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Thursday, April 22, 1999 Published at 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK

World: Europe

Vargas Lllosa begins Quixote marathon

The Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, has started off a marathon non-stop public reading of Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote in Madrid today, to mark the three-hundred-and eighty-third anniversary of the Spanish novelist's death.

After reading for the stipulated three minutes, Mr. Vargas Llosa handed over to another reader in the Circulo de Bellas Artes.

Among those who are to read a passage from the book are the film-maker Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon who is seeking to extradite General Augusto Pinochet from London, and many other personalities from Spanish cultural and political circles.

The reading is expected to end some time on Saturday afternoon.

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