Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, supposedly died the same day as Shakespeare so this week has seen commemorations of the 400 yr anniversary of his death as well. In Cervantes's time, the wonderful tolerance and diversity, the flourishing of science and arts that existed in the califate of al-Andalus had gone; muslims and jews were forbidden to practise their religions in the new catholic (how ironic given the real meaning of that word) Spain and were forced to convert to christianity or leave the country. Someone sent me this video this morning -Tariq Ali, talking about Cervantes in the context of the intolerance of the New Europe of the time. Very apt in our current intolerant world. I have never read Don Quixote but will now finally get around to doing so.