Don Quixote

"Don Quixote" by Adrien-Louis Demont, 1893

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The Well-Educated Mind Book Club
Book #1
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
August 15 - December 4, 2017

Today we begin looking to the first book of the Well-Eucated Mind Book Club: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

Our reading of Don Quixote will span 14 weeks. We will spend 6 weeks on Part 1 and 8 weeks on Part 2. We will aim to read approximately 10 chapters per week, which equates to roughly 60 pages. If you are following the reading schedule of 30 minutes, 4 days per week, that would equate to about 15 pages per sitting. Very doable. And, I promise, this work is so highly entertaining and engaging that you may find yourself increasing your reading time because you just can't put it down!

The study will run from August 15, 2017 through December 4, 2017. We will read through Part 1 from August 15 - September 26, and Part 2 from September 26 - November 21; this will comprise the "grammar" stage of the reading. We will then move onto the "logic" stage by spending one week on evaluation, from November 21 - 28, finishing off with one final week of the "rhetoric" stage by reflecting on the work and evaluating how it has affected you personally, from November 28 - December 4.

The recommended versions that have been recommended in The Well-Educated Mind are the following, in order of recommendation
     - Edith Grossman translation
     - Tobias Smollett translation
     - John Rutherford translation
     - J.M. Cohen translation

Though not necessarily encouraged in the WEM, there is an excellent and engaging audiobook of Don Quixote, narrated by George Guidall (this one). It is the Edith Grossman translation. My husband uses the audiobook in-between readings, due to his schedule, and desire to stay on track with me. It can be purchased as a hard-copy or found on Audible.

Each week, you will be reading and journaling 10 chapters, and reviewing your notes with a study partner (or two). We will be posting weekly blog updates with our chapter summaries and any other information we find relevant to address as we go along. We will not provide a discussion forum, as we do highly recommend the indispensibly valuable reading partner(s) for in-person discussion, as well as personal journaling. However, you are welcome to use the "Comments" section of each blog post for posting relevant questions or feedback from the week. You are welcome to develop small discussion groups online, but do not to let it overshadow the importance of in-person discussion. Small group study (in-person or online) is optional, but can be valuable for going through journal notes once per week, month, etc., and catching anything you may have missed.

The final two weeks of the study will include a great deal of evaluation and reflection. At this point, we will post more pointed questions to spark thoughtful journaling and discussion. Group study is recommended at this point, but not imperative, to discuss your conclusions together and delve a little deeper into the work. We may open an online portion for this, but that is yet to be determined.

The study of Don Quixote will be exciting, and a wonderful introduction to this book club. It is a piece full of witty social commentary and insightful remarks on human nature. We are really looking forward to it, and hope you are as well. See you on August 15th!

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