Thursday, March 31, 2005

don Quixote's translations

Miguel de Cervantes' book Don Quixote - regarded as the first modern novel - is still a global bestseller and source of inspiration, 400 years after it was published.
Since 1605, it has been interpreted in a huge number of ways and today it is reputed to be the most widely read and translated book on the planet after the Bible. The 400th anniversary of the tale of an eccentric knight errant and his long-suffering squire Sancho Panza has also prompted a spate of new editions of the book. They include one in Spanglish by Ilan Stavans, Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts and one of the world's major experts on Don Quixote. He told the BBC World Service's Outlook programme that the book's enduring appeal was down to a central character who "moves across history, presenting different masks, and being appreciated - sometimes as a madman, sometimes as an idealist. "It is a character that not even Cervantes himself imagined to be so elastic."
You could approach Don Quixote from the American perspective, or the French, or the Soviet - and each individual in those contexts would be able to understand him and identify him."
In the communist Soviet Union, for example, Don Quixote was perceived as a rebel anti-capitalist hero.
The book's enduring popularity is reflected not only in the sheer number of translations and editions, but the number of efforts to bring it to other media - despite a superstition that any adaptations are doomed to failure.

More news about don Quixote here

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