His Own Version
Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374142315, 101pp.
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
A MODERN MASTER'S WRY AND ENTERTAINING TAKE ON HISTORY'S BEST-KNOWN LOVER
In "Don Juan," Peter Handke offers his take on the famous seducer. Don Juan's story "his own version" is filtered through the consciousness of an anonymous narrator, a failed innkeeper and chef, into whose solitude Don Juan bursts one day. On each day of the week that follows, Don Juan describes the adventures he experienced on that same day a week earlier. The adventures are erotic, but Handke's Don Juan is more pursued than pursuer. What makes his accounts riveting are the remarkable evocations of places and people, and the nature of his narration. This is, above all, a book about storytelling and its ability to burst the ordinary boundaries of time and space.
In this brief and wry volume, Handke conjures images and depicts the subtleties of human interaction with an unforgettable vividness. Along the way, he offers a sharp commentary on many features of contemporary life.
Praise for Don Juan: “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