Spain commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest figure in Spanish Literature, Miguel de Cervantes
By Nicole-Marie Ng
Photostand for children of the main characters in Don Quixote.
All around the world, Apr 23 is celebrated as the death anniversary of Spain’s most renowned writer, Miguel de Cervantes.
Cervantes was the mastermind behind “Don Quixote” (“El Quijote”), a story about a nobleman named Alonso Quixano who read so much about chivalric romances that he too decided to become a knight and fight for justice in the world. He set off with Sancho Panza, his squire, who often employed quick wit in dealing with Quixano’s grandiose plans of knighthood.
Don Quixote is universally known as “the first modern novel” and even inspired Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers” and Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.
Children reading Don Quixote during the Spanish Language and Book Day held at the National Library Board.
Today, Cervantes is remembered as “The Prince of Wits” and held in the same esteem as Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Goethe and Montaigne as iconic figures of Western Literature.
To celebrate 400 years since Cervantes’ death, the Embassy of Spain in Singapore has produced a handy booklet to bring “Don Quixote” closer to all Singaporeans. They have translated Chapter I of Part I of Don Quixote into the four official languages of Singapore: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, together with the original in Spanish. You can download a copy here.