Spanish poet/novelist Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) was born on this day in Alcala and wrote Don Quijote de la Mancha (1602) while in prison at Argamasilla in La Mancha. He was in his mid-50s, chased by creditors, yet continued to live life with passion.
"You must live long in order to see much," he said.
The legendary Quixote, "Knight of the Doleful Countenance," accompanied by his loyal servant Sancho Panzo, set out in search of heroic adventures and battled injustices. A chivalrous knight in armor, the world he imagined transformed windmills into giants. "Love not what you are but only what you may become," Cervantes wrote.
The adventures of the visionary Quixote has been translated into more languages than any other book other than the Bible. The story is considered by many scholars to be the first modern novel and the template for much of the world's fiction.
"That which costs little is less valued," he said. The idealistic Cervantes taught the world courage, optimism, and unfailing dedication to personal quests.
Were his dreams merely madness? "Too much sanity," reasoned the earnest knight, "may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!"
More Miguel de CERVANTES Quotations
Pursuit of a dream creates immortality.