September 26: Delusional

In my "relevant" translation of Don Quixote, this chapter would take place here.

This is the part in Don Quixote where the Don spends the night at an inn, which he thinks is a castle, and has to watch his arms overnight in the side yard (chapel) so that in the morning the innkeeper (noble lord) can confirm him in his folly (knight-errancy).

As always it's better to be a true believer than a skeptic, for the Don emerges from his evening unscathed (or, more precisely, he's braced for scathing, so he doesn't really feel it), while the innkeeper, who "when he heard him speak in that manner; and that he might have an occasion of laughter, he resolved to feed his humour that night" winds up having two of his guests clubbed by the Don and, in the end, "without demanding of him anything for his lodging, he suffered him to depart in a fortunate hour." It doesn't do to be too skeptical, maybe; or, if you are skeptical, maybe you should give the true believers a wide berth.

In some ways this reminds me of the current financial crisis (but everything does, right now) -- the Don believes that this crappy inn is actually a high-end castle that could use a new 1-year ARM; full of theories of chivalry and finance, he is confident such a place can always be flipped. And the innkeeper is a practical man who lets himself get sucked in, thinking that this theory is crazy but he can take advantage of it, only to wind up stiffed at the end. While the true believer rides serenely on, probably to a commentary position at CNBC.

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