The Don Giovanni Moment
Mozart's Don Giovanni is an operatic masterpiece full of iconic and mythical tensions that still resonate today. The work redefines the terms of power, seduction, and morality, and the resulting conflict between the aesthetic and the ethical is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment and romanticism.
The Don Giovanni Moment is the first book to examine the aesthetic and moral legacy of Mozart's opera in the literature, philosophy, and culture of the nineteenth century. The prominent scholars in this collection address the opera's impact on the philosophical visions of Kierkegaard, Goethe, and Williams and its influence on the literary and dramatic works of Pushkin, Hoffmann, Mörike, Byron, Wagner, Strauss, and Shaw. Through a close and careful analysis of Don Giovanni's literary and philosophical reception and its many appropriations, rewritings, and retellings, these contributors treat the opera as a vantage point from which theory and philosophy can reconsider romanticism's central themes.
As lively and passionate as the opera itself, these essays continue the spirited debate over the meaning and character of Don Giovanni and its powerful legacy. Together they prove that Mozart's brilliant artistic achievement is as potent and relevant today as when it was first performed two centuries ago.