Don Quixote's Delusions
By Miranda France
A humorous and affectionate look at modern Spain, and a celebration of the country's greatest book, from the pen of a brilliant young writer.When in 1987 Miranda France spent a year living in Madrid, the post-dictatorship ebullience was at its height. Pornography and soft drugs were legalised alongside more basic freedoms, such as divorce, party-affiliation and kissing in the street. In 1998 she returned to make a journey through the great cities and towns of central Spain - Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca and others. With the new prosperity, much has changed. But much has also endured, as she learns from the people she meets, who include a private detective, a shepherd, various nuns, two belly dancers and a Castilian separatist. She also discovers that Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE' published in 1605 and the most translated book after the Bible - is a work of genius which still helps to explain the Spanish character: today's Spaniards still suffer from Don Quixote's delusions, and are as stubborn, inflexible and unrealistic as they have always been.