Sighing into a League of His Own: Rushdie's Use of Camäes's Epic and Cervantes's Romance in The Moor's Last Sigh
Ponnwitz, Amanda M.
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This paper provides an analysis of Salman Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh use Luis Vaz de Camäes's epic poem The Lusiads and Miguel de Cervantes's satiric romance Don Quixote. After a brief discussion of epic and romance, I trace Rushdie's use and re-use of various aspects from both of these works. A close reading of The Lusiads and The Moor's Last Sigh will show that in re-using Camäes's epic, Rushdie provides India with a nationalistic work and voice that reclaims India from her imperial past, while also providing a pluralist perspective for the world to learn from. Furthermore, an analysis of Don Quixote and The Moor's Last Sigh will show that in re-using Cervantes's romance, Rushdie continues to promote the pluralist ideals, while also re-using the romance trope of loss to create a sense of urgency for pluralism and tolerance.