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Le Cid and The Liar
     

Le Cid and The Liar

by Richard Wilbur
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547541297
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/11/2009
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
145 KB

Meet the Author

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, the National Arts Club medal of honor for literature, and a number of translation prizes, including two Bollingen Prizes and two awards from PEN.

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