05-24-2007 08:09 PM - edited 05-24-2007 08:09 PM
I am delighted to explore with you The Lost Diary of Don Juan and the lost world of Golden Age Spain. Writing this novel has been an extraordinary journey, one that has revealed treasures to me I could never have imagined five years ago. Indeed, it was not really a conscious decision to write Lost Diary. It was more like a literary enchantment.
I went to bed one winter night asking myself how I could stay happily and passionately married to my wife for the rest of my life. It is a question that has been asked by millions of men -- and no doubt millions of women. How can any man or woman find lifelong joy and satisfaction in one other person? The next morning I awoke as if I had been shaken. It was then that I first thought of Don Juan and asked myself: what if he had kept a diary? What secrets would it contain? What could we learn about the nature of love and passion? And what might lead the archetype of seduction to forsake all other women for one woman for a lifetime? I got out of bed and walked across the cold wooden floor into the dining room. I sat down at the table and began to write. It was as if someone were whispering in my ear.
For a month, the first draft of the diary wrote its way through me as I hung in the embrace of the Muse and became a rather neglectful husband and father (my wife and children were very understanding -- at least during that first month!). I didn't want to sleep, to eat, or to do anything but write. I had been writing fiction for three decades but never had an experience remotely like it.
And then over the course of more than four years and thirty drafts I revised the Lost Diary to try to get as close as I could to Don Juan's world, to understand the riches and the dangers of Golden Age Spain.
As I researched I came across a scholar from the 1800s who said that Don Juan was a real man -- not just a literary character as most believe -- and that something had happened to him one night in the Convento de San Francisco. As I read and as I traveled to Sevilla, the birthplace of the legend and perhaps the man, I felt like a detective exhuming clues that increasingly revealed who Don Juan really might have been and what really may have happened to him.
If you are familiar with the legend of Don Juan, I think what may surprise you about the man you meet in the Lost Diary is that he is not a callous seducer but a man who worshipped women and knew their needs intimately. If you are not familiar with the legend of Don Juan, I think what might intrigue you is to discover a man from the 16th century whose insights into love and passion still have something vital to tell us even today.
Message Edited by DouglasAbrams on 05-29-200708:26 AM