I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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On Quijotismo

Leanne Ogasawara
Quichotte, by Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Cape, £20, 416 pp, ISBN: 978-1787331921 The story of Don Quixote never gets old. First published (Book One, that is) in 1605, Cervantes’s novel continually makes the list of the greatest books of all time, being the second most translated after the Bible. In 2002, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters asked a hundred authors across the world to name their choice for “best novel” of all time: Cervantes won in a landslide. Considered by many people to be “the first modern novel”, it is a story of a man’s search for truth. It is also hilariously funny. I was not surprised to learn that it is one of the most requested books by the inmates at Guantánamo. As if reading the Quixote is not enough, there is also a long list of works that have been created over the centuries in direct homage to it. Most famous are Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, both being intentional retellings of the story. But there are also more indirect, but still consciously influenced, works, like Kafka’s story “The Truth about Sancho Panz”a and GK Chesterton’s The Return of Don Quixote, not to mention pretty much everything Milan Kundera ever wrote. There is Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”. My own favorite is Graham Greene’s Monsignor Quixote, about a priest in a small town in La Mancha, who claims he is a descendant of the famous knight errant, never mind that all his friends remind him that Don Quixote was a fictional character. Beyond literature, we have Massenet’s opera Don Quichotte and Petipa’s ballet Don Quixote, as well as Telemann’s marvellous Don Quixote Suite. Salman Rushdie’ s new novel, Quichotte, is only the latest in the four-hundred-year-long history of Quixote spin-offs. Not only influenced by the original, Rushdie makes great use of some of many of the spin-offs. In particular, Massenet’s opera looms large. Other more recent works include the famous American musical The Man from La Mancha and a film by Terry Gilliam, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018). In philosophy, none other than Michel Foucault took on the Quixote in his The Order of Things. The list goes on and on. Mexican writer Ilan Stavans wrote an entire book, Quixote: The Novel and the World, to chronicle the varied artistic worlds influenced by the work. As one reviewer put it, “Stavan’s book begins with an asteroid and ends in a Japanese convenience store, both named for one…

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