“Don Quijote de la Mancha is the second most translated book after the Bible”
According to Spanish Professor Alfredo Moro, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes is the most popular author in the world for his popular novel ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’, more than it is popular in Spain. Professor Moro was the guest in Malta of the Spanish embassy for the 400 anniversary since the death of Cervantes who was commemorated on Friday with a series of activities spreading over last week.
Miguel de Cervantes died on the 22nd April, 400 years ago. He is best known for his literary masterpiece Don Quijote, which according to Professor Moro is the second most translated book in different languages after the Bible.
“He was the inventor of the modern novel. His influence around the world was universal. We are currently working on a project where we are assembling all the translations of Don Quijote in many languages all around the world and we have one language per chapter”, Prof. Alfredo Moro, who is Assistent Lecturer at the Cantabria Spanish University said.
During an interview with tvm.com.mt, Prof. Moro said that after only eight years of its publication, Don Quijote was being translated in other languages. “We find thousands of translations and thousands of authors who were influenced, e.g. British authors like Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, all wrote about Don Quixote and all were interested in Don Quixote”.
Asked whether the character of Don Quijote is a stereotype of Spanish people, the Spanish ambassador in Malta Jose’ Pons said that in a certain sense everyone identifies himself with this character, and not only the Spanish.
“Don Quijote is a stereotype in the sense that he’s a man who pretends to be a gentleman and at the same time wants to fight for freedom and solve problems to the people and to create a fascinating life around him which sometimes is his imagination,” Ambassador Josè Pons said.
In Malta, Miguel de Cervantes was commemorated with a series of events organised by the Spanish embassy at the Spazju Kreattiv, including an exhibition on Don Quijote and the presentation of the Don Quijote book, translated into Maltese by Pawlu Montebello.
Min kien Miguel de Cervantes?
Cervantes, who had left a great impact on the Spanish language with the Don Quijote publication, was born on the 29th September 1547 and died on the 22 April 1616. The Don Quijote literary work is the best of his works and is considered as the first modern European novel in the Western classic literature.
His works include the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, Viaje al Parnaso (Journey to Parnassus) in 1614, Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quijote in 1615. The last literary work of Cervantes was Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (The Works of Persiles and Sigismunda), published in 1617.