OVERRIDE

Don Juan

His Own Version

Peter Handke; Translated from the German by Krishna Winston

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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. 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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Don the Juan had always been looking for some­one to listen to him. Then one fine day he found me. He told me his story, but in the third person rather than in the first. At least that is how I recall it now.
At the time in question, I was cooking only for myself, for the time being, in my country inn near the ruins of Port-Royal-des-Champs, which in the seventeenth century was France’s most famous cloister, as well as its most infa­mous. There were a couple of guest rooms that I was using just then as part of my private quarters. I spent the entire winter and the early
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REVIEWS

Praise for Don Juan

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Peter Handke; Translated from the German by Krishna Winston

  • PETER HANDKE was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. His many works include The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, My Year in No-Man’s Bay, On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House, and Crossing the Sierra de Gredos, all published by FSG.
  • Peter Handke Lillian Birnbaum
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Available Formats and Book Details

Don Juan

His Own Version

Peter Handke; Translated from the German by Krishna Winston

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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