The original title refers to the veredas - small paths through wetlands usually located at higher altitudes characterized by the presence of grasses and buritizais, groups of the buriti palm-tree (Mauritia flexuosa), that criss-cross the Sertão region in northern Minas Gerais as a labyrinthine net where an outsider can easily get lost, and where there is no single way to a certain place, since all paths interconnect in such a way that any road can lead anywhere. The English title refers to a later episode in the book involving an attempt to make a deal with the Devil. Most of the book's spirit is however lost in translation, as the Portuguese original is written in a register that is both archaic and colloquial, as well as full of the author's remarkable neologisms, which makes the aesthetics of the book a challenging task to transpose to other languages. The combination of its size, linguistic oddness and polemic themes caused a shock when it was published, but now it is widely regarded as the greatest work of Brazilian literature and one of the most important novels of Portuguese language literature and South American literature. In a 2002 poll of 100 noted writers conducted by the Bokklubben World Library, the book was named among the top 100 books of all time.
A filmed version in color of the opera is included on the DVD release Nights in the Gardens of Spain. and is available on YouTube. This is the same film version which was telecast by A&E in 1992, and features Justino Díaz as Don Quixote, Xavier Cabero as the Boy, and Joan Cabero (Xavier's father) as Maese Pedro, with Charles Dutoit conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In this production, the human characters are portrayed by real actors, while the puppets remain puppets. The production has been released without English subtitles, unlike the original telecast and the VHS edition. In the DVD edition, an English translation of the opera is included in the accompanying booklet. A LaserDisc version was released in 1990 both in Spain, on the PAL system, and in the U.S., on the NTSC system. The audio is also available on CD. 2b1af7f3a8