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Italian Studies in Southern Africa/Studi d'Italianistica nell'Africa Australe

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Il don giovanni tenorio di carlo goldoni. Alle origini di un mito moderno

Michele Zanobini

Abstract


This article investigates, analyses and reassesses the poetic interpretation of the myth of Don Giovanni Tenorio by Carlo Goldoni published in 1735. Goldoni’s Don Giovanni has been largely neglected or dismissed as the product of an early period of artistic immaturity. However, Goldoni’s version of the myth inherited all the most prominent elements of earlier versions (Tirso de Molina, Giovan Battista Andreini and Molière) but adapted it to an extent that future readings of the myth would be fundamentally affected. By transforming the protagonist's religious impiety into sexual incontinence, Goldoni draws a link between Molière's drama (1665) and the version set to music by Mozart in 1787. An analysis of the text with a focus on the reception and adaptation by Goldoni of the early plays reveals the centrality of his Don Giovanni in the modern conception of the myth as well as its role as a literary source for the librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte.

Keywords: Don Giovanni Tenorio – Carlo Goldoni – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Lorenzo da Ponte – Molière – eighteenth century Italian drama




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