I love the fact that many words we use every day come from literature. The notion of quixotism “appeared after the publication of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha in 1605. Don Quixote, the hero of this novel, written by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, dreams up a romantic ideal world which he believes to be real, and acts on this idealism…”
Merriam-Webster’s first definition of quixotic is “foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals.” I happen to like the notion of tilting at windmills; some of the greatest successes of social justice seemed impossible to achieve.
Speaking of impossible, “The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. “It was written for the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha. It is the main song from the musical and became its most popular hit.
“The song is sung all the way through once in the musical by Don Quixote as he stands vigil over his armor, in response to Aldonza (Dulcinea)’s question about what he means by ‘following the quest’. It is reprised partially three more times—the last by prisoners in a dungeon as Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant mount the drawbridge-like prison staircase to face trial by the Spanish Inquisition.”
It seemed to have been sung by most of the “grownup” singers of the day. Possibly most notably, on an episode of the sitcom Gomer Pyle, USMC, entitled “The Show Must Go On,” which aired November 3, 1967, watch Marine PFC Pyle (Jim Nabors) transforms from the high-pitched former auto mechanic from Mayberry, NC to a confident, rich baritone.