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15 Maj 2005 @ 19:49
Four hundred years of tilting at windmills  

I am indebted to Languagehat for drawing my attention to the fact that, selon HarperCollins, Miguel de Cervantes himself was supposed to be promoting his newly retranslated chef d'œuvre at a venue very near me at 6:00 p.m. last Wednesday. I promised the Hat that I would go and see what, precisely, was up, and report back accordingly.

To the best of my knowledge, Cervantes has been dead continuously since 1616, so I was not particularly inclined to think that HarperCollins was telling the truth. The interesting question was, who was going to be there in his place? Smart money was on the translator, Edith Grossman, although I confess that I was half hoping to find Hal Holbrook in a ruffed collar. (The real long shot, as a friend pointed out, was Pierre Menard.)

So I got to the Munk Centre promptly at six, and discovered that this was not a simple book signing but a whole mini-conference, called "Celebrating 400 Years of Tilting at Windmills! A Discussion of Translation, Art, and Theatre in Cervantes' Don Quixote." Here is the program:

Don Quixote in Translation
Edith Grossman, translator
Word, Play, and the Novel in Cervantes
Ellen Anderson, York University
The Adventure of the Visual Image: The Case of Don Quixote
Rachel Schmidt, University of Calgary
Cervantes and Virgil, or How to have Fun with the Classics
Stephen Rupp, University of Toronto
Roundtable Discussion and Question & Answer Period

It looked very interesting, but unfortunately it was going to start at 6:30 (after half an hour of milling about) and continue to 9:00 or so, and I didn't have time to stay. So all I can report on is the program, and the fact that Cervantes does not seem to have been scheduled to put in an appearance in anything other than spirit. However, I expect that Norma Lundberg at 400 Windmills may have more to say about the conference, so I hereby refer the Hat and anyone else who may be interested to that site, which is a group blog "dedicated to a reading and discussion of Cervante's masterpiece, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha."

Nuværende humør: quixoticquixotic
the_deli: BOTTLE OPENERthedeli on 15. Maj, 2005 18:59 (UTC)
Miguel just called me and said that he was "weirded out" by the whole thing - and was, therefore, not even there in spirit.

Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 16. Maj, 2005 17:32 (UTC)
That's a shame. On the other hand, now I don't feel so bad about having left.
Henrytahnan on 19. Maj, 2005 08:01 (UTC)
It is a shame Cervantes didn't make it; perhaps he was having coffee with Anton Chekov, who did his own book signing last year.