Cid and the Liar

ISBN-10: 0156035839
ISBN-13: 9780156035835
Edition: 2009
List price: $16.95 Buy it from $6.28
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Description: Richard Wilbur's translations of the great French dramas have been a boon to acting troupes, students of French literature and history, and theater lovers. He continues this wonderful work with two plays from Pierre Corneille: Le Cid is Corneille's  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 8/11/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550

Richard Wilbur's translations of the great French dramas have been a boon to acting troupes, students of French literature and history, and theater lovers. He continues this wonderful work with two plays from Pierre Corneille: Le Cid is Corneille's most famous play, a tragedy set in Seville that illuminates the dangers of being bound by honor and the limits of romantic love; The Liar is a farce, set in France and dealing with love,misperceptions, and downright falsifications, which ends, of course, happily ever after.These two plays, together in one volume, work in perfect tandem to showcase the breadth of Corneille's abilities. Taking us back to the time he portrays as well as the time of his greatest success as a playwright, they remind us of that the delights to be found on the French stage are truly ageless.

Corneille is a part of the greatest period of French drama. His artistic model and theory of the drama were to be followed by successive generations of dramatists, including Racine. His plays deal with noble characters in closely defined situations of high moral intensity. After modest success as a writer of complex, baroque comedies, Corneille achieved fame with Le Cid (1636--37), adapted from Guillen de Castro's three-day comedy Las Moceddes del Cid. It vividly represents the dominant theme of his tragedies: the inner struggle between duty and passion. Corneille went on to dominate the French theater of his day with plays that reflect the changing relationships between the aristocracy and the new absolutist state. Some of Corneille's other major tragedies include Horace (1640), Cinna (1640), and Polyeuctus (1643). In his shaping of language and form to his dramatic purposes, Corneille had a great effect on the development of French literature; more specifically, it can be said that he gave form and aim to French neoclassicism.

When Richard Wilbur's Things of This World (1956) won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award the same year, the N.Y. Times commented editorially: "A seemingly effortless craftsman, Mr. Wilbur reveals a fine lyrical gift, a searching wit and, in his translations, a sympathetic kinship to the works of others." Wilbur was born in New York City and educated at Amherst College and Harvard University. During the late 1950s he taught at Wesleyan University. He has also been on the English faculty at Harvard and Wellesley College, and he is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. With Lillian Hellman he wrote the libretto for the opera Candide. He also is one of the premier translators of his generation. He has translated Moliere's Tartuffe and Misanthrope and many poems of Andrei Voznesensky and others. Co-recipient of the Bollingen Translation Prize in 1963, he was made the second Poet Laureate of the United States in 1987.

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