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Book Title: Cyrano de Bergerac|
Date of issue: November 19th 1998
ISBN 13: 9780192836434
The author of the book: Edmond Rostand
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.69 MB
Edition: Oxford University Press
Read full description of the books Cyrano de Bergerac:I read this book in 1994, and it changed the way I thought about stories.
Up until that point in my life, the vast majority of the books I'd read were fantasy and science fiction. Many of them were good books. Many, in retrospect, were not.
Then I read Cyrano De Bergerac. For the first half of the play I was amazed at the character, I was stunned by the language. I was utterly captivated by the story.
The second half of the book broke my heart. Then it broke my heart again. I cried for hours. I decided if I ever wrote a fantasy novel, I wanted it to be as good as this. I wanted my characters to be as good as this.
A couple months later, I started writing The Name of the Wind.
Over the years, I've read many translations of the original and seen many different movies and stage productions. In my opinion, the Brian Hooker translation is the best of these, head and shoulders above the rest.
The problem is this, the play was originally written in French, which is a relatively pure language, linguistically speaking. Because of the way it's structured, French rhymes very naturally.
English, on the other hand, is a total mutt of a language. It's as pure as a rabid dog. We're linguistically Germanic at our roots, but that's like saying a terrier used to be a wolf. Modern English is a rich, delicious gumbo full of Latin, Old Norse, French... and well... pretty much whatever we found laying around the kitchen that we wanted to throw into the pot.
(BTW, what you see up in the previous paragraph is the very definition of a mixed metaphor. Just so you know....)
Modern English doesn't rhyme naturally. You really have to stretch to fit it into into couplets. And unless this is done *masterfully* what you're doing ends up sounding arty and pretentious, or like Dr. Seuss to the English speaking ear. And those are best-case scenarios.
Brian Hooker was a proper poet, and he realized that the rhyme was secondary. He knew the most important thing was that Cyrano speak with eloquence, wit, and beauty in his language. So that's what he focuses on. There's a little rhyming, but just a little. Just when it works.
The result is lovely, and at no point do you ever feel like you're reading a kid's book or an Elizabethan sonnet. Cyrano sounds like a fucking badass.
So yeah. It's the best. If you're going to read one piece of drama before you die, read this.
Read information about the authorEdmond Eugène Alexis Rostand was a French poet and dramatist.
Rostand is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play "Cyrano de Bergerac". Rostand's romantic plays provided an alternative to the naturalistic theatre popular during the late 19th century. One of Rostand's works, "Les Romanesques", has been adapted as the highly successful musical comedy "The Fantasticks".
Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie Française.
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