Monday, April 13, 2009
More literary connections
If Lucius was alive today, one would think he was a pretty well read guy. Not only do I see allusions to Frankenstein, but also to Don Quixote. (I do know, however that the references are not in The Golden Ass, but in the literature titles I just mentioned as the fact remains that The Golden Ass precedes them by many centuries. Still we must remember that all that is past possess the present!) It's interesting to note that Sancho Panza rode a donkey and Lucius is turned into a donkey. (As is Bottom's head from a Midsummer Night's Dream, but that's another story.) But the most fascinating connection between the two literary masterpieces is the practice of the scapegoat. "As I walked hesitantly towards the bush, a young man who must have been the owner of the vegetable patch ran angrily at me with a big stick. He beat me so hard in revenge for the damage I had done that he might have killed me if I had not had the sense to defend myself by raising my rump and letting out with my hind legs" (76). Scenes such as these riddle the 940 page monstrosity that is Don Quixote. Every other chapter depicts the brutal beating of either Don Quixote, his squire, or both. Someone is always running at the pair with a big stick for some offense that Don Quixote unknowingly committed. And as the reader continues to read The Golden Ass, Lucius does not go unscathed and without many beatings. Vale.