Robert Menasse

Don Juan de la Mancha or an Education in Pleasure - Novel

Robert Menasse
Foto: Robert Menasse
© Rafaela Proell

Robert Menasse was born in 1954 in Vienna, where he also grew up. He studied German, Philosophy and Political Science in Vienna, Salzburg and Messina, and received his doctorate in 1980 with a thesis on the character of the outsider in literature. Menasse then spent six years at the University of São Paulo, first as a lecturer for Austrian literature, then as a guest lecturer at the Institute for Literary Theory. There he held lectures on philosophical and aesthetic theories, including on Hegel, Lukács, Benjamin and Adorno. Since his return from Brazil in 1988, Robert Menasse has been a writer and essayist based mainly in Vienna.

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English world rights (Alma Books/Calder Publications), Spanish world rights (Alianza), France (Verdier), Italy (Scritturapura), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Czech Republic (Pre-Media), Slovakia (Kalligram), Hungary (Kalligram), Bulgaria (Lege Artis), Latvia (AGB), Lithuania (Pasvires Pasaulis), Hindi (Vani)


»You can only be happy with your first woman or with your last« announces Nathan's father, thus summarizing the seducer's dilemma.

Nathan too is a seducer, albeit in different times. He works as head of the »Life« Department for a Viennese newspaper, conducts an emancipated marriage and an equally emancipated affair and otherwise pays regular visits to his psychotherapist. Whereas Nathan's father sought happiness in women and Nathan's mother found unhappiness in men, Nathan intends to do everything quite differently. But what is it that he is doing differently? Nothing. It is only the circumstances that have changed and people's expectations. Admittedly, he can live out his masculinity to the full but he can no longer enjoy it, thus embodying the melancholy, tragicomic repeat offender of the post-68 generation.

More entertaining and pithier than ever, Robert Menasse paints a portrait of this very generation, his own generation, and a society »that cannot even sell a liter of mineral water without viewing the goods from the erotic angle. « Although his hero gets no nearer to redemption, at the end of this unusual Bildungsroman we find ourselves not only enlightened in a clarified world but also comforted and seduced by tender irony.


»A brilliant picaresque novel« Die Presse

»To be devoured at one sitting« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»With his Don Juan, Robert Menasse has published a fast-paced and marvelous novel, the language is absolutely superlative. […] With a fine ironic tone, as if he had created a cross between Flaubert and Kundera in a contemporary style, all with an underlying light touch. Menasse offers an up-to-date sentimental education for the educated classes in the generation born after the Student Revolt. « Der Standard

Other publications

Die Hauptstadt/The Capital (2017)

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UK & Commonwealth (MacLehose Press), USA & Canada (W.W.Norton/Liveright), Spanish world rights (Seix Barral), Chinese simplex rights (People's Literature Publishing House), Chinese complex rights (Linking), Russia (Text), Portuguese rights (Dom Quixote), Arabic world rights (AFAQ), France (Verdier), Italy (Sellerio), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Denmark (Vandkunsten) Sweden (Weyler), Poland (Noir sur Blanc), Czech Republic (Plus), Hungary (Geopen), Bulgaria (Lege Artis), Lithuania (Tyto Alba), Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Arhipelag), Slovenia (Cankarjeva založba), Turkey (Everest), Greece (Patakis), Georgia (Intelekti), Armenia (Antares), India/Hindi (Saar Sansaar)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Der Hörverlag), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Ich kann jeder sagen/Everyone can say I (2009)

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English world rights (Ariadne), France (Jacqueline Chambon), Bulgaria (Lege Artis)

Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle/Expulsion from Hell (2001)

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