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Cyrano de Bergerac (Penguin Classics) Paperback – November 28, 2006
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About the Author
Savien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) French soldier, satirist, and dramatist, whose life has been the basis of many romantic but unhistorical legends. The best-known of them is Edmond Rostand's verse drama Cyrano de Bergerac (1897). Bergerac's major works were two posthumously published accounts of fantastic voyages, VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (1657) and L'HISTOIRE DES ÉTATS ET EMPIRES DU SOLEIL (1662). Carol Clark is an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. She taught French there for many years, lecturing particularly on seventeenth and nineteenth-century topics. She has previously translated Baudelaire and Proust for Penguin.
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The French soldier Cyrano de Bergerac is renounced for his wit, writing skills, bravery with a sword, and his panache. He is also cursed with the largest nose ever to darken a human face, and with an unrequited love for his beautiful cousin Roxanne. Roxanne is in love with the handsome, brave but rather dull Baron Christian de Neuvil, and will beg Cyrano to watch over him. Encouraged by Cyrano, Christian will take up the wooing of Roxanne, in which cause Cyrano will play many roles. He will also watch over Christian in the face of many threats, even death...
This Classics Illustrated edition includes the essentials of a long and moving story, including doing justice to several comedic moments and to the famous dual wooing scene. Kyle Baker's almost whimsical art crucially captures the changing emotions of the characters. "Cyrano de Bergerac" is very highly recommended as an entertaining graphic novel treatment of a great story.
This is my favorite play ever; one of my top ten books and the only play in there.
Forget the movies (except maybe the French one with Depardieu), and no it does not end very well, but Edmond Rostand takes you for a ride through love and war and wit and charm and fun and, yes, cooking, all in some of the most brilliant yet funny example of mastery of the alexandrine.
I laugh out to tears each time I read it.
This play is absolutely fantastic. I have never read this particular translation before today when I received it in the mail but I must say that I was quite impressed. I admit that I am used to seeing "panache'" rather than "white plume" but it's something I could get used to.
Cyrano is a man with a HUGE nose and the skill of wit and steel to back up any one who may dare attack his precious nose. The truth is that for all of his ferocity, he is really quite self-conscious and can never believe that anyone could ever love him. Thus the tragedy of our hero is that he is his own worst enemy. A poet, a warrior, a scientist, a hopeless romantic and though he would do anything for his secret beloved Roxanne, he leads a solitary lonely existence even as he faces death.
I know there are those who might say that this is not so. Was not Roxanne there when he died? Yes, but did he allow himself to be comforted and be held as he breathed out his last? No. He had to get up and look death right in the eyes as it were for one last battle. Facing his old enemies as he put it.
Cyrano de Bergerac is an absolutely amazing play with so much soul, so much wit, so much humanity, in short, so much NOSE that one would lose out NOT to read it. I feel I would be diminished had I never come across this play.
Now, the Christmas present in this particular edition! It comes with a FREE DVD version by the Chamberlain Brothers of Jose Ferrer's Oscar winning 1950 performance of Cyrano de Bergerac. I could not believe my eyes when I opened the package today! I believe there are some of this available from individual sellers. If the price is right, I would recommend it. If you are only interested in the Signet Classics play, Amazon has that to. Lowell Blair is the translator of this edition that I'm reviewing.
Note: Minus 1 star because I think that the story is good, but not great.
The story centers around Cyrano and his secret love for Roxanne. Despite his poetic nature, Cyrano has an abnormally large nose and believes he is unlovable. Cyrano helps another man, Christian, woo Roxanne. The story continues, but I wouldn't want to ruin it for a new reader.
I highly suggest this to anyone that enjoys a good romantic story. It's also a good read for anyone that likes 1800's-early 1900's literature.