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The Dialogue of the Dogs is an inspired work of psychological observation by the master of the picaresque novel. In it, Cervantes displays all the clarity and warmth that marks the rich prose of Don Quixote. Given the gift of speech for a day, two dogs set about satirising humans, their supposed superiors. In an exchange reminiscent of the ancient Greek Dialogues, they recount their experiences under their various masters – but whether butcher, constable, merchant or gypsy, each is decried as corrupt to the core. Through the scathing Berganza and the critical Scipio, Cervantes delivers an ingenious critique of the morality of sixteenth-century Spain, and a timeless and telling portrayal of the heart of man.
Author: BEN OKRI