Through a Glass, Madly
In my day, the A-level Spanish syllabus included a few score of the key pages of Don Quijote – windmills mistaken for giants, labourers for lords, prostitutes for princesses, and so on. When I got to university I found that we were supposed to know the whole novel. I struggled through most of it but couldn’t handle its digressions and longueurs. Cervantes could veer off at tangents and not return for a hundred pages or more. My tutors encouraged me to persevere. After all, Cervantes was revered as Spain’s Shakespeare.