"One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this." With this quote from Man of La Mancha, we experience Don Quixote. If you want to experience the original (Don Quixote was published more than 400 years ago), the author was Miguel de Cervantes.
Cervantes writes: "For me alone Don Quixote was born and I for him. His was the power of action, mine of writing." The character is a remarkably unforgettable creation: a knight errant, who challenges windmill-giants and rides off with his trusty servant and old nag of a steed.
Milan Kundera wrote: "When Don Quixote went out into the world, that world turned into a mystery before his eyes. That is the legacy of the first European novel to the entire subsequent history of the novel. The novel teaches us to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude."
So, what are the questions you'd like to ask? About Don Quixote? About Cervantes? If you could ask any question of any character or any author--living or dead--what would you want to know?
Can we derive the answers by sifting through the bones or other remnant artifacts of those long-dead personages?
Historians and archaeologists are searching a convent for the remains of Cervantes. The famous Spanish novelist, poet and playwright died on April 23, 1616 (10 days after the death of Shakespeare). According to an article from The Guardian, the bones were temporarily moved, and then returned to an unknown location on the grounds. Now, "geo-radar technology" may come to the rescue. Giles Tremlett details how they'll know it's the Cervantes: battle wounds (a bit curious)... No known portrait survives from his lifetime (although the article includes a likeness that was created 20 years after his death).
What did he look like? The forensics could tell us so much--about his life, death. But, one must wonder... or at least I must. Were the bones of Cervantes really "lost" or, instead, mysteriously buried in an unknown location for some purpose?
Cover Art © HarperCollins.