Monday, January 7, 2013


Texts From Don Quixote

dragons -
dragons everywhere -

where are there dragons?
where are you? 

I am beset by dragons, my love!
there has been perfidy
in this strange land of iron islands
and wraiths that drape themselves in steam

are you in the kitchen?

no kitchen could produce a bellow so terrifying
nor a stench so foul
as that of these steel dragons 

i think you are in the kitchen

they perch upon nests of flame!!

you are absolutely in the kitchen 
that is the tea kettle


please do not stab my tea kettle 

ah, dear one
your concern for my safety does you credit
but a man must be brave
where is my steed
where is Rocinante


Previously: Texts From the American Girls.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. She is also the weekend editor at The Gloss.

48 Comments / Post A Comment

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

"please do not stab my tea kettle"


Jane Err

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose


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Mallory Ortberg, this slayed me! (but not my tea kettle) I really enjoy this series.


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I've never made it all the way through Don Quixote either, in spite of the abundance of filthy jokes.


@Megano! If you're questing for dirty jokes in old Spanish works, "El libro de buen amor" might just be your holy grail.


@Megano! I've watched the "Wishbone" episode of "Don Quixote." Does that count?


@D.@twitter I have too! That one was ALWAYS ON, for some reason. That is only one very small part though.


you are absolutely in the kitchen
that is the tea kettle



"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty small elves? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What elves?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their tiny arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two centimetres in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not elves but windmill cookies."


I'm just thinking of the Peter O'Toole movie.

It is intensely weird, and all of the songs are shot in weird close-up?


@thatgirl You mean like in the new Les Miz movie?


@thatgirl Have you seen Lost in LaMancha? Terry Gilliam has been trying to make a Don Quixote movie since the 90s, and all the poor man has is a documentary about why it's been so....quixotic. (sorry).

Anyway, it was pretty interesting! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308514/

Jane Err

How wonderful. You're wonderful.

(move to Montana)


That reminds me that reading Don Quixote is on the list of things to do in order to be An Adult that I made in college, ha ha, hahahahahahaha. Ha.


@cuminafterall - This list sounds fascinating. At 30 years old, the simplest things still make me feel like a grown-up. Like, eating dinner at the kitchen table with no television.


@leon s Also on the list: learn to drive. Still haven't managed that one yet, either.

I most often feel like an adult when I'm dealing with the bummer consequences of doing something I always wanted to do as a child, like when I have to take Pepto-Bismol after eating candy and popcorn for dinner.


@cuminafterall It's actually really good! Whether or not you want to be an adult, you should give it a go.

sarah girl

I actually slogged through the entirety of Don Quixote, mainly to please a now ex-boyfriend. It was ultimately a great book, but man, what a trial that was.


@Sarah H. Hi! Welcome to the Slogged Through Great Books For Lurve AND SURVIVED Club!


Love this. Can the follow up be the diary of Sancho Panza?

"Day 3: Dude still crazy. Must remember to get paid in cash. GTG, more freakin' windmills coming up..."


@Bebe I would also enjoy texts between Dulcinea and Sancho Panza.

are you guys going to be home for dinner?

well right now he's accusing a shrub of stealing some guy's wallet

so no, then


ahhh I love this! Never stop the texts, I beg you!

Miss Maszkerádi

Oh, Melis! This is, in my humble opinion, the best one yet!
I'm going to be picturing Don Q and Dulcinea's suburban home life and giggling for hours now.


I'm having flashbacks to The Newsroom.




@wee_ramekin *giggles at the size of your font* (if you know what I mean)

dr. annabel lies

seriously the best one ever


I took a class on Don Quijote in college! A whole class! And it wasn't even like a class on a great work of literature in which you read other documents about context and primary sources and criticism etc. We literally just spent the whole quarter reading Don Quijote together. It was GREAT.


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Now I'm frantically concocting new ideas for "classic text" segments. "Candide" and "War & Peace" immediately spring to mind.


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