On September 12, 1910, Gustav Mahler led the premiere performance of his “Symphony No. 8,” a spectacle of music that involved nearly 200 orchestra members and a quixotic chorus of more than 850 singers. Thankfully, Mahler’s vision worked out – according to most reports at the time, the audience applauded for a solid 20 minutes after the conclusion of the performance.
Adjective; from Dictionary.com:
1. Extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; impractical, impulsive or rash
2. Resembling or befitting Don Quixote
“We were children, Daisy. We had stupid, quixotic ideas that were probably about as practical as my father’s wretched plans.” (The Ugly Duchess, Eloisa James)
Aaron Sorkin, ever a fan of referencing Don Quixote, would be proud of today’s word. Quixotic is a rare word that was coined as a direct result of a novelist’s imagination. Miguel Cervantes wrote the satirical novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, thereby giving the world the character of Don Quixote, a wildly and impractically romantic man who, after reading too many novels, decides to set out to reclaim chivalry in the world. Though quixotic is taken directly from Don Quixote, it has evolved past its initial definition to include anyone or anything that’s impulsive or overly idealistic.
Your turn, bookworms – what’s your favorite word derived from a novel?
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