The Theatre of IllusionBook - 2007
Pierre Corneille, in his original dedication for The Theatre of Illusion, described the play as a "strange monster." He first called these five acts a comedy; later, a "caprice" and an "extravagant trifle." Written in 1635 and staged in 1636, the play vanished from the stage for the next three hundred years--to be revived in 1937 by Louis Jouvet and the Com#65533;die Fran#65533;aise. Since then it has been widely considered, in Virginia Scott's words, "Corneille's baroque masterpiece."
Today this brilliant piece of wit and drama is available in a new translation from one of America's finest poets and translators of French, Richard Wilbur. Widely praised for his translations of plays by Moli#65533;re and Racine, Wilbur now turns his poetic grace to this work, which remains as much a celebration of the comedy of humanity and the magic of life as it was when Corneille wrote it.