Books That Inspire 2001

Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote (Madrid: 1605, 1615) is the most influential book I have read. It teaches me that everything is subjectively perspectival and temporary; nothing is permanent or absolutely objective. Giants can become windmills, and ladies courtesans. This baroque lesson might cause some trepidation; but also joy, for everything becomes then a matter of perception: a possibility, a choice. Like Don Quixote, I too choose my perspective, my truth. May all who read this novel never give up on their dreams, no matter how “mad” in others’ perceptions, as neither Don Quixote nor I gave up on ours.
Robert A. Lauer
Professor of Spanish Modern Languages