I gave up my regular reading of conservative journalism several years ago, but I couldn't help noticing the recent brouhaha involving Cliven Bundy, by which I mean not so much the uproar over his racist remarks, but rather his ongoing battle with the federal government over grazing fees. Here's a serious conservative perspective on the whole sorry affair from The Weekly Standard.
In an earlier post I mentioned that I had started reading graphic novels, and that I had done so under the influence of I. N. J. Culbard. If you look at that earlier post, you'll see that most of his books, or at least most of the ones that I've read, were published by SelfMadeHero,
a British press that specializes in graphic novels. I browse their website from time to time, and so I've noticed that they publish, among other things, adaptations of classic works of literature.
What recently caught my eye was Rob Davis's graphic novel The Complete Don Quixote. I was already slightly familiar with Davis's work, since he adapted "The Dunwich Horror" in The Lovecraft Anthology, volume one, which was also published by SelfMadeHero. But his work as an illustrator was unknown to me. I figured that a graphic novel of Don Quixote would be a worthwhile read, and so I requested it through interlibrary loan at my local public library.
The book looks very nice, I think. Here are the cover and the title page:
Davis's visual style is simple and direct. Nothing fussy, nothing needlessly complicated.
Since almost everyone knows the story of Don Quixote and the windmills, I figured that I could include photos of it without spoiling anyone's fun. They'll give you a small taste of the book's visual delights.
Once again, simple and direct. Funny and charming too, in that sad way of so many of Don Quixote's adventures. The comic book sound effects help, don't they?
When I was in high school, I read an abridged edition of the original novel in my Spanish class; and when I was in college, I read an abridged English translation in a literature class. That means, unfortunately, that I've never read Cervantes' novel in its entirety in any language. My judgment of Davis's adaptation, based on what I have read and remember of the novel, is that it is a faithful one. He did a very fine job, I think, and so I highly recommend this book.
One mark of the success of any type of adaptation of a literary work is whether or not the adaptation leads us back to the original source material. After reading Davis's The Complete Don Quixote I find that I'd like read Don Quixote in its entirety.
So now I'm researching various English translations. (Is it my imagination, or are there dozens of them?) I'm even reviewing my Spanish for the first time in slightly over thirty years. I'll read the abridged Spanish edition published by Dover when my skill with the language is back up to speed, and I'll eventually read the entire novel in English. Since none of this was ever really an ambition of mine, I'd like to thank Mr. Davis for prompting me to take up Don Quixote again. I'm grateful for the inspiration.