Saturday, 3 July 2010

Giant Illustration Friday

 

windmill.IF.digital Oscillate 

©Tessa - July 2010 (Mixed media: acrylic, paper, digital on hardboard)

 

"Pray look better, Sir... those things yonder are no giants, but windmills."

 

In 1605 a novel appeared which has become one of the most beloved stories of European literature. It is the tale of Don Quixote, the tall gaunt knight-errant, gentle buffoon and dreamer astride his fallible steed, Rocinante. Accompanied by his potbellied, illiterate squire, Sancho Panza, these eccentric characters are as famous as Sinbad, Tarzan, Odysseus, Hamlet, or Superman.

Don Quixote, the eponymous hero of this 17th century novel by Miguel de Cervantes, is a dreamer and an affable buffoon, an aging gentleman who sets out from his village of La Mancha to perform acts of chivalry in the name of his grand love Dulcinea. He rides a decrepit horse, Rocinante, and is accompanied by his 'squire', the peasant Sancho Panza. Quixote's imagination often gets the better of him; in one never to be forgotten incident he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants. It is a testament to the novel and Miguel de Cervantes' vivid characterization that the term quixotic now describes anyone who takes on an idealistic or benevolent  quest against great odds.

The original story, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, was immediately popular — with six editions in 1605 alone — and has never lost its prominence. Cervantes not only created one of the greatest comic figures of world literature, but with his realist and humanist techniques he originated, some critics assert, the modern novel.

Don Quixote lived in a world created in his imagination, which had been fuelled by his obsession with chivalric tales. He dreams of resurrecting a world he had long read of: chivalry, battles with giants and evil knights and the rescue of virtuous maidens. Instead, our intrepid hero deals with windmills, bedclothes and much disappointment. Throughout his many adventures Quixote often seems ridiculous, yet he maintains his staunchly hopeful attitude and belief in chivalry with enthusiastic brio. The book inspired the 1959 play Man of La Mancha, in which Quixote’s quest is summed up in the song “The Impossible Dream”

In this song from the musical, Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it and in doing so he captures the essence of the play and its philosophical underpinnings.  Even though it's become a kind of musical cliché, to me it's still pure magic.

 

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...


possibledreams_badge

This blog post is dedicated to those of you who have indeed helped to make dreams possible for those who live in a small, forgotten mountain kingdom in Africa.  From the people of Swaziland, Dr Maithri and his team we say ngiyabonga, usale kahle - thank you and be well.   And to my special American friends....Happy July 4th!

15 comments:

Eleonora said...

You, m'lady, are the essence of class and talent.

Love the new style, and the Quixote touch.

I love you
Lola xx

Rrramone said...

Don Q., my hero!!! ;-)

linda said...

i was transfixed in reading this and in the end, wept for how you so eloquently spoke what was present within that sweet mind of yours.....almost everyday i think of "our" gogos, somehow i feel that way for those gentle old women carrying the world upon their bent backs...may they have all then need-all they desire to stem the tide of desperation, perhaps tilting at windmills indeed, works...and someday i hope i will do more to help, i have not forgotten, just a bit delayed...

i do hope you are well, my sweets...xox

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Love the new artistic direction you are headed in, Tessa. And your heart is so open and secure! I have to pass your blog along on facebook. Why don't you go into blogger and add the new share button under the post? It's as easy as adding a gadget. (I'm just mentioning it because I recently discovered the feature.)

lakeviewer said...

I second Eleonora's acclaim! Sweet!

Sarah Lulu said...

Love it love it and love you!!

Carol said...

Absolutely wonderful post! I have never read Don Quixote but you've inspired me so I think I might get a copy when we pop out later!

Love the artwork

C x

rossichka said...

My son has to read "Don Quixote" this summer, because they'll study it at school next year. I was just thinking that I must refresh my memories abot the book, when I read your clever and exciting post. Now I have no doubt I'll do it! The idealists, the "impossible dreamers"... Are they among us today, after 4 centuries? I think that "Yes"! And maybe that's one of the good things one can point out talking about the diversity of people... Thank you for writing down the verse - I can sing it now..:-)!

Caroline said...

What a striking painting, Tessa! Very different, yet still has your trademark bold use of colour. I didn't know that song was from the musical - I'll probably be humming it all day now! Lovely post!

Madame DeFarge said...

I always liked this song, although not the film as such. I warble this song periodically at work just to cheer myself up.

studio lolo said...

Having been sadly robbed of even a meager education, I have never read this book. It's always been in the back of my mind with references of DQ popping up now and then.
This post calls to me and reminds me I must read it!

I was thrilled to see you on my blog. I often think of you and wonder if you've been getting the little prayers I send out.

I hope you're doing well, Miss Tessa. You are much loved.

xoxo
Lolo♥

Angela said...

I always felt related to Don Quijote in my mind, he is part of our European soul heritage, I think. Thank you for this post, and for all you do for the people in Swaziland. You are a gem, Tessa!

Linda Sue said...

BEAUTY! just rushing through town to check email and you- thanks for the uplifting july 4th wish- hahahaha- The fourth of july is still sucking - fireworks start on the second and continue until every firecracker has been exploded- the animals are wrecked!Absolutely enchanted with your header! Glorious!

Elizabeth said...

Stunning new header, Tessa.
Don Quixote is one of my husband's favorite books
and on my list!
Now I really MUST read it.

Thinking of you while we swelter in the heat here....

Ellen Byrne said...

Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.