The Theatre of Illusion
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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Devil_llama - LibraryThing
Fairly standard Renaissance fare, except that it adds a new twist, one that would be familiar to modern readers but at the time was unheard of - comedy/tragedy in the same play, for a tragi-comic ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - nosajeel - LibraryThing
A beautifully translated play, as usually, by Richard Wilbur. The play alternates between comedy, farce, fantasy, romance, and tragedy -- without falling in to any of the conventional classical forms ... Read full review