el más corto entendimiento
Shamefully, blogging about the book continues to be easier than writing the book. I think I have found a new epigraph in Don Quijote. (I had been using a passage from Borges's "El Aleph," but it was starting to seem too literal and facile a connection.) To render the Cervantes into English, I started with the Ormsby translation and have been taking it apart in order to get a better rhythm. Also, none of the English versions I've found render quimeras as the obvious "chimeras," which is probably because of differing connotations or something, but how can anyone ever pass up the opportunity to use "chimeras" in a sentence? Here's what I've got (Don Quijote talking to Sancho, book 1, chapter 25):
¿Que es posible que en cuanto ha que andas conmigo no has echado de ver que todas las cosas de los caballeros andantes parecen quimeras, necedades y desatinos, y que son todas hechas al revés? Y no porque sea ello ansí, sino porque andan entre nosotros siempre una caterva de encantadores que todas nuestras cosas mudan y truecan, y las vuelven según su gusto, y según tienen la gana de favorecernos o destruirnos; y así, eso que a ti te parece bacía de barbero, me parece a mí el yelmo de Mambrino, y a otro le parecerá otra cosa.
Is it possible that in all this time you have been going about with me, you have not come to see that all things concerning knights-errant seem to be chimeras, stupidities and nonsense, and to be done all topsy-turvy? And not because it is really so, but because there always walks among us a pack of enchanters who switch and alter all our things and turn them as they please, as they are disposed to aid or destroy us; and so what seems to you a barbers basin seems to me the helmet of Mambrino, and to another it will seem something else.