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Day 217 – Don Quixote (Guanajuato)

May 15, 2011

Location: Guanajuato, Mexico

Date: Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why has Don Quixote inspired so much art? You know the Picasso painting. Dali did one, too. And you know the whole fat man/skinny man buddy pairing? Well the book (title in full: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) inspired that, too, and thus begat The Blues Brothers; Tommy Boy; Hot Fuzz; and Twins. Cervantes was the literary man.

The best part is, I don’t know anyone that’s read it. Not since Atlas Shrugged has a book gotten so much mileage for not having been read in full (perhaps the Bible?).

Given all this it might seem surprising that a city like Guanajuato has one of the most extensive collections of artwork centered round the wayward knight. A Museum of Quixote Iconography in the middle of the highlands of Mexico? Wasn’t Cervantes from Spain?

Turns out it’s not all that weird. Guanajuato is, in Mexico, famous for its art scene. For a town this small (around 150,000) there are no less than three theaters (one named for Cervantes). More importantly, every year the city invites artists from around the world to its Festival Cervantino. Held every October since 1972, it’s evolved into a month long hubbub with hundreds of artist performances—everything from opera, film, theater, music, dances, and exhibitions. As the name suggests, it honors the author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes.

Have to say, the place was a pleasant surprise. So many interesting, varied works inspired by a half-crazy knight whose most famous battle was against a building.

Makes me almost want to read the book.

TOTALLY RANDOM

Remember how I said I came to Mexico for the tacos? I have eaten many many tacos. But if a taco is eaten in Mexico and no one sees a picture, does it count?

I have no idea. But to play it safe. Here is a picture of five tacos (and a quesadilla).

GALLERY: No bonus pictures. But feel free to click through anyway.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gibralter217 permalink
    June 27, 2011 7:16 pm

    I read it. Great book. May have been the reason the word “bawdy” was invented. I also saw the Sophia Loren And Peter O’Tool musical adaptation for film. When I was a kid my brother and I would belt the chorus and ride around the house on make believe horses. We knew every word.

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