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Don Quixote is a novel written by Miguel De Cervantes. Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In one such list, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written". Alonso Quijano, the protagonist of the novel, is a retired country gentleman. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading Romances, or books of chivalry, in excess has had a profound effect on Quijano, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than chivalry, are intact. He decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armour, renames himself "Don Quixote de la Mancha.