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Post Muhammad as "False Prophet" in Quixote; Don Juan of Persia
Created by John Eipper on 09/10/14 2:21 PM

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Muhammad as "False Prophet" in Quixote; Don Juan of Persia (Massoud Malek, USA, 09/10/14 2:21 pm)

In response to John Eipper's question, the reference to Muhammad as a "false prophet" was omitted in the Persian translation of Quixote. In one of don Quixote's narratives, the father of the beautiful girl wanted the Muslim king to convert to Christianity.

Is anyone in WAISworld familiar with Don Juan of Persia?

Uruch Beg was the nephew of a Persian ambassador to Europe, who converted to Christianity in Spain and changed his name to Don Juan. In 1604 he was killed in a fight. His mutilated body was eaten by dogs.

The book, Don Juan of Persia, is the first travel account of a Persian in Europe. Alfonso Remon helped Don Juan in the translation of his journal from Persian to Castilian. The book was published in 1604, one year before the first volume of Quixote. I suspect that Cervantes read the book. Could we conjecture that he even incorporated some passages of the book in his second volume? I read Don Juan of Persia about five years ago; it has full of inaccuracies, but it is fun to read. I felt that the book was written by a Spanish author, not a Persian.

A few years ago, I wrote a WAIS post saying that Don Quixote was superior to any book by Shakespeare, but I was attacked by several WAISers. In 2002, a survey of 100 famous authors conducted by the Norwegian Nobel Institute named Don Quixote the greatest book of all time.


JE comments:  No need to "diss" Shakespeare at the expense of Cervantes, or vice versa.  I would put Dostoevsky up there with both of them.

I've added Don Juan of Persia to my reading list.  As a Hispanist, I should have heard of Alfonso Remon (Ramón?), but haven't.  Can you give us more details, Massoud?

Next up in the "Reading Quixote" series:  Anthony Candil.  I hope the majority of WAISers are enjoying this conversation (half as) much as I am.

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