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‘Un hilo tenue de azares triviales’: Quixotic echoes and adaptive imitation in Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Sefarad

Ellison, Ian (2023) ‘Un hilo tenue de azares triviales’: Quixotic echoes and adaptive imitation in Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Sefarad. Romance Studies, 41 . pp. 211-223. ISSN 0263-9904. (doi:10.1080/02639904.2023.2283322) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:98133)

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This article considers the significance of allusions to Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–1615) in Sefarad (2001) by Antonio Muñoz Molina. Understanding Cervantes’s novel as a key instance of adaptive imitation, it argues that the narrator of Sefarad also relies on quixotic echoes and narrative patterns reminiscent of Cervantes’s novel in the construction of his narrative. The narrator’s allusions thereby reflect the aesthetic and narratorial practices which he employs in piecing together imagined memories and testimonies of the ravages of twentieth-century European history. Drawing on and extending previous analyses of the continuum of adaptive imitation that exists between the two writers, this article suggests that the echoes of Cervantes’s masterpiece in Sefarad encapsulate and complicate the ambiguities, both aesthetic and ethical, of Muñoz Molina’s narrative. By indicating metaphorical comparisons between both texts, this article reveals heretofore underexplored elements of the aesthetics and the narrative stakes of Muñoz Molina’s novel. To the extent that quixotic echoes of adaptive imitation between these two literary works offer a mirror of textual composition, they also reflect constitutive tensions in Sefarad concerning the tapestry of traumatic experiences reimagined and woven together across the novel.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02639904.2023.2283322
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: German Academic Exchange Service (
Depositing User: Ian Ellison
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2022 08:41 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 15:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Ellison, Ian.

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