Le Cid and The Liar

Le Cid and The Liar

by Pierre Corneille, Richard Wilbur
     
 

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Richard Wilbur here continues his brilliant work in translating the great French dramas, 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

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Overview

Richard Wilbur here continues his brilliant work in translating the great French dramas, 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 height of his fame as a playwright, they remind us of that the delights of the stage are truly ageless.

Praise for Richard Wilbur's dramatic translations:

"Thanks all around: to Corneille & Co., of course, but to Richard Wilbur, the one poet whose translations give us pleasure—heroical, comical, tragical pleasure—loving thanks."—Richard Howard

"A large part of the reason for what must be termed a Molière revival in North America is the excellence of Richard Wilbur's translations."—The New York Times

"Wilbur makes Molière 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 and translators, has served as poet laureate of the United States. He has received two National Book Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, and a number of translation prizes, including two Bollingen Prizes and two PEN Awards. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for LE CID and THE LIAR

"Adding two more works of Corneille—imagine making such chestnuts hot!—Mr. Wilbur has now enlarged his classical French proscenium to a really inclusive extent, and by the only means culture admits: by our enjoyment. Thanks all around: to Corneille & Co., of course, but to Richard Wilbur, the one poet whose translations give us pleasure-—heroical, comical, tragical pleasure—loving thanks."
—Richard Howard

Praise for Richard Wilbur's translation of THE THEATRE OF ILLUSION by Pierre Corneille

"[Wilbur] not only catches Matamore's bombastic accents to perfection but through clever rhymes conveys his absurd grandiosity. Mr. Wilbur's earlier translations of Molière and Racine have long been considered classics, and rightly so; this, his first Corneille, is equally marvelous." —The New York Sun

Praise for Richard Wilbur's translations:

"A large part of the reason for what must be termed a Molière revival in North America is the excellence of Richard Wilbur's translations."—The New York Times

"Wilbur makes Molière into as great an English verse playwright as he was a French one."—New York Magazine

Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning poet Wilbur has extended his string of supple translations with these two very different plays. Le Cid (1636) is an epic and heroic story of a couple bound by love and driven apart by honor. The Liar (1643) is a farce, full of wit, charm, and sparkling repartee. Wilbur's closest stylistic competitor is Vincent John Cheng's 1987 translation of Le Cid, now out of print. Cheng includes details on his method of translation and several illuminating appendixes; Wilbur is not as forthcoming. Directors preparing to stage Le Cid should examine both versions, but Wilbur has pride of place for an elegant, flowing line that is easy to speak. His translation of The Liar moves along at a brisk and trotting pace. The play is not anthologized often or even offered as a stand-alone. The rhyme scheme of the French originals is maintained, but Wilbur's mastery of his craft transforms the English into scripts that would be delightful both to act and to observe. VERDICT Theater departments and professionals should seriously consider this fun pair for production. Readers of French literature and Wilbur's poetry will also appreciate the book.—Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Moorhead

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156035835
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/11/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,424,691
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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