lunes, 16 de diciembre de 2013

Don Quixote Code

By Paul Walsh, JN1, Spain

In 2003 The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm with its claims of secrets hidden within the works of the Italian maestro. Now, a professor of international law presents his own theory on the secret Jewish life of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, in what one could call "The Don Quixote Code".

"I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose." So wrote Miguel de Cervantes, creator of what is considered to be one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, Don Quixote de la Mancha. While he may have attested to being sure of his own identity, it is possible that the rest of the world has been wrong about the origin of Cervantes until very recently. Professor Leandro Rodriguéz of Geneva University spoke to JN1 about how the book leaves clues of an unmistakable Jewish connection.

Leandro Rodriguéz, Author, Miguel, Jew of Cervantes:

"What I found is that Don Quixote is entirely Jewish. And the thinking in the book is purely Jewish too, there is nothing Christian about it. First of all, the book refers to a 'stain', he himself says he is a stained lion, and that this stain is larger than the whole of Spain, and it is the stain of the unbaptized, non-Christians that is larger than the whole of Spain."

The next piece of the puzzle is that if Quixote was not from La Mancha, then where did he come from? Leandro believes he hailed from the region of Zamora, where only last July a congress was held describing the area as the world’s most important place for Jewish learning in the 15th century. Connecting Cervantes to this area would support the idea of Don Quixote as a Jewish "converso".

Florián Ferrero, Archive Director: 

"Zamora is a border city, and by being a border city with one that is easily crossed, but at the same time very defendible, when orders to expel the Jews from Spain were made, the population from the interior of Spain made them start coming towards Zamora in order to have Portugal a stone’s throw away. I mean, in less than a day’s walk you could arrive to Portugal. In Zamora there weren’t any large conflicts with the Jewish population. Putting a sign on your back and I don’t know what else, I get the feeling that it was never carried out. It’s a small population, very reduced, but possibly socially important."

In a move worthy of the Da Vinci Code’s protagonist Robert Langdon, Leandro believes that he has located the origins of the myth of Cervantes’ birthplace.

Leandro Rodriguéz, Author, Miguel, Jew of Cervantes:

"So then, in the 18th century, they made up a story about a baptism that took place in the town of Alcala de Henares, and that he was given the name of Miguel de Carvantes. And of course, the years go by and people simply copy from each other. So, then, I noted that this document was a mistake and it was false, and had been invented 150 years after the death of Cervantes."

If the growing body of evidence is to be believed, then Miguel de Cervantes was inspired to write his epic novel by these natural surroundings, in this once-Jewish community.