I don't really get this book at all, I don't think. I guess it was like one of the first things that resembled a novel that ever came out, when it came out. Maybe that's why it's so famous. But still, it must have something enduring to say for people to be still reading it today, mustn't it? The humor all seems to be of the sort that is ugly and at someone's expense, though. It makes me wince to read it. I didn't feel amused at all, in fact. Someone please explain it to me, why it's such a beloved book.
I do get that the reader feels affectionate toward Quixote, despite his dementia and psychoses. We feel in a way that he's admirable, even though he's totally disconnected with reality. I guess it shows that we wish life were more fairy-tale-like and less real than it is, with more castles and fewer inns, perhaps.... more courtly knights and fewer crazy maniacs. It pokes fun of much of literature for being so darn high-flown and unrealistic. But is that it? I can't believe it would have lasted centuries on the strength of nothing more than that. Please enlighten me.