The Theatre of Illusion
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The Theatre of Illusion

3.57 (829 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Pierre Corneille, in his original dedication for "The Theatre of Illusion", described the play as a "strange monster." He first called these five acts a comedy; later, a "caprice" and an "extravagant trifle." Written in 1635 and staged in 1636, the play vanished from the stage for the next three hundred years - to be revived in 1937 by Louis Jouvet and the Comedie Francaise. Since then it has been widely considered, in Virginia Scott's words, "Corneille's baroque masterpiece."Today this brilliant piece of wit and drama is available in a new translation from one of America's finest poets and translators of French, Richard Wilbur. Widely praised for his translations of plays by Moliere and Racine, Wilbur now turns his poetic grace to this work, which remains as much a celebration of the comedy of humanity and the magic of life as it was when Corneille wrote it.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 132.1 x 188 x 12.7mm | 158.76g
  • Harcourt Publishers,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0156032317
  • 9780156032315
  • 1,227,018

Review quote

"Wilbur makes Moliere into as great an English verse playwright as he was a French one." New York Magazine"show more

Back cover copy

The Theatre of Illusion opens as a distraught father seeks news of his long-lost son. Through a magician's powers he sees handsome Clindor woo Isabelle from the boastful but cowardly buffoon Adraste. Isabelle s maid, Lyse, engineers the lovers escape. But this delightful mixture of comedy, tragedy, and farce continues to play with its characters and their predicaments: Another time and setting take the lovers into dangerous territory--romantic, tragic, and full of surprises. This baroque masterpiece is now translated by one of America s finest poets and translators of French, Richard Wilbur. Widely praised for his translations of plays by Moliere and Racine, Wilbur turns his poetic grace to this work, a joyful celebration of the comedy of humanity and the magic of life. PRAISE FOR THE TRANSLATIONS OF RICHARD WILBUR "A large part of the reason for what must be termed a Moliere revival in North America is the excellence of Richard Wilbur s translations." The New York Times "Wilbur makes Moliere into as great an English verse playwright as he was a French one." New York Magazine RICHARD WILBUR, one of America s most beloved poets, has served as poet laureate of the United States. He has received the National Book Award, two Pulitzer Prizes, and a number of translation prizes, including two Bollingen Prizes and two PEN Awards. He lives in Cummington, Massachusetts."show more

Rating details

829 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 18% (151)
4 34% (285)
3 36% (296)
2 10% (83)
1 2% (14)
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