I was listening to magician David Blaine on The Tim Ferriss Show this week and he shared the back story on Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, and it was mesmerizing.
David said, “The book that blows me away beyond anything, and it’s hard to explain it, Cervantes. Yeah, that guy, he wrote Don Quixote. His life was the most, for a writer, his life is what writers dream for. Even though it was a horrific and terrible life. Cervantes was the son of a surgeon in Spain. He died in 1616, the same year as Shakespeare. But back then, you were very poor. When he was 18 or something, he joined the military to fight for his country. He got shot and was maimed on the left side, so he was paralyzed on his left arm.
But he won the equivalent of the Purple Heart, so the King gave him a letter. On their trip back home in the boat, pirates basically took them captive. He was made into a slave for five years. While they were trying to get ransom, because he had this letter from the King, so they thought he was so important and so wealthy, which he wasn’t, they would just abuse and torture him. Continue reading