Tilting At Windmills In Venezuela


The Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has printed one million copies of Don Quixote to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of Cervantes’ novel.

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Chavez explained that Venezuelans should all read the book in order “feed ourselves once again with that spirit who went out to undo injustices in the world”
The Guardian is not so sure about this however:
Quixote – like Mr Magoo only more so – is always comically mistaking something for something else. In one episode, he attacks a herd of sheep, believing them to be an evil army. He also charges a funeral procession, claiming that the pallbearers are devils carrying away a princess. This bathetic myopia is, we are to believe, brought on by reading books about chivalry. Indeed, the message of Don Quixote might well be that too much reading can divert even the most lovable knight away from an effective struggle against injustice. Hugo, what are you trying to say?