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Don Quixote: The La Mancha Story: 01/24/09
Don Quixote winds its way to the conclusion doesn't have the same obvious divisions in the narrative as the early parts do. For now I'm taking the remainder in 50 page chunks. This section of the book is divided evenly between a farcical wedding and a trip into a cave in which Don Quixote claims to have had amazing adventures.
For this post, I will only focus on the wedding. I'll leave Quixote's "Bogus Adventure" for next week in which I will discuss another favorite duo of mine: Bill and Ted!
Most of this section is centered around a wedding that Don Quixote and Sancho Panza attend. It's set up to be the big society event. Sancho points out that things aren't as cheery as they appear to be. Boy is he right. The bride's husband appears and runs himself through in front of the entire wedding party. As he lays dying he demands that the bride take her vows with him so he can die in peace. Except, he's not dying. Of course her current bridegroom is put off by all the antics and basically washes his hands of her.
Weddings and wedding mishaps are common dramatic fodder. If one or both of the couple dies, it's a tragedy, if they live long enough to fall in love, break up and get back together, then it's a comedy. If there is rude behavior and a strong female lead, it might be a screwball comedy.
That line of reasoning brought me to one of my favorite screwball comedies, The Philadelphia Story (1940). Before the film there was a play of the same name written by Philip Barry. Like Quiteria, Tracy is a lady of means with a past she'd rather forget. Both women have huge weddings planned with everyone who is anyone invited. Big society weddings though tend to bring back unfortunate past lives in the form of former husbands. Now if this were horror, the ex would kidnap the woman or kill off her family one by one. As these weddings are both comedies, though, the ex gets to make an ass of himself and expose the new suitor for the beast he is.
For this wedding escapade, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are guests and observers. They discuss their own superior relationships (Don Quixote's imagined one with Dulcinea and Sancho Panza's actual long-time marriage). I'll be back next week with the next installment. We still have 300 pages to go! I will be updating my Quixote gallery as time permits.