Don Quixote de La Mancha is about a man’s obsession with a woman who doesn’t know he’s alive. Dulcinea is the definitive anima, that perfect woman who exists only in the mind of a man.
“I think the idealization of women is indigenous to men.
There are various ways of idealizing women, especially sexually, based in almost every case on their inaccessibility. When a woman functions as an unobtainable love object, then she takes on a mythical quality. You can see this principle functioning as a sales device in advertising and in places like Playboy magazine. Almost every movie you see has this quality, because you can’t embrace the image on the screen. Thousands of novels use this principle, because you can’t embrace a printed image on a page.”
– James Dickey,
Self Interviews, p. 153