Travelling with Quichotte: Reading Rushdie’s Quixotic Reinvention of Cervantes’ Don

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Salman Rushdie’s latest novel Quichotte , inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote , revolves around the journey of a fictional character named Ismail Smile who adopts the name Quichotte as he embarks on a fantastic quest across America to win the heart of celebrated actor and talk-show host Salma R, since his perception of reality has been muddled by incessant immersion in television shows, just as the mind of Cervantes’ don had been addled by his preoccupation with chivalric romances. While Cervantes’ protagonist, through his various misadventures, ironically exposed the many maladies of contemporary society, Quichotte’s journey across America, accompanied by his son Sancho, whom he miraculously imagines into existence, also operates as a picaresque narrative that methodically dissects the alarming aberrations of contemporary world order. Taking Quixote’s inability to distinguish between the real and the fictional as his starting point, Rushdie’s text eclectically foregrounds the menacing fissures of a social order where a rampant disregard for facts also becomes a platform for widespread regression into atavistic atrocities. The proposed paper will focus on such issues and more in order to highlight how the famed Man of La Mancha continues to operate as a relevant figure even within the fractious contradictions of our times.

About the authors

Abin Chakraborty

Chandernagore College

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2411-7452

PhD., Assistant Professor in English

Chandernagore, Hooghly, 712136, West Bengal, India


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Copyright (c) 2022 Chakraborty A.

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