400th anniversary of 'Don Quixote' publication celebrated at WSU

11:04:35 AM CDT - Friday, September 23, 2005

The 400th anniversary of the publication of what's become known as the first modern novel will be celebrated at WSU with two different events.

"Don Quixote," the story about a self-proclaimed knight who wandered Spain with his squire Sancho Panza trying to do good, was written by Miguel de Cervantes.

As part of WSU's celebration, faculty from WSU's department of modern and classical languages and literatures and two Cervantes scholars will give talks.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, spend "An Evening with Don Quixote." WSU faculty members Pedro Bravo-Elizondo, Kerry Wilks and Michael McGlynn will speak. The event will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in 223 Rhatigan Student Center. It is sponsored by the department of modern and classical languages and literatures and Sigma Delta Pi. Call 978-3180 for more information.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, the commemoration of Don Quixote continues with John J. Allen and Patricia S. Finch, internationally known Cervantes scholars, presenting the program "Don Quixote in Western Art and Thought." Sponsored by the Wichita State University Library Associates, the talk will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the lower level of Ablah Library. Call (316) 978-3590 for more information.

Combining images and quotes about Don Quixote from around the world, Allen and Finch have crafted a multimedia tribute to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the book's publication. They have presented at Hofstra University, the University of Kentucky, Ohio State University, Middlebury College and the University of Indiana during the past year.

Allen, a native of Wichita, is professor emeritus of Spanish at the University of Kentucky and author of "Don Quixote: Hero or Fool?" and "The Reconstruction of a Spanish Golden Age Playhouse." He was the first editor of the Bulletin of the Cervantes Society and is a past president of the society.

Finch, professor of Spanish at Centre College in Kentucky, published an edition of "La Celestina" in 2003, and has written several articles on Cervantes and on "La Celestina." She is currently working on an English translation of "La Celestina," a classic 15th century work.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The publication milestone of "Don Quixote" is being celebrated in a number of ways by universities across the United States and governments abroad. In Venezuela, the government published 1 million copies of the novel to distribute free as part of a national literacy program.

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