LA Gloire: The Roman Empire of Corneille and Racine

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9781570031229: LA Gloire: The Roman Empire of Corneille and Racine

Novelist Auchincloss applies his literary skills to a peculiar form of drama, the 17th century French classic tragedy, analyzing, in particular, the works of Corneille and Racine. The essays offer observations about the limitations of the tragedies (always set in one chamber during a 24 hour period) and how this compactness contributes to the sense of passion, self-sacrifice, and tragedy, specifically in the conventional theme of gloire the mission that compels the hero to sacrifice romance, friends, and family to fulfill a greater destiny. Lacks a bibliography and index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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From the Back Cover:

In a charming collection of elegant essays, one of the twentieth century's leading men of letters turns his vast knowledge and worldly authority to the texts of two seventeenth-century French dramatists. Louis Auchincloss considers sixteen plays by Pierre Corneille (1606-84) and his younger theatrical rival, Jean Racine (1639-99). Musing on the ideas that informed the court of the Sun King and on what classical allusions meant to them, Auchincloss offers thoughtful readings, new translations, and a wealth of shrewd observations about French classic tragedy, passion, self-sacrifice, self-aggrandizement, and civic and military glory. Auchincloss lets the grand voices of Corneille's and Racine's heroes and heroines speak, while calling attention to details and discoveries that illumine aspects of both seventeenth-century and twentieth-century culture. He specifically considers the theme of gloire - the lofty destiny or mission that the hero (and more rarely the heroine) has set for himself and for which he would willingly sacrifice the most passionate romance, closest friendship, or dearest family ties. While gloire is more commonly associated with Corneille than with Racine, Auchincloss demonstrates that these French masters were capable of swapping predilections when it came to the Roman plays.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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