Metamorphosis of a myth: Don Juan and its contemporary rewritings

2018 edition

Alessia Faiano

This study aims to determine which are the material, ideological and cultural conditions which led to the creation, transmission and transformation of Don Juan myth in the Spanish literature from the 1960th to the present day. Consequently, I’m analyzing, by an interdisciplinary, as well as an intertextual and a myth-critical approach, the most significant works which have been appeared in Spain after the publishing of Gonzalo Torrente Ballester’s Don Juan.

The corpus, therefore, is formed by twelve plays, three novels and five movies, finding out variants, adaptations, omissions, similarities and differences at semantic, linguistic, literary, philosophic and social levels, in order to demonstrate the presence of intertextual references between an hypertext and its hypotext/s.

As a result, at the end of a year and a half of research, it is possible to identify some new interesting tendencies of the myth, such as: a) the elderly and the decadence of the “seductor”; b) Don Juan’s regret; c) an exiled Don Juan; d) Don Juan as a metaliterary point of view.

In conclusion, it is possible to claim that the success of Don Juan myth still consists on its creative vibrancy and its capacity to adapt itself to the different cultural changes at any time.