Book Notes

Volume 1, Chapter 13 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 13

On the way to the funeral the next morning Don Quijote meets up with a man, named Vivaldo, who is traveling through the area and has detained his departure just to attend this extraordinary funeral. Vivaldo asks Don Quijote why he is riding fully armed and armored through such a peaceful countryside. He explains he is a knight errant.

Vivaldo quickly deduces that Don Quijote is not playing with a full deck, but continues to converse and question him; curious as to the extent of his delusion. He commends Don Quijote on his choice of such an austere, noble profession but admits that he has always found it wrong and sinful that knight errants always pray in a pagan way to some lady love -- rather than God -- when they are about to meet a perilous situation. Don Quijote explains that any knight errant who did not ask for a lady love's favor and protection would be subject to criticism. Vivaldo asks who is Don Quijote's lady. Referring to her as "sweet enemy" (pg. 70), he tells of his Dulcinea and describes her great beauty in glowing metaphor.

Topic Tracking: Idealized Woman 8

Twenty or so shepherds; wearing black sheepskin jackets and garland crowns of yew and cypress, appear carrying Grisóstomo's funeral bier. Even dead, Grisóstomo's good looks and charm are apparent. As they lay the bier in the dead man's requested burial site, his friend Ambrosio explains that it was here that Grisóstomo first spotted Marcela -- deadly enemy of all humanity!

He goes on the speak of the deceased as the epitome of perfection, while constantly alluding to Marcela as the bane of all men's existence and the cause of his friend's untimely death. He announces Grisóstomo's wish to have his writings about her burned.

Topic Tracking: Scapegoat 6
Topic Tracking: Idealized Women 9

Vivaldo argues against burning the dead man's writings and retrieves a few from the pile that he is allowed to keep. He comes across Song of Despair (Grisóstomo's last poem) and is asked to read it as they dig the grave.

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