April 23rd, 2010


I volunteered today for Quixote

Cervantes died on April 23, 1616. In his honor, the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid is hosting the 14th annual Continuous Reading of Don Quijote de La Mancha. Since it takes 48 hours to read the whole book out loud, the reading actually started yesterday, April 22, and finish on April 24. Celebrities, students, and volunteers off the street will each proclaim a brief portion.

I read this morning, volunteer-off-the-street Number 176, and number 559 overall – others were pre-registered or part of organized groups like high school classes. I had to wait about an hour for my turn, and I read a portion of Part Two, Chapter IV: one sentence, but it was 122 words long, part of speech uttered by Sancho Panza.

The ticket says:

Reading of Quixote
Dear Reader: The hour and turn printed on this ticket during this event may come to have some variation due to reasons of schedule, security or protocol. Thank you for your collaboration and understanding.

"Yet it is the truth," responded Don Quixote: "and if I'm not complaining about any pain, it is because knights errant are not given to complain about any injury, even if their entrails are hanging out of it."
First Part. Chapter VIII

— Sue Burke
(Note: The modern Spanish spelling is Quijote. The traditional Spanish spelling is Quixote. English uses the traditional spelling.)