I hope it is no crime / To laugh at all things,’ wrote Byron in Don Juan; ‘for I wish to know / What, after all, are all things – but a show?’
Two hundred years after Byron turned his back on the hypocrisy and cant of his native England, fifteen contemporary poets pay homage to Byron’s greatest satirical creation by writing a new Don Juan for our own age of cant.
A Modern Don Juan follows the sexual adventures of Byron’s picaresque anti-hero in the twenty-first century. Mixing Low Comedy and High Seriousness, the book follows night-club DJ and picaresque anti-hero Donald Johnson as he stumbles from one romantic disaster to the next. Along the way, the authors pass comment on the customs and common-sense of the contemporary world. Donny seeks his fortune in Cameron’s Britain, Berlusconi’s Italy and Sydney’s clubland. He is a London restaurant critic, a Brussels Eurocrat and a reality TV celeb. If you are quick you can catch him in Greece, Budapest, Central America, a prison cell – even in Outer Space. He is indeed new Don Juan for the twenty-first century.
The contributors are Ben Borek, Andy Croft, Claudia Daventry, Ian Duhig, Rachel Hadas, WN Herbert, George Jowett, John Lucas, Amit Majmudar, Sinead Morrissey, Alicia Stallings, George Szirtes, Nigel Thompson, Tim Thorne and Mike Wilson.
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