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Barataria itself means “cheap lands” in Spanish. This is the domain promised to Sancho Panza at the end of Don Quixote in return for his loyal service. I have used this name for many reasons, the most important being that whenever I’m sick of bad writing, especially my own, I re-read Don Quixote to reinvigorate my faith in language and imagery. I grew up with figures of Don Quixote around the house because, frankly, it was the 1970s. My childhood hero was the “Gentleman Pirate” Jean Lafitte, who had his own benevolent “Kingdom of Barataria” in the swamps of Louisiana.
Most significant of all, however, is my desperate need for a Sancho Panza. Inquire within.