Adam Ash

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bookplanet: 1m free copies of Don Quixote

The Venezuelan government has printed one million free copies of Don Quixote to mark the book's 400th anniversary. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on everyone to "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world. To some extent, we are followers of Quixote," he told viewers of his Hello President TV show. The Venezuelan edition contains a prologue written by Portuguese Nobel literature laureate Jose Saramago. The free copies will be handed out in public squares this weekend.
Don Quixote is the 2nd most published book in the world, after the Bible. It recently beat Shakespeare and Tolstoy to be named the best work of fiction in a survey of leading writers from across the world. Spain has been leading the celebrations of one of its most famous books, with new editions printed along with readings and seminars.
Hey, Laura Bush! How about printing 1m free copies of The Great Gatsby? And Tony Blair! How about 1m free copies of Pride and Prejudice? How can you let little old Venezuela be more literary than you?


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