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Mozart's GhostsHaunting the Halls of Musical Culture$
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Mark Everist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389173

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389173.001.0001

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Speaking with the Supernatural

Speaking with the Supernatural

(p.218) { 8 } Speaking with the Supernatural
Mozart's Ghosts

E. T. A. Hoffmann

George Bernard Shaw

Die Oper Aller Opern

Oxford University Press

George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman has been a recurrent topic in studies of the reception of Mozart's Don Giovanni, but was preceded by “Don Giovanni Explains” (1887). Shaw humorously argues Don Giovanni's case: the Don is misunderstood and unfairly reviled. The story can be read in a number of ways: autobiographically, centennially, as a response to less favorably disposed Mozart critics in late-Victorian London, or as an elaborate working note towards Man and Superman. Shaw's story parodies E.T.A. Hoffmann's much better-known text “Don Juan: eine fabelhafte Begebenheit,” and carefully imitates the pretext, scenario, focus, narrative and supernatural context of Hoffmann's story, and in doing so contributes a skeptical Victorian's critique of German romantic fiction.

Keywords:   mozart, don giovanni, hoffmann, shaw, “Don Giovanni Explains”, london

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