Cyrano de Bergerac eBook » Cyrano de PDF/EPUB or

This is Edmond Rostand's immortal play in which chivalry and wit bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance Set in Louis XIII's reign it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the finest swordsmen in France gallant soldier brilliant wit tragic poet lover with the face of a clown Rostand's extraordinary lyric powers gave birth to a universal hero Cyrano De Bergerac and ensured his own reputation as author of one of the best loved plays in the literature of the stageThis translation by the American poet Brian Hooker is nearly as famous as the original play itself and is generally considered to be one of the finest English verse translations ever written


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    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