Don Juan (erzählt von ihm selbst)
Don Juan (in his own words)
Suhrkamp Verlag, August 2004. 160 pp.
One May afternoon in Port-Royal-des Champs, watched by the narrator from the window, a man appears on the horizon, hotly pursued by a couple on a motorbike. Darting through a breach in the wall, he arrives in the narrator’s garden, and turns to face his pursuers. The dishevelled pair in biking leathers stop in their tracks, their anger evaporating.
Such is the power of Don Juan, and so begins the narrator’s acquaintance with the Spanish hero. For seven days he listens avidly to the Don’s adventures – seven days of stories, in seven different countries and with seven different women. First there is the bride in Georgia, then the women in Damascus, in Morocco, in Norway and then in Holland… But despite all appearances Don Juan does not pursue women; they pursue him. What draws them to him is not love or lust, but the promise of perfect intimacy, of an escape from their solitude. The price of this momentary union is abandonment, for immediately after the encounter Don Juan is impelled to leave. Driven by an immense and indescribable sorrow, he is fated to flee through time and space, for ever on the run
For seven days he finds refuge in the narrator’s empty hotel in the grounds of the Jansenist monastery once home to Racine. And during that time the narrator sees a host of other Don Juans – on television, in the opera house, on stage and in real life. But his Don Juan is different. Here is no unscrupulous libertine, the famed seducer of the legend, but a figure steeped in sadness, a melancholic, restless traveller. His story, told in his own words, is a poetic, philosophical and magical tale.