December 3, 2010

Yeth, Thur. E. -23 downtown, about -10 here. Glad for the inversion. The old moon rising above the Alaska Range early this morning was quite beautiful, with Venus gleaming in the same part of the sky. Looks to be a nice day. We have major snow clinging to branches and wires. Very pretty. Yesterday I saw some lovely rose–colored light in the afternoon making the snow look pink. I’m not a big fan of the cold, but the scenery this time of year is a bonus for freezing in the dark and presents some of the most beautiful sights you will see anywhere.

Yokelly, I am re-reading parts of Don Quixote, which is a wonderful book that holds up well on repeated readings. In fact, it gets better and better. Cervantes must have been a good companion to have on a long, dusty ride. He understood everything there is to know about story telling. One strand of the English novel began as imitations of Don Quixote (see Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews), while many authors have spoken of the inspiration they drew from Cervantes. Faulkner is said to have read DQ once a year, and Nabokov wrote a series of lectures about Don Quixote that he gave at Harvard. Every narrative trick you can think of will be found somewhere in Cervantes. He can be serious and thoughtful, but he is best known for his humor, which ranges from broad slapstick to subtle drollery that makes you smile. The conversational exchanges between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are especially fun.

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