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Alcestiad and the Drunken Sisters

ISBN-10: 0573600473

ISBN-13: 9780573600470

Edition: 1977

Authors: Thornton Wilder

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Description:

Thornton Wilder referred to "The Alcestiad" as "a mixture of religious revival, mother-love-dynamite, and heroic daring-do." In it, he retells the ancient legend of Alcestis, Queen of Thessaly, who gave her life for her husband Admetus, beloved of Apollo, and was brought back from Hell by Hercules. When the brave and confused Alcestis returns from the dead, asking large questions about what matters most in life and how we lead it, we catch more than a glimpse of Emily in Act III of "Our Town." Like Emily, Wilder's Alcestis is a seeker after understanding, to whom "there is only one misery, and that is ignorance." Written in the tradition of the early Greek tragedies, enhanced by Wilder's quintessential combination of plainspoken poignancy and humor, neither death nor happiness is what it seems to be in this work of enormous emotional range. "The Alcestiad" is followed, according to Greek tradition, by a short, comic Satyr play, The Drunken Sisters.
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Book details

Copyright year: 1977
Publisher: Samuel French Incorporated
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 113
Language: English

One of the most honored and versatile of modern writers, Thornton Wilder combined a career as a successful novelist with work for the theater that made him one of this century's outstanding dramatists. It was an early short novel, however, that first brought him fame. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), a bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1927, is the story of a group of assorted people who happen to be on a bridge in Peru when it collapses. Ingeniously constructed and rich in its philosophical implications about fate and synchronicity, Wilder's book would seem to be the first well-known example of a formula that has become a cliche in popular literature. His attraction to classical themes is manifested in The Woman of Andros (1930), a tragedy about young love in pre-Christian Greece, and The Ides of March (1948), set in the time of Julius Caesar and told in letters and documents covering a long span of years. Heaven's My Destination (1934), is a seriocomic and picaresque story about a young book salesman traveling through the Midwest during the early years of the Great Depression.Theophilus North (1973), Wilder's last novel, disappointed many reviewers, but it provided its author with opportunities to offer some wry observations on the life of the idle rich in Newport during the summer of 1926 and to ponder in the story of his alter ego what might have happened if Wilder had stayed home, so to speak, instead of becoming Thornton Wilder. As a serious writer of fiction, Wilder's main claim rests on The Eighth Day (1967), an intellectual thriller, which the N.Y. Times called "the most substantial fiction of his career." It won the National Book Award for fiction in 1968.