I think Sancho is quite astute – not clever in terms of intelligence (why would he have been taken in in the first place?), but lots of common sense and certainly being quick-witted enough to get DQ out of trouble from time to time.

    Love the video


  4. JonW
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 19:53:06

    Been a bit slow this week, due to work and non-reading life. Hopefully I’ll catch up in bed tonight and find out what the helmet part is.

    It’s quite a bit racier than I expected: the episode with the vomiting and the “saucy hotel wench” weren’t the sort of thing I was expecting from 15th(?) Century novel.

    TomC is spot on about Sancho having a degree of astuteness – the episode with the sheep showed this. However he’s not quite astute enough to avoid pretty regular beatings.


  5. Sarah
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 09:46:20

    I am a whole week behind 😦 Enjoyed the preview; thanks for the incentive to push forwards!


  6. Rise
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 15:04:47

    In my translation (Rutherford’s), the “shaving bowl” is “barber’s basin”, which is no less funny in the context. Especially when this “Mambrino’s helmet” sitting atop Don Q’s head is later called “chamber-pot” by one of the prisoners’ guards. 🙂


  7. Emily Jane
    Aug 04, 2010 @ 00:29:49

    The vomiting scene read like modern day slapstick!


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August 2010


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