The New Adventures of Don Quixote
With photographs by Arko Datto
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Tariq Ali’s latest play, The New Adventures of Don Quixote, can be read as an homage to German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht as much as a playful tribute to Cervantes’s masterwork. The central characters from the original novel, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, are mounted on their beasts of burden, Rocinante and the Mule, and Ali has them ride into the twenty-first century, where they are confronted by old, familiar vices: war, greed, ethnic and religious prejudices, disappointed love, and economic crisis. Amid the satirical and sad songs, there are odd moments of happiness for Quixote, when he imagines that a wounded US colonel is Dulcinea and allows himself to be seduced by her in a military hospital in Germany.
Primarily interested in discovering the meaning of life and how it is molded by the world in which we live, Ali uses the theatrical device of the conversation between the two animals—Rocinante the philosopher and Mule the everyman who questions her relentlessly. Accompanied by full-colour stills from the play’s production in Germany, this volume is as intellectually stimulating as it is uproariously humorous.
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