First published in 1990, Don Juan: Variations on a Theme explores the differing perceptions of this famous character following his first appearance on the European stage in the early seventeenth century.
The book concentrates on the ways in which perceptions of Don Juan’s character have altered in response to changes in social and moral values. It examines famous Don Juan works, including those by Moliere, Byron, Pushkin, Shaw, Anouilh, and Max Frisch, and relates them to these changing views. It also looks at a variety of other plays, poems, and novels on this theme, and highlights the important role of music in Don Juan’s history. The book concludes with a consideration of Don Juan’s lasting popularity and whether it has run its course.
Don Juan: Variations on a Theme will appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of Don Juan, comparative literature, and European literature.
Table of Contents
1: The Beginnings; 2: Don Giovanni: The Opera by Da Ponte and Mozart and E. T. A. Hoffman's Interpretation of it; 3: Byron; 4: Hoffman's Influence; 5: Reactions Against the Romanticized Don Juan; 6: Links with Faust; 7: The Manara Story; Zorrilla; Two Contrasting Russian Don Juans; 8: The 'Sporting' Don Juan; The Conquest of Remorse; Don Juan and the Philosophers; Don Juanism as a Vocation; 9: Don Juan as a Type; 10: The Legendary Framework: An Aid or a Pitfall?; 11: Richard Straus and Don Juan; 12: Conclusion
J. W. Smeed