Tom Holland

Islam & Influence

The first great European novel was written by a Muslim. That, at least, is one of the many jokes that Cervantes plays upon his readers in Don Quixote. At the beginning of the novel, we are told how the narrator came across an Arabic manuscript in the marketplace of Toledo, written by one Cide Hamete Benengeli – ‘Sir Hamid Aubergine’. The adventures of Don Quixote, so Cervantes pretends, are nothing less than a translation of this enigmatic manuscript. ‘If any objection can be made against the truth of this history,’ we are assured, ‘it can only be that its narrator was an Arab.’ 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,