Don Juan : variations on a theme /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Smeed, J. W. (John William)
Imprint:London ; New York : Routledge, 1990.
Description:xi, 190 p. ; 22 cm.
Subject:Juan, -- Don (Legendary character)
Don Juan (Legendary character) in literature
Comparative literature -- Themes, motives
Comparative literature -- Themes, motives.
Format: Print Book
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Notes:Includes bibliographical references.
Review by Choice Review

Smeed's overview of the hundreds of works that have contributed to the evolution of the Don Juan legend is the most comprehensive in English since Leo Weinstein'sThe Metamorphoses of Don Juan (1959), although one should also note Oscar Mandel's more narrowly focused anthology of Don Juan plays, The Theatre of Don Juan (1963). Smeed's present book in many ways parallels his Faust in Literature (CH, Jan'76), and both works stress the relationship between the Faust and Don Juan myths. Unlike Weinstein, who devotes entire chapters to major works within the tradition, Smeed rarely gives more than a page or two to any particular work. His focus is always on the larger tradition, particularly on "the way in which perceptions of Don Juan have veered between seeing him as a villainous libertine and a near heroic idealist." Students of any of the commonly taught works based on Don Juan (e.g., by Moliere, Mozart, Byron, Shaw) will benefit from seeing the larger context of the legend and its development. Good notes; extensive bibliography. Recommended for any academic library. Upper-division undergraduate and above. -B. E. Brandt, South Dakota State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review