Whether you love or loathe Don Quixote, it cannot be denied that the impact of Cervantes’ 400 year old work is grand and far reaching. Often thought of as one of the first modern novels, Don Quixote manages to remain fresh and relevant to modern readers, what with its comical vignettes and lovable (or at the very least laughable) characters. Our group’s project focusses on a very wide array of ideas, that of Cervantes’ and Don Quixote’s impact on the world today.
Admittedly, we took a glean at the Wikipedia page of works influenced by Don Quixote to gain a foothold on the planning, and inspire further, in-depth research on our topic.To There, we decided to split our project into five categories – pertaining to the impact of Don Quixote in art, literature, film and tv, music and ballet, and stage. Such categories merely skim the surface of influence, as Don Quixote has proved to influence even stranger categories of work – such as video games, comic books, and more.
Two group members were assigned two categories each as to more fairly allocate research, and it was decided that a web-like pattern would be used to display our favorite selections. Selections were chosen based off relevance, and we made an effort to include a balance of modern and older pieces. We chose to use a flat board rather than a display case in an effort to maintain uniformity in our presentation, and variety was added not with dimension, but rather, the color and size of our images and captions. The yarn, an added touch by Robert, really tied the work together. (Please clap.)
In an effort to keep the wall aesthetically appealing, we did not overload the material. Of course, there is still work a moderate amount of work to be done, such adding bigger images, and there are other classic influenced works that may be added to the board – but hey, we’re almost there!
The portion that has intrigued me the most about this project is the way in which there are just as many comedic and whimsical works influenced by Don Quixote as there are tragic and serious. There exists everything from a moderately disturbing “puppet opera” by the name of “Master Pedro’s Puppet Show,” to the popular musical, The Man of La Mancha – a stern and even somber musical detailing a tale of Cervantes and his fellow prisoners awaiting a trial with the Spanish Inquisition. Aside from direct references, the character attributes of Don Quixote himself are seen in 19th century literature such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. I would argue that even cinematic masterpieces such as Shrek and Shrek II would have gleaned inspiration from Cervantes’ work, as the relationship between Donkey and Shrek has many similarities to that of Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Our submission for the HCC digital wall features a variety of more modern Don Quixote references in an effort to draw in the attention of mere passersby- which it likely will due to its oh-so-exciting movie real-esque appearance.
Our project differed from the other groups not only in its two dimensional nature, but also, in the variety of topics covered. It was interesting to gain a glimpse at just how much Cervantes, the rather whacky and satirical 17th century Spanish author, has impacted the world. Hopefully, the essay portion will give each of us a chance to further explore selected categories. Personally, I will likely be looking at stage and literature.