"Don Juan ist ein anderer" Peter Handkes Don Juan (erzählt von ihm selbst) in der literarischen Tradition des Don Juan-Stoffes
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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.