The nature of appropriation: Eric Linklater's 'Juan in America'

  • Rachel Marsh

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


    The objective of this thesis is to investigate the numerous influences which shaped Eric Linklater's 'Juan in America' (1931) and show how these influences work together to create a unified satirical text. 'Juan in America' pays homage to Byron's 'Don Juan' (1819-1824) through appropriation, intertextuality and allusion, and Linklater's interpretation of Byron and his work will be a focus of this investigation. The early twentieth century Byron scholar, Frederick Beaty, suggests in 'Byron the Satirist' (1985) that ability, temperament and use of raw materials – such as response to society and literary tradition – are the best guide to understanding Byron's satire, and it is through these elements that a comparison between 'Don Juan' and 'Juan in America' will be made. After thoroughly comparing both texts, this thesis will use theories from adaptation studies to determine the appropriative relationship between the two texts. This dissertation will also suggest that the act of appropriation can extend beyond literary transposition, and that 'raw materials' – which Beaty states to be influences from history, memory, and culture – can also be appropriated for satirical purpose. These elements will be investigated using concepts from the disciplines of autobiography, history and anthropology. Finally, Linklater was influenced by various literary traditions evident in the work of satirists, transatlantic authors and his peers. These areas of literature will be put into context against 'Juan in America' using ideas from comparative literature studies. Because both 'Juan in America' and 'Don Juan' are satires heavily laden with intertextual references, as well as autobiographic, historic and cultural representations, taking a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary in an investigation which hopes to uncover how Linklater interacts with his surroundings to create a unique form of satire.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorTimothy Morris (Supervisor)


    • Eric Linklater
    • Lord Byron
    • Juan in America
    • Don Juan
    • Appropriation Studies
    • Study of Satire

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