Madrid, the Spanish capital, is a city of cultural treasures. During the country’s golden age it was home to such artistic geniuses as painter Diego Velázquez, playwright Felix Lope de Vega (the Spanish Shakespeare), and writer Miguel de Cervantes.
The latter is of particular interest to APOL, which visited the city this week on the latest of its quixotic tour stops. Cervantes is considered the greatest writer in the Spanish language, and his masterpiece Don Quixote is considered a founding work of Western literature—in effect, the first modern novel. With the exception of the bible, DQ has been translated into more languages than any other book.
Title character Don Quixote—whose real name is Alonso Quixana—is a country noble who becomes obsessed with chivalry. Indeed, he goes mad, and sets off to roam the countryside as a knight, bringing justice to the world and reviving chivalry in the process, accompanied by his loyal squire, the peasant Sancho Panza. Shenanigans ensue. Don Quixote has been called comic and picaresque, a work of radical nihilism and anarchism, a spoof, a tragicomedy, the best literary work ever written.
“Picaresque,” “spoof,” and “anarchic” are all terms that appeal to APOL (and its author). Thus it can be no surprise that APOL was captured mooning the statues of DQ and Sancho, at the foot of a monument to Cervantes, in the city’s Plaza de España. No charges were laid, and APOL was later seen cavorting in a pool of vino tinto on the Plaza Mayor. Shenanigans ensued.
Note: “APOL” is the anthropomorphic version of my satirical novel A Person of Letters, which has gone on tour without me (with a post-modernist wink and nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page, and read about all of APOL’s (mis)adventures in sequence on this tour archive. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.