An accessible modern re-write of Spain’s most revered novel, Don Quixote, has become a bestseller but the version been branded “a crime against literature”.
Miguel de Cervantes’s novel about a delusional would-be knight, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, was first published in 1605. It has been translated into 145 languages and The Cervantes Institute say it is the most translated book after the Bible.
Spanish writer Andres Trapiello spent nearly 14 years adapting Cervantes’s masterpiece for contemporary readers. According to Trapiello, it is impossible to understand Don Quixote without reading the footnotes. The new edition includes a comprehensive set of changes to make it more comprehensible. Cervantes died in 1616, aged 68. When he first starting examining the text of the nearly 1,000-page novel he stumbled on an unfamiliar word: “trompogelas”.
“It was absolutely unintelligible,” Trapiello told AFP. After a whole morning’s research, he decided it meant something like: “It went in one ear and out the other.” “There are a great many people who have not read it or who have given it up several times because it is so hard,” said Trapiello. “They are obliged to read it in language that is not understood nowadays. They make you read it at school and lots of people have bad memories of that.”
Read more: The Telegraph