Don Juan is one of the intriguing creations of Western literature. A legendary seducer of women, trickster and transgressor of sacred boundaries, he has been the object of countless revisions over the centuries. The twentieth-century has viewed the figure afresh through the prism of its own cultural terms of reference and social concerns. Using an interdisciplinary approach, "Tales of Seduction" focuses on the intersections between myth, culture and intellectual inquiry. Sarah Wright takes Don Juan back to Spain, his birth-place, and examines the confluences of Spanish culture with aspects of Western intellectual history (medicine, psychoanalysis, linguistics), where she finds Don Juan continues to transgress the limits of culture from the early twentieth century to the present.
About the Author
Sarah Wright completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and is currently Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.
"By far the most exciting and original book on the subject of Don Juan to date...a really sparkling read...lively and original." - Jo Labanyi, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University
"Presents an altogether contemporary approach to Don Juan. An uncommonly intelligent book that brings to light long-neglected authors and works and fits them into a cultural matrix whose dynamic character is brilliantly captured in the liminal figure of Don Juan." - Dru Dougherty, Professor of Spanish Literature and Theatre, University of California, Berkeley
"The extraordinary scope of Sarah Wright's engaging study narrates a varied take on Don Juan and his cultural descendents....Wright moves effortlessly from the historical past to the modern-day present in charting his many disguises and transformations. Across literary and medical theories, from the visual to the performative arts, his spectre is shown to be both a warning and an incentive to socially-regulated masculinity. The many Don Juan's mapped in this book - from the medic Gregorio Marañón's physiological being to the flickering screen entity envisaged by Spanish film director Sáenz de Heredia position him as an ongoing avator, a site for wider debates to be played out around nationhood, sexuality and identity. Wright's incisive treatment indicates how successive generations of cultural 'ambassadors', like Salvador Dalí and Calixto Bieito, have reenvisaged the perennial seducer to suit the demands of the age. Tales of Seduction brilliantly interrogates both a national emblem and a transnational legend in ways that demonstrate his continued relevance to Cultural, Hispanic, and Performance Studies." - Maria M. Delgado, Professor of Theatre and Screen Arts, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London