I still had the habit of consulting books on my problems, and I tried to fathom the mystery of irresistibility by studying the literature on Don Juan. It didn’t help. Moliére’s Don Juan had pride and daring, but was a rather boorish troublemaker; and Shaw’s version suggested that to be successul with women one must dislike them and flee from them. The only artist who really understood DonJuan, I felt, was Mozart. In the libretto, Mozart’s Don wasn’t so different from Moliere’s, but the music spoke of a great man. The trouble was, I couldn’t translate music into psychological insights – beyond Don Giovanni’s love of life and the wide range of his sensibilities. The psychoanalytic essays on Don Juan were no use at all. They presented him as a repressed homosexual or an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, or a psychopath who had no feeling for others — in short, as an emotional cripple who would ﬁnd it difﬁcult to seduce a girl on a desert island.
[ In Praise of Older Woman, Stephen Vizinczey ]
It’s a thin book, easy to read, which i chose because i wanted a book set in Hungary under stalin which wasn’t just all about the horror. It was that. Erotic without being pornographic, set in an opressive world without being too concerned with opression, it gave some feel for the way life was carried out during those years.
but then… the postscript. and profound and thoughtful reflection on the function of story and moral, on freedom and despair, on sexuality and community in the 20th century. it’s only 7 pages long but worth finding the book just to read it. That quote was not from the postscript, it was one of the better musings from the protagonist.