‘Quichotte’ by Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie, famed for his flamboyant and fantastical style, offers a work of mind-boggling meta-fiction for his fourteenth novel.

Needless to say, Quichotte does not aim to innovate: there have been countless Don Quijotes since Cervantes first penned the character in 1605. True to the original, Rushdie’s take is unashamedly self-reflective, littered with references to popular culture and stinging satire of our degenerated modern society.

If the narrative is at times exuberant and pretentious this is not gratuitous; rather, it is in fitting with the original Don who, lost in his made-up world of medieval honour codes, takes himself far too seriously. Comparing Cervantes’ romance-obsessed hidalgo and Rushdie’s reality-TV addict highlights the staggering advancements made in the past four hundred years, but simultaneously reminds us how little we’ve really changed.

Unsurprisingly, the dual narrative, which combines the life of a struggling crime writer with episodes from his latest creation, quickly unravels to merge fiction and reality into an uncertain muddle. This confusion is augmented by the abundant fantastical elements – a Italian-speaking cricket for starters – that pierce “reality” and threaten our ability to distinguish truth from appearance.

Quichotte is dizzying, dazzling and stunningly profound. An unforgettable journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s