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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Venezuela celebrates Quixote book
Hugo Chavez
President Chavez has urged everyone to read Don Quixote
The Venezuelan government has printed one million free copies of Don Quixote to mark the book's 400th anniversary.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged everyone to read Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish classic.

He called on everyone to "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world".

"To some extent, we are followers of Quixote," he told viewers of his Hello President TV show.

The Venezuelan edition contains a prologue written by Portuguese Nobel literature laureate Jose Saramago.

The free copies will be handed out in public squares this weekend, said Mr Chavez.

Don Quixote statue
Don Quixote is celebrated around the world

Don Quixote of La Mancha is the second most published book in the world, after the Bible.

It tells of the adventures of a mad knight and his faithful sidekick, Sancho Panza, with the original running to 1,000 pages in archaic Spanish.

Don Quixote recently beat the likes of Shakespeare and Tolstoy to be named the best work of fiction in a survey of leading writers from across the world.

Spain has been leading the celebrations of one of its most famous books, with new editions printed along with readings and seminars.

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