There exists little debate as to whom wrote the first modern novel. While some millennials will argue that the modern novel didn’t come to be until Chuck Palahnuik published Fight Club in 1996, most literary historians trace the form’s genesis to 1605 and the publication of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Don Quixote.
Don Quixote tells the tale of Alonso Quixano, who reads so much about knights and chivalry that he slowly loses his grip on reality and decides to become a knight himself — Don Quixote de la Mancha. With his squire, simple farmer Sancho Panza, at his side, he sets out to return chivalry to the world with less than expected results.
The break Quixote has suffered from reality manifests itself throughout his adventures as he famously fights against imagined enemies, such as a windmill he mistakes for a giant. Throughout the novel, Quixote bumbles along on his quest, often ignoring the earthly wisdom of Panza, who is possibly the literary archetype of someone just going along for the ride.
The book was an instant success, despite a large portion of the first pressing being lost in a shipwreck. The work spurred on countless hundreds of other authors and marked the beginning of a grand period in literature – the age of the novel.
Some have called Don Quixote the greatest novel ever written, which comes as no surprise considering the present-day reverence which it enjoys. And as we have seen time and time again, if something is so culturally important, we’re bound to find some cool tattoos of it. So, kick back, break from reality if you’re so inclined, and enjoy these depictions of a true literary classic in tattoo form.
These tattoos are an impressive nod to work that is over 500 years old. However, I personally find the greatest testament to this literary classic comes from an unexpected place — Japan. One of the biggest, most recognizable shopping outlets in the Eastern nation is named Don Quixote. Large Japanese stores such as Don Quixote often have their own theme songs, and this retail giant’s theme is lit. It’s been in my head for over a decade now.