Title: Romulus & The Original Romulus The Great By ...
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 1966
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1966. Grove Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 27. 165 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Roy Kuhlman. keywords: October 3. inventory # 16188. FROM THE PUBLISHER - A critical controversy arose soon after the Broadway production of Gore Vidal’s Romulus. While one quarter had it that Mr. Vidal had made an adaptation suited to the American stage, one dealing with inherently American problems of politics and power, another maintained that the original Duerrenmatt play had lost its essential grandeur and seriousness in the transformation. The question, of course, is not whether one play is ‘better’ than another, or more meaningful than another, but is: Does the Vidal adaptation retain the shape of the original, and does it maintain that shape in a form suited to a contemporary situation subtly different from the one which Duerrenmatt investigates? Here are both plays, presented so that the reader may see for himself the changes which Mr. Vidal has made in the basic drama. Essentially, these plays deal with the uses of power - how one man can remain true to a humane ideal while invested with the potency of a title and a throne built upon centuries of blood and conquest. Romulus, the has-been scholar, the dreamer, the royal chicken-fancier, has allowed the Goths - by his own seemingly effete passivity - to make devastating inroads upon his Empire. As the story opens, they are, indeed, at the very gates of the city. But Romulus is not what he seems: his lack of attention to the slow eroding of the once mighty Empire is calculated; his tired jokes cloak a wit which has implications of doom and destruction for his people, and for himself. For Romulus is a man who has for twenty years had but one goal: to assist in the destruction of his own land, and to die at the end of this time. He is a dangerous man, a traitor, in the accepted sense of that term - at best, a coward. But his country, his Rome, is corrupt, it does not deserve its eminence, it must be destroyed - and Romulus destroys it by his virtuoso performance as a fool. Mr. Vidal has supplied a specially-written preface for this edition of his play, in which he sets forth his reasons for the kind of adaptation he has made. At Mr. Vidal’s suggestion, Duerrenmatt’s Romulus the Great is given in translation from the original German by Gerhard Nellhaus for the reader who wishes to make his own judgment concerning the merits of the two plays. Bookseller Inventory # 16188
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