Don Quixote

18 Mar


 I am I, Don Quixote,

The Lord of La Mancha,

My destiny calls and I go….

Guanajuato is all things Cervantes. The spirit of Cervantes novel “Don Quixote” pervades the town. A unique work of tragedy and comedy, Don Quixote is the first modern European novel and is considered by many to be one the best works of fiction ever written. Spanish is often called “the lengua de Cervantes,” his impact on the language was so strong.

Every year in October Guanajuato holds the “Festival International Cerventino.” Guanajuato has a long history of cultural events dating back to its lush days of silver mining. The wealth of the city allowed the building of theaters and museums that are still in use today. The Cervantes Festival started in the 1950s in Guanajuato when short plays of Cervantes were staged in these venues. Today the Festival has expanded internationally to become one of the most important artistic and cultural events in Latin America and one of four major events of this kind in the world.

Guanajuato is not that big. When the festival is running performances are held from morning until night in the forty-nine theaters, plazas and other locations throughout the city. The crowds that attend come from all over the world and inundate the city with an international audience. The streets are packed with people with a strong contingent of students and children.

Don Quixote is the seed for the Cervantes Festival. Many of the themes in Don Quixote are the heart of the Festival. The novel’s characters, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and Don Quixote’s steed, Rocinante, are emblems of the western literary tradition. When published it was thought to be a witty comic novel and it is, indeed, funny. Yet Don Quixote has inspired the arts for over 400 years. The Cervantes Festival in Guanajuato is a significant part of that long, very human history.



2 Responses to “Don Quixote”

  1. Ursula March 18, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    I assumed the novel was loosely based on a real person.

    • Jill March 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      I don’t think there could be any real person like Don Quixote. They would have to be the germ of an idea in this case.

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