In the first decade of 1600s, one ingenious Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra set out to write a humorous tale about a tall, thin, fancy-struck knight by the name of Quijote (Quixote in old Spanish) and the fat, squat, world-wearing Panza. He succeeded in writing a very comic story and a best-seller, but little did he know he was also founding modern Western literature. Don Quijote is considered by many as the first novel as such.
Don Quixote is considered a satire of orthodoxy, truth, veracity, and even nationalism. In going beyond mere storytelling to exploring the individualism of his characters, Cervantes helped move beyond the narrow literary conventions of the chivalric romance literature that he spoofed, which consists of straightforward retelling of a series of acts that redound to the knightly virtues of the hero.
Quixote has served as an important thematic source not only in literature but in much of later art and music, such as works by Pablo Picasso and Richard Strauss. (source for all the copy above: Wikipedia)
This bronze statute is another example of how far the influence of Quijote reached. The name Don Quijote is very popular around Antigua where many businesses choose it as a name. My favorite and most appropriate, in my opinion, is a tour operator with Don Quijote as its name.
If they were to make of modern film based on Don Quijote, it would have to be a road movie a la Little Miss Sunshine. I recommend both to you.
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