Don Juan Hardcover – Feb 2 2010
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
“Handke's power of observation and his seemingly casual tone, in which every word bears indispensable weight, are as mesmerizing as ever . . . A Handke tale invites active reading, speculation rather than passive absorption . . . It is [his] loving gaze, honed by time and discipline, that shows readers the way out again into the world's prolific and astonishing strangeness.” ―KAI MARISTED, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
PETER HANDKE was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. His many works include The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, My Year in No-Man's Bay, On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House, and Crossing the Sierra de Gredos, all published by FSG.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Don Juan is a fictional character – a Spanish lover and womanizer – in the 1630 Tirso de Molina novel ‘El bulador de Sevilla’ – The Trickster of Seville.
In this novella, Don Juan arrived in May, hurtling over the wall and into the gardens of the inn – without any luggage. He was escaping the wrath of two lovers on motorbike. The innkeeper knows immediately that it is the famous Don Juan. He stopped for a meal, and stayed a week.
During the week Don Juan recounts his stories about women. He begins in Tbilisi, Georgia, at a wedding, coming face-to-face with the bride, and continues with women in Damascus (Syria), Ceuta (a Spanish region near Morocco), Holland, and Norway. The innkeeper says that ‘Don Juan was no seducer. He had never seduced a woman. He had certainly run into some who had accused him of doing so.’ But neither were the women the seducers – there was no seduction involved – amorousness just happened!
Don Juan, who sighs a lot throughout his storytelling, was aware of his power with women, but insists that it was not in his appearance, but in his eyes – his gaze. One look and women were smitten. And not only women – their brothers, fathers, and uncles took quite a liking to the Don too.
What do readers learn about Don Juan? It did not occur to the famous lover to count the number of women, he had other cultural interests (such as theatre, concerts, and social engagements), and he was continously on the move, travelling from one country to another, staying little more than a week at a time.
What do readers learn about the women involved, briefly, with the great Don Juan? All of the women were ‘natives of their respective countries … all radiated something dark, even menacing … all of unspecific age … each of them was on the lookout for the man who would be worthy of her … [ready] to leap into action ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ … they all had the capacity to become dangerous’ and all were wearing white.
Don Juan’s driver comes to pick him up at the end of the week. The narrator’s inn was suddenly surrounded by six or seven women – all wearing white! The innkeeper concludes that Moliere’s and Mozart’s versions of Don Juan ‘were all false’ because the Don Juan that he knows is certainly a very different character.
This is a 101-page novella, with a succinct, tight writing style, full of descriptive language – from the labiate flowers (having lip-like parts) to the bar in Ceuta – the ‘edge of the steep promontory where the African continent fell off, high above the channel, where the tavern keeper was a former Mr. Universe, still somewhat higher in rank than the local beauty queen, and for the benefit of Don Juan, his only guest, the man rippled his muscles one after the other.’ It’s an interesting account of the great attraction for the great lover.
Dan Vitale's review of Handke's DON JUAN is a good deal more perceptive than most that have appeared in this country. Nonetheless, he misses a few essential features. Don Juan is but a state of mind, a wish fulfillment into which the restaurateur, who is but a figure out of NO-MAN'S BAY, falls at a moment that he is especially bereft, a moment, it is a dream, a fantasy, and it is so magical in jumping from place to place as a dream or a cut film can be. WOMANTIME is the significant term here that is missed, this is no archetype; Vitale also avoids mention of Don Juan''s sidekick, the chauffeur, who only loves ugly women and whose sex life would seem to be a good deal grosser; also that the book celebrates as the great pop song had it ""what's love got to do with it"".. - bodies enjoying each other's sexuality. It is as earthy as the mushrooms the restaurateur fancies. Formally, the book combines the novelistic, film, dream and the essayistic; the figure that organizes it spatially and narratively are the whirling dervishes. The faster they whirl the calmer the center as the book narrows down and then, once WOMANTIME is over and the TELLING is over, it unravels as does Don Juan back into ordinary counting time. In that sense the book is about aging. The book is about the eros of writing and loving that more than anything else, and is its own demonstration. It is one of Handke's finest and subtlest works, it asks to be read sentence by sentence, at about the pace at which it was written, 1000 words a day, and touches the very dark heart of the world: or rather, as it says: ""brushes is" - and wishes that by merely brushing it represents more accurately. And isn''t it odd that although a certain merriment prevails, is basic mode is rater B-minor, melancholy. The only thing that is complete is the description of the Port Royal abbey region, madre natura on which the restaurateur walks...
I have two pages devoted to DON JUAN AT:
Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS