Friday, January 30, 2009

Quote of the Day: Cervantes

"They can dress me up as they please," said Sancho. "Whatever clothes they put me in I'll still be Sancho Panza." (Cervantes, Don Quixote II, XLII; trans. John Rutherford)

I like Sancho. He says some ridiculous things, mixes his proverbs up, and, at times, comes out as extraordinarily profound without realizing it. He reminds me of another sidekick character of Samwise or Sam in the Lord of the Rings: loyal, naive, folksy, and occasionally profound.

Sancho, here, says that not matter how he is dressed up, as a peasant or as a governor, he will still be himself. The dress, in fact, reflects such stations or classes in life. One's station is like clothing: it can come and go and change, but the self endures and remains. It is almost Platonic, but clothed in everyday situations.

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