First Ian Brunskills tight review, then a few other short ones, also in Swedish, and someone found the parallel between Diderot and Handke and Port Royal and then my expansive commentary:
|"Don Juan ist ein anderer" Peter Handkes Don Juan (erzählt von ihm selbst) in der literarischen Tradition des Don Juan-Stoffes (2008)|
|The figure of Don Juan with its numerous variations and adaptations has been widely discussed in secondary literature. However, one of the most recent adaptations of the character, Peter Handke’s novel Don Juan (erzählt von ihm selbst) (2004) has up to now been neglected. This study tries to provide the first in-depth analysis of Handke’s book while specifically centering on the character of Don Juan himself. The examination strives to determine whether Don Juan, as portrayed by Handke, can still be understood as a real embodiment with roots in the literary tradition or whether the author simply evokes an identical name without establishing any real accordance. In order to evaluate this specific treatment of Don Juan, it is necessary to establish a theoretical framework which provides some insight into the recurrent features that constitute the theme itself. This context will be instituted by the means of identifying motifs and structures essential for understanding Don Juan’s place in world literature while relying on the definitions of the terms “Motiv” and “Stoff” as they were formulated by Elisabeth Frenzel. The analysis of Handke’s Don Juan (erzählt von ihm selbst) is structured into three parts. Handke’s treatment of traditional motifs forms the first part of this interpretation whereas an identification of thematic innovations serves as a second part. The analysis concludes with a contextualisation of typical Handke thematic preoccupations. These are inextricably incorporated into his treatment of the Don Juan motif and therefore absolutely necessary to provide a comprehensive evaluation of this work. The thesis affirms that Peter Handke’s Don Juan can be regarded as a convincing new interpretation of the traditional Don Juan character. The author manages to include all the relevant recurrent features that constitute the Don Juan theme but enhances them with iv innovations which reveal new aspects of the character. Some suggestions for further research, e. g. an in-depth intertextual analysis or a psychoanalytical approach conclude the thesis.|
trolling back and forth in the shelter of what was left of a high wall, against which the gusts of sand hissed. A week later, Don Juan described the iron reinforcement material poking out of the wall and the unearthly music the powerful wind made in the tangle of wire, rods, and pipes above their heads. The assault of air and grains of sand on the iron was intermittent, at least for a while. For moments at a time it would gain in strength, then ebb a bit, then rise to a new crescendo, then weaken to a whistling, then to a mere fanning, whereupon it would set in again, more violently than ever, and so on, without ever dying away and ceasing altogether. The wind set up a constant reverberation in the iron fretwork sticking up into the storm, and whereas nothing but a howling, roaring, and pounding, thoroughly monotonous, would have been heard if the air currents remained steady, instead a veritable melody took shape, something that was steady in an essentially different way. And it was a harmonic melody. True, its measures were all different in length. And between the highest and lowest notes steps would have had to be added to the scales at the top and bottom. But the transitions between almost inaudibly high and barely audible low notes, and the alternation between the shortest and longest measures, between loud and soft, did not occur abruptly or suddenly, by chance or at random, but rather harmoniously, and in time blended with the melody—in a number of languages the word for “time” was the same as for “measure”—the instrumental accompaniment being provided by the vibrating wire, the half-loosened iron rods drumming against each other, and especially by the system of pipes, open to the storm, which served as the leaders of the melody, so to speak, while the wire and rods created the rhythm. Don Juan hummed and sang the music to me, his voice scratchy at the beginning, then increasingly powerful, as he rose from his storytelling chair and with arms outstretched stalked up and down Port-Royal garden, and I, who for so long have not been sure of anything, was sure that if he had performed this piece of music in public, it would have conquered the globe as hardly any piece of music could.
Krönika/Per Svensson: Don Juans dumhet
Peter Handkes senast
and also at my prose2 site
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?'
http://handke--revista-of-reviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/handke-revista-of-reviews.html [lead page]