Tilting at windmills

Two books are currently in my "active" pile right now (that is, that I’m actively reading):

Beer in America: The Early Years 1587-1840, by Gregg Smith. Interesting, though I just started. Too soon to tell if it’s grabbing me as much as Ambitious Brew did.

Don Quixote. The "Wordsworth Classics" paperback edition, and truth be told I’m slogging rather slowly through it; I have a theory or two as to why.

First of all, it might be the translation; older or more "literary" translations seem to be drier, somehow, and lose the spirit of the original (e.g., rousing adventure story). I think a fresh(er) approach would work wonders.

Second, and this might be a symptom of translation, the format is incredibly dense and hard to follow—small type with run-on sentences and dialog that are all combined in single paragraphs that can span pages. Just breaking up the dialog into eye-friendly chunks would work wonders.

Finally, my current pet theory is that these classic literary authors were working without word processors, so editing and revising was such a pain in the ass that they just published first drafts. Which any editor will tell you are pretty unreadable.

Cervantes could have shaved off a good 50,000 words if he’d just had access to a computer. It would work wonders.

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