|Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, by Honore Damier|
"Self-praise is self-debasement."
"Craziness has more companions than wisdom."
"If a man cannot govern himself how can he govern others?"
Now seemed a perfect time to flee into "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes, to get lost in the vast 400-year-old Spanish novel of a deranged knight and his trusty mule-borne sidekick, Sancho Panza.
You can run but, alas, you cannot hide, and a vexing present will sneak up where least expected. I don't want to suggest that "Don Quixote" is suddenly a political novel, ripped from the headlines of 2017.
Let's just say the tale of a delusional old man who blunders about, claiming to help people while actually attacking innocent passersby and then interpreting the resulting fiascoes as embellishing his legend of unmatched glory, well, there was a certain unexpected relevance.
Or as the Knight of the Sorrowful Face says: "The woman they call Fortune is fickle, and blind and drunken and doesn't know who she raises up or sets down."
Tell it, brother.
I do have to give technology a nod. Our brave new digital world gets a bad rap for mooting books, and rightly so. But the sword cuts both ways, to offer a proverb in the spirit of Sancho Panza, that endless font of aphorisms. Technology can also be literature's friend.
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