In 2002, 100 world-known writers from 54 countries were asked by  the Norwegian Book Club to name the books they considered to be the best books of fiction of all time.  The question was sent to Salman Rushdie, Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka, Norman Mailer, García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Carlos Fuentes, among many others.  It was no surprise to the literary world that Don Quijote topped the list.  Since its publication 400 years ago, Cervantes’s masterpiece has been regarded as one of the most influential books in the history of writing with the great distinction of being also the most translated book after the Bible.  No wonder 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature William Faulkner confessed that, in order to really learn to write, he read Don Quijote  every year, while the American literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote in 1950 that all prose fiction in the world is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote.  We might agree or disagree with these references, but the fact remains that Don Quijote is a book of books. This can be seen at An exhibition of translations of DQ  now going on at the Johns Hopkins University Library, in Baltimore: www.library.jhu.edu/about/news/exhibits/quixote.

In the occasion of this celebration, George Mason University's Department of Modern and Classical Languages wants to share the joy of reading Don Quijote with a three-event program (free and open to the public):

1- A guitar concert of “Music in the Times of Cervantes and Beyond” by acclaimed classical guitarist Francesc de Paula Soler, former Master Guitarist at the Conservatory of Music of Barcelona, who is now on his tenth US tour. This concert will take place Tuesday November 22 at 7:30 pm at the JC Cinema.[http://fpsoler.eresmas.net].

2- A lecture/conversation with GMU Assistant Professor of Medieval & Golden Age Literature Antonio Carreño-Rodríguez: “Cervantean Elements in American Pop Culture” [Thursday December 1, 4:30 pm in SUB II Room 5, 6, & 7];

3- A lecture/conversation with Edith Grossman, whose translations of García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Alvaro Mutis, Ariel Dorfman, and many other writers from Spain and Latin America, made her the most suitable translator for the 4th centenary new version of Don Quijote (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2003) [Wednesday December 7, 4:30-5:45 pm, JC Cinema].

You are invited to come to one or all of these events.  It is imperative that, as members of the community of readers, we help with an event of this breath and caliber. In order to make it successful, we need your support in inviting everyone you think would be interested, especially yourselves and your family.

I include here a copy of the flyer (by Ana Alonso) in a pdf format [donquijoteflyer] for you to print and display.  I hope you can come.

Rei Berroa