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The Jew of Seville: A Play

Sejour, Victor;Shapiro, Norman R.

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ISBN 10: 0252027000 / ISBN 13: 9780252027000
Published by Univ of Illinois Pr, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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First printing. Black cloth, gilt titles. Fine in like DJ. 171 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 9109

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Jew of Seville: A Play

Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

Before he was twenty years old, Louisiana-born Victor SŽjour expatriated himself to Paris, where his acclaimed dramas would appear alongside those of Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. SŽjour's mother was a free woman of color and his father was Haitian. SŽjour grew up a free Creole of color in antebellum New Orleans, but was deeply affected by the alienation and discrimination he encountered as a person of mixed descent.

SŽjour's inventive transposition of the discrimination of mid-nineteenth-century America to other historical incidents of racial persecution was a device in his fiction and drama, creating a provocative and political metaphor for those whose lives blur the lines of racial and religious identity. Now, for the first time, two of SŽjour's plays, The Jew of Seville and The Fortune-Teller, have been translated from the French for contemporary audiences.

The Jew of Seville, a five-act verse drama first performed in 1844, is the story of Jacob Eliacin, a Jew, during the Spanish Inquisition. Eliacin had been humiliated and beaten by the uncle of his Christian lover, Bianca. The couple had fled to Greece, where Bianca had died in childbirth. Eliacin, who amassed great wealth, had assumed the name DiŽgarias, and had raised daughter InŽs a Christian.

Twenty years later, as the play opens, DiŽgarias is now a prominent member of the court at Seville, where InŽs encounters and is seduced by Don Juan in a sham marriage. When he discovers Don Juan's treachery DiŽgarias demands that the nobleman marry his daughter. But a self-serving Moor reveals the truth of DiŽgarias' identity to Don Juan, who then publicly refuses to marry a Jew's daughter. After this humiliation, DiŽgarias retreats to plot revenge which will have dire consequences for InŽs.

With a stirring verse translation by Norman R. Shapiro and a thoroughly engaging introduction by M. Lynn Weiss, The Jew of Seville is an important and provocative addition to the non-English writings of American-born authors, a historical drama that highlights the discrimination not only of SŽjour's time but of ours as well.

About the Author:

Victor Sejour (1817-74) was born in Louisiana but made his career as a playwright in France. Norman R. Shapiro, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University, is a widely published translator of French theater, poetry, and prose.M. Lynn Weiss is an associate professor of American studies at the College of William and Mary. Their previous collaborations include Creole Echoes: The Francophone Literature of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana.

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