Salman Rushdie: Quichotte (Part 2)

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Author, Salman Rushdie. Photo by Christopher Ho.

In part two, Salman Rushdie discusses Quichotte as an idealist, and his materialized-son Sancho as a cynic. Rushdie's Quichotte is explored as a modern take on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, with the opera Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet a strong influence. Rushdie says the opera allowed him to feel unshackled from dependence upon a source material. Quichotte and Sancho encounter hostilities as brown men in America today. Things are so awful that citizens in one town transform into mastodons, as people transformed into rhinoceros in Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. And in Quichotte there is a cricket with a conscience, as in Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. Did not James Joyce absorb Homer’s The Odyssey in Ulysses? Rushdie speaks about stealing from the past, the art of creation, surprising yourself, and using fiction to approach truth through a multiplicity of doors.