“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind,” wrote Miguel de Cervantes in his completely true tale about knight errant Don Quixote of La Mancha. We’ve started listening to Don Quixote in the car this month, and we’ll probably be listening to it for a while as there are 35 CDs to the audio book! It’s beginning to seem like finishing Don Quixote is a quixotic quest in itself. Wait a minute, what does quixotic mean? Well, read on to find out! 🙂
Quixotic is an adjective meaning “hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical.” Merriam-Webster further defines it as “foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals.” Impractical, unrealistic, and idealistic are good synonyms. Of course, quixotic comes from the last part of Don Quixote’s name, and the meaning comes from Don Quixote’s foolish but romantic quest to become a knight errant who rights wrongs, fights monsters, and loves the beautiful Dulcinea. The word was first used in 1791, according to http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=quixotic. It’s occasionally seen with a capital “Q” since it does come from Don Quixote’s name.
Here is a clip from the 1992 Spanish miniseries version of Don Quixote starring Fernando Rey. This is the scene where he attacks a group of windmills thinking they are giants.
Thanks for reading!