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Cyrano de Bergerac (Oberon Classics)

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Comic poet and dazzling swordsman, Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane.But Roxane loves the dashing Christian. Cyrano, in a selfless act of love, woosRoxane on Christian’s behalf, writing his love letters, feeding him his lines.Romance. Tragedy. Comedy. Excitement. A universal, action-packed love storywhich has been a popular hit on the stage for over a century and th Comic poet and dazzling swordsman, Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane.But Roxane loves the dashing Christian. Cyrano, in a selfless act of love, woosRoxane on Christian’s behalf, writing his love letters, feeding him his lines.Romance. Tragedy. Comedy. Excitement. A universal, action-packed love storywhich has been a popular hit on the stage for over a century and the inspirationfor countless films. ‘Thanks to Ranjit Bolt’s cracking new verse translation…this renditionof Cyrano is thrilling to listen to, line by line, word by word, and there isno resisting its pace, humour and charm.’Guardian on the Bristol Old Vic production


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Comic poet and dazzling swordsman, Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane.But Roxane loves the dashing Christian. Cyrano, in a selfless act of love, woosRoxane on Christian’s behalf, writing his love letters, feeding him his lines.Romance. Tragedy. Comedy. Excitement. A universal, action-packed love storywhich has been a popular hit on the stage for over a century and th Comic poet and dazzling swordsman, Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane.But Roxane loves the dashing Christian. Cyrano, in a selfless act of love, woosRoxane on Christian’s behalf, writing his love letters, feeding him his lines.Romance. Tragedy. Comedy. Excitement. A universal, action-packed love storywhich has been a popular hit on the stage for over a century and the inspirationfor countless films. ‘Thanks to Ranjit Bolt’s cracking new verse translation…this renditionof Cyrano is thrilling to listen to, line by line, word by word, and there isno resisting its pace, humour and charm.’Guardian on the Bristol Old Vic production

30 review for Cyrano de Bergerac (Oberon Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    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 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. There was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, and the play is a fictionalization following the broad outlines of his life. Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a cadet (nobleman serving as a soldier) in the French Army, is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted, joyful poet and is also a musician. However, he has an extremely large nose, wh Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. There was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, and the play is a fictionalization following the broad outlines of his life. Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a cadet (nobleman serving as a soldier) in the French Army, is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted, joyful poet and is also a musician. However, he has an extremely large nose, which causes him to doubt himself. This doubt prevents him from expressing his love for his distant cousin, the beautiful and intellectual Roxane, as he believes that his ugliness would prevent him the "dream of being loved by even an ugly woman." تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه ژوئن سال 2008 میلادی عنوان: س‍ی‍ران‍و دو ب‍رژراک (نمایشنامه ای در پنج پرده)؛ نویسنده: ادمون روستان؛ مترجم: فرزام پروا؛ تهران، نشر قطره، 1386؛ در 253 ص؛ شابک: 9789643416454؛ ترجمه از متن انگلیسی؛ چاپ دوم 1396؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 10 م سیرانو دو برژراک نمایش‌نامه‌ ای ست به قلم «ادمون روستان» نمایش‌نامه‌ نویس فرانسوی که در سال 1897 میلادی به چاپ رسیده است. «سوینین دو سیرانو دو برژراک» و «رکسانا» شخصیت‌های اصلی این نمایش‌نامه هستند. نسخه‌ های سینمایی نیز از این اثر تهیه شده است از جمله: «سیرانو دو برژراک (یک فیلم ماجراجویی به کارگردانی مایکل گوردون در سال 1950 میلادی)»؛ و «سیرانو دو برژراک (فیلمی به کارگردانی ژان پل راپنو سال 1990 میلادی)»؛ نمایشنامة «سیرانو دو برژراک» داستان عشق سلحشوری رزم‌آور، شاعر و فیلسوف است، که در سده هفدهم میلادی در فرانسه می‌زیست. «ادمون روستان» دویست و پنجاه سال پس از درگذشت «سیرانو»ی واقعی، براساس زندگی او، چنان نمایشنامه ی عاشقانه، و شورانگیزی می‌نویسند، و چنان طنز گزنده‌ ای به آن می‌بخشند، که بیشتر منتقدان، آنرا نه تنها شاهکار این نمایشنامه‌ نویس، که شاهکار ادبیات فرانسه به شمار می‌آورند. امروزه شخصیت «سیرانو»، تبدیل به یکی از دوست داشتنی‌ترین نقش‌های تئاتری شده است، و این نمایش، پراجراترین نمایش تاریخ تئاتر فرانسه، و یکی از پراجراترین نمایش‌های حال حاضر دنیاست. نمایش، با اجرایی تئاتری، در هتل «دوبورگی‌نی» آغاز می‌شود. «سیرانو» اجرا را به هم می‌ریزد، شمشیر می‌زند، و شعر می‌سراید، و همه را به مبارزه می‌طلبد، چرا که «مون فلوری»، بازیگر نمایش، نگاه پرمهر خود را، از معشوق او: «روکسان»، برنمی‌دارد. «سیرانو» بالاخره تصمیم می‌گیرد از عشق مکتوم خود، به «روکسان» پرده بردارد، اما...؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marty Reeder

    YET ANOTHER READING, December 15, 2009 I forced my class to read this book for their reading time, which is usually reserved for personal reading time. They loved it. I can't think of a better endorsement. No other book I know of can get the full enthusiasm of both an English teacher and a classroom full of stratified and unique, individual students--especially when they have been forced to read the book. Why? Because Cyrano has a universal appeal that YET ANOTHER READING, December 15, 2009 I forced my class to read this book for their reading time, which is usually reserved for personal reading time. They loved it. I can't think of a better endorsement. No other book I know of can get the full enthusiasm of both an English teacher and a classroom full of stratified and unique, individual students--especially when they have been forced to read the book. Why? Because Cyrano has a universal appeal that spans generations. Because Cyrano is funny. Because his tale is adventurous. Because it is unblinkingly sincere and puts away pretenses, if even for a few, beautiful and believable moments. Because we all hope to attain the kind of love that Rostand presents in his protagonist. Why? Because Cyrano de Bergerac rings true in the deepest and surest sense that any literature I have ever read has ever been able to attain. Wow. That is a pretty epic and sweeping recommendation, you might think, but it only touches on the wide range of emotions I get when I read through it. And now, as I think back on this past reading and the several readings from before it, I cannot think of any book, any piece of literature, anywhere that has a more favorable spot in my heart. No other piece of literature has the ability to make me laugh, cry, smile satisfied, or yearn tragically with as much poignant ability as this piece. Cyrano is my hero, and, according to his inspiration, I hope to preserve my own white plume up until the very moment of my death. What a beautiful person Cyrano is; what a beautiful character Rostand has created. Read it. Just read it and find the Cyrano in yourself, because he is there, in all of us ... that much should be as plain as, well, the nose on your face. PREVIOUS REVIEW, 2006, 1997, others One of the most balanced, talented pieces of literature I have ever read. Plus, I think that Edmond Rostand, besides being extremely clever and funny, has a few scenes of such startling, raw truth and emotion that I've never found an equal in other works I've read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    One of the all-time great over-the-top romances - everyone knows the story, and it's been adapted a million times. How they could have given it a happy ending in Steve Martin's "Roxanne" is beyond me. The Depardieu movie is the one to see, of course.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    Ah, Cyrano. You never disappoint me. How many times have I read your story? How many times have I laughed, cheered, cried and sighed over you? Too many to count, and there will be many more in the future. You are my hero. But did you know you were a real person? Wait, that sounds silly. Of course you knew that, but how did it slip my own mind? Maybe other times when I read the introductory note to Edmond Rostand's wonderful play about you, this phrase never took hold in my little pea bra Ah, Cyrano. You never disappoint me. How many times have I read your story? How many times have I laughed, cheered, cried and sighed over you? Too many to count, and there will be many more in the future. You are my hero. But did you know you were a real person? Wait, that sounds silly. Of course you knew that, but how did it slip my own mind? Maybe other times when I read the introductory note to Edmond Rostand's wonderful play about you, this phrase never took hold in my little pea brain: The character of Cyrano was real. But this time it did. I googled you and sure enough, there you were, bigger than life. And you were a writer yourself! Knowing that helped me understand better than ever the scene with De Guiche outside Roxane's house. You know the one, where you fell from the moon in order to distract him long enough for....well, you and Rostand and I know why, but I cannot say because other people who have not have read the play yet could be reading this someday and I would hate to spoil anything for them. Anyway, De Guiche tells you that you should write a book about your trip to the moon and you say you will. I am about to read that book now, Cyrano. I look forward to your own words, even though they will not be in the form of love letters. I understand that Rostand romanticized your life when he wrote his play, but I would like to believe that he captured your panache perfectly. And I loved how he had you meet D'Artagnan in Act One! I thought it was a brilliant touch, even though it was only a handshake and a few words from him to you. Brilliant because as you know, D'Artagnan himself was a real person, and you probably did meet him at some point or at the very least knew about him. You took your real voyage to the moon in 1655, only 36 years old. So young to die, even for those years, don't you think? But you were here, you made your mark in the world. And thanks in part to Rostand and his play, you will be remembered forever. I hope you are happy there on your moonbeam, and can still catch golden stars in your cloak.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Updated review with notes on a few available English translations. This is the most beautiful and most heartbreaking love story ever. I have watched the movie with Gérard Depardieu in the title role a million times, I have seen stage performances of it. It never fails to make me laugh and turn me into a sobbing mess by the last line. Cyrano is the best swordsman of Paris; he is also the city’s greatest poet. He is as grand in deeds as he is in words, refuses prestige Updated review with notes on a few available English translations. This is the most beautiful and most heartbreaking love story ever. I have watched the movie with Gérard Depardieu in the title role a million times, I have seen stage performances of it. It never fails to make me laugh and turn me into a sobbing mess by the last line. Cyrano is the best swordsman of Paris; he is also the city’s greatest poet. He is as grand in deeds as he is in words, refuses prestige and the limelight, preferring to keep to himself with his poems and the regiment he leads for company. He also feels doomed to be forever alone because he has a really, really big nose: he has loved his lovely cousin Roxane from afar for years, but has never dared to declare himself for fear that she will find his appearance ridiculous. Roxane is beautiful, elegant and witty, but she is shallow: she is in love with the Baron Christian de Neuvillette, who is handsome, but lacks the eloquence to woo her the way she wants to be wooed. So Cyrano hatches a plan: he will write Roxane beautiful poetry, expressing the passionate feelings he arbours for her, and Christian will deliver the love notes and reap the rewards. The speeches in this play are breathtaking with spirit, humour and wit. The original French version (I have never read a translation) has an almost musical rhythm to every line. The characters are larger than life, passionate and deeply human: all three main characters are absolutely bad-asses in their own way. This play is a pure delight, to be read and re-read again and again and I cannot recommend it enough. --- Thoughts about a few English translations. Feel free to skip. French is my first language so when a book is originally written in French, I read the original. Having read a few books both in English and in French (namely Du Maurier and Kerouac, of all things), I am all too aware of how easily you can lose subtle things in the translation process and how that can often result in reading a book that simply doesn't carry the same flavor as the original. "Cyrano" was written in alexandrine verses, which is probably a terrifying prospect for any translator, especially if you want to keep the tone intact. This is a play about love, passion, sacrifice and strong characters: if the translator can't carry those things in his version, it just doesn't work. So out of curiosity and stubbornness, I combed bookstores for not one but THREE different English translations of my favorite play to try and figure out which one comes closest to Rostand's original words. Bear in mind that I have read and seen "Cyrano" a hundred time and basically know most of it by heart. Everybody recommended the Brian Hooker version, which I ended up finding a little bland, despite it being regarded as the "standard" English version. Hooker was himself a poet, and he tried to keep things as lyrical as he could, but the speeches don't read as fluidly as I had hoped. Then I read Carol Clark's version: she provides a really interesting introduction and notes on translation (oh, Penguin Classics editions and all your scholarly extra material, how I love thee!) which digs into the various challenges of preserving the energy and spirit of the play. That version was more dynamic than the Hooker translation, but a few turns of phrases felt like snags in an otherwise smooth ride. Good, but not quite right. I then realized that Anthony Burgess (yes, THE Anthony Burgess) had also translated "Cyrano", and adapted it for the modern stage. I hunted that version down because Burgess is a wizard with words and I just had to see how he worked with Rostand's. In his introduction, he mentions that part of the difficulty in translating this play has to do with the fundamental difference between translating a poem and translating a play, which is invariably meant to be spoken out loud and performed by actors. Sure, you have to respect the original work, but you also have to think of the actors and the audience: they need to understand what's going on, and they need to have the proper reactions. He points out that Rostand's play has many comedic elements in French, that the Hooker translation, which sticks very faithfully to the original words, doesn't convey - hence why it reads a bit dryly. Cyrano is a witty man who makes fun of his adversaries and what sounds ironic in French will not necessarily sound ironic in English; you need to shift ever so slightly to convey the right vibe. In my opinion, Burgess' version is the best English translation, because its the one that "feels" the most like the original. The rhythm and delivery are preserved, as are the shift from funny to poignant and romantic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marquise

    What an entertaining and very funny swashbuckler this was! With such a lovable hero with a big nose and a bigger heart, whose wit is as ready and sharp as his rapier. Cyrano is going to make you laugh, think and feel sad with his rhymes (which, by the way, the English translation doesn't do full justice), whilst the heroine is a bit too vapid for him. I do wish the ending hadn't been like it was, but I appreciate why it had to go down like that and how it fits Cyrano's character and shows his im What an entertaining and very funny swashbuckler this was! With such a lovable hero with a big nose and a bigger heart, whose wit is as ready and sharp as his rapier. Cyrano is going to make you laugh, think and feel sad with his rhymes (which, by the way, the English translation doesn't do full justice), whilst the heroine is a bit too vapid for him. I do wish the ending hadn't been like it was, but I appreciate why it had to go down like that and how it fits Cyrano's character and shows his immense worth as a human being, so in hindsight it doesn't make me feel as sorry as immediately after the last act ends. Oh, and of course, my headcanon for Cyrano is and never will be none other than Gérard Depardieu... ... whose superb performance in the film of the same name was what tipped me off as to the existence of Rostand's play and is, for a change, one of the extremely rare adaptations that don't elicit complaints from me about mishandling of the source material. I got lucky, for when I finally got to read this play, it turned out one of the best I've read this year.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Dubois

    I just loved it! The story, the writing, the characters; the alexandrines of Edmond de Rostand are lively, right, poetic, tender, funny; to read in French, because as always, the poetry of words has it’s own music that cannot be heard in another language ... I must admit that I have a little trouble concentrating myself to write this review, because it is February the 15th, and my friendly neighbors from the Vietnamese pagoda are celebrating their new year tonight. The drums will sound until two I just loved it! The story, the writing, the characters; the alexandrines of Edmond de Rostand are lively, right, poetic, tender, funny; to read in French, because as always, the poetry of words has it’s own music that cannot be heard in another language ... I must admit that I have a little trouble concentrating myself to write this review, because it is February the 15th, and my friendly neighbors from the Vietnamese pagoda are celebrating their new year tonight. The drums will sound until two o'clock in the morning. Like every year, we are invited. The dragon does not bite and the rice is hot. If I’m not to tired, I might go for few minutes ... So, let’s come back to Cyrano! What a man, what a nose, what a panache, what a verve, what a humanity, what a magnanimity! Crack, crack, crack! The firecrackers of the Buddhist pagoda explode ... « Pendant que je restais en bas, dans l’ombre noire, D’autres montaient cueillir le baiser de la gloire ! » "While I was staying down, in the dark shadow, Others went to gather the kiss of glory! " Boom Boom ! Boom Boom ! The drums are slamming at my neighbors come from the East, ... « Roxane : Je vous aime, vivez ! Cyrano : Non ! car c’est dans le conte Que lorsque l’on dit : Je t’aime ! au prince plein de honte, Il sent sa laideur fondre à ces mots de soleil… Mais tu t’apercevrais que je reste pareil. » "Roxane: I love you, live! Cyrano : No ! because in the tale, when we say: I love you! to the prince full of shame, that he feels his ugliness melt at these words of sun ... But you'll see that I remain the same." Ah, a language is so beautiful when it is well rhymed, and Edmond de Rostand does it so perfectly! There is Molière and Gautier in his feather. His writing is light, cheerful, incisive, full of tenderness, and Cyrano is the same. We can only love this character who laughs not to cry, who has a quick wit like no other in spite of his nose, some would say, I say thanks to his nose. If he had not had that physical disgrace that deprived him of his mother's love, no doubt he would never have compensated for it by this dazzling talent of the French language. One more thing that I liked : none of the characters is completely bad. It may seem a bit simple, too nice, but I believe the opposite: it's much easier to make a story with one or more real villains. In Cyrano, the suspense is present, the end is fabulous, the love story is terribly moving, without Rostand had to overwhelm us with horrible things to read. Great heart, great art!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Ah Cyrano, you of the forever-unbesmirched white plume, you who compromiseth not, you witty boastful holy heathen. You whose facial prominence was unbegotten of lies, as Pinocchio, but by the cruel capriciousness of nature, who was made very much of flesh not wood and whose human heart lay unseen under the shadow of your long disability; you seemed consigned to a certain Pinocchio-like boyhood when you wanted to be a man in full. But, ah fate! Your nose was a beacon signalling unhappiness and yo Ah Cyrano, you of the forever-unbesmirched white plume, you who compromiseth not, you witty boastful holy heathen. You whose facial prominence was unbegotten of lies, as Pinocchio, but by the cruel capriciousness of nature, who was made very much of flesh not wood and whose human heart lay unseen under the shadow of your long disability; you seemed consigned to a certain Pinocchio-like boyhood when you wanted to be a man in full. But, ah fate! Your nose was a beacon signalling unhappiness and you were a paragon of virtue; you, like the Little Tramp in City Lights fated to have the truth of your hidden love known much too belatedly in the final reel. You yourself reference Beauty and the Beast in your mortal throes, but you are a much more sublime hero than that; you dance not off to the heavens with your dearest for the happy ending. Oh no, not you, goodly sir! You are Pagliacci, but you stay your sword as a gentleman would, not like a hot-blooded spurned Latin lover. Where did I first encounter you and your regal proboscis and your equally fulsome wit? I think it was about 30 years ago when I enjoyed Jose Ferrer's Academy Award winning portrayal of you in the sleek, austere 1950 film version. Then in the 1990s you allowed Gerard Depardieu to inhabit you in a far more opulently upholstered French production that seemed the equal of your white plume. It was only then that I realized why Depardieu was considered a fine actor. Edmond Rostand, you probably realized that the life of the real Cyrano de Bergerac was much more interesting and full of complexities than you allow him in this play. But, even so, yours is a sturdy, fast-moving and completely enjoyable classic, filled with tasty wit and admirably unashamed melodramatic romance. I quite liked you very much. And now I lay a wreath at that nose which will smell the fragrances of spring no more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    (Originally posted here !) I have noticed that my latest reviews are brought about by intense feelings that had to be expressed. This applies to this book VERY MUCH. You know those stories where the guy falls in love with a girl, but the girl likes someone else, and so the guy helps that someone else just for the girl’s happiness? This is like a classic version of that. It is so heartbreaking and at the same time so beautiful that I just can’t help but stop as I drink the words in. This (Originally posted here !) I have noticed that my latest reviews are brought about by intense feelings that had to be expressed. This applies to this book VERY MUCH. You know those stories where the guy falls in love with a girl, but the girl likes someone else, and so the guy helps that someone else just for the girl’s happiness? This is like a classic version of that. It is so heartbreaking and at the same time so beautiful that I just can’t help but stop as I drink the words in. This is the kind of plot that transcends time and could be universally understood by just about anyone, but there is something about the language in which it is executed that manages to make you stop and read it all over again. I love Cyrano de Bergerac for many reasons. He is funny. He is witty. He is intelligent. He is headstrong and courageous. His sensitivity on the topic of his thrice-larger-than-normal nose is sadly amusing. He is in love with Roxane, but because he knows that she is in love with Christian, one of his fellow Cadets, he has taken it upon himself to help Christian in wooing her. It’s a really depressing situation, but Cyrano’s love for Roxane is such that he would be willing to see her happiness at the expense of his own. The events that transpire in this sort of arrangement are such downers indeed for Cyrano, and even though I was screaming to him in my mind to just admit that all those letters Christian wrote for Roxane were really products of his amazing talent, I couldn’t help but see the beauty of it. I doubt that this story would have been half as tragically beautiful as it is with him being the agonizing lover in the shadows. I also have to give props to Edmond Rostand for his flawless writing. I have the sort of modernized translation of the play by Lowell Bair, but even then, the words that frolic together in the verses pay homage to a timeless romance that is totally unforgettable for me and to several generations of readers and theatre-goers who had the privilege of learning Cyrano’s story. The type of love that Rostand managed to portray through Cyrano is so pure and sincere, the type that makes anyone radiant to the point that even a nose that is not pleasant to look at cannot outshine it. Please read this play. Its beauty just pierces the heart in a way that contemporary romance doesn’t (at least for me). If ever I do fulfill that part of my bucket list that says “learn the mother tongue of Victor Hugo, Madame de Pompadour, and the Phantom of the Opera,” I am going to find a copy of this in the original French, and I will read it. And because I am such a sucker for magnificent prose, I am going to share a few of my favorite quotes: There, now you have an inkling of what you might have said to me if you were witty and a man of letters. Unfortunately you’re totally witless and a man of very few letters: only the four that spell the word “fool.” But even if you had the intelligence to invent remarks like those I have given you as examples, you would not have been able to entertain me with them. You would have spoken no more than half the first syllable of the first word, because such jesting is a privilege that I grant only to myself. — She’s a mortal danger without meaning to be one; she’s exquisite without giving it a thought; she’s a trap set by nature, a rose in which love lies in ambush! Anyone who has seen her smile has known perfection. She creates grace without movement, and makes all divinity fit into her slightest gesture. And neither Venus in her shell, nor Diana striding in the great, blossoming forest, can compare to her when she goes through the streets of Paris in her sedan chair! — After all, what is a kiss? A vow made closer range, a more precise promise, a confession that contains its own proof, a seal places on a pact that has already been signed; it’s a secret told to the mouth rather than to the ear, a fleeting moment filles with the hush of eternity, a communion that has the fragrance of a flower, a way of living by the beat of another heart, and tasting another soul on one’s lips! My personal favorite is Cyrano’s last monologue. It is too long to be typed here, and I don’t want to spoil it, but the effect it had on me was such that after reading the last words, I had to put down the book for a bit and think about life… really. It is THAT good. So please. For my sake, for the sake of theatre, for the sake of romance, read this. PS (view spoiler)[No, I haven’t watched Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), nor have I watched the famous Roxanne (1987) with Steve Martin in it, but now that I have read this, they are my topmost priority for film choices at the next available opportunity. I have, however, watched Penelope (2006) with James McAvoy and Christina Ricci. Very cute, without the tragedy of Cyrano’s tale but with the ugly nose in the form of a pig snout, and not as good as the emotions I got from reading this. (hide spoiler)] PPS (view spoiler)[ Incidentally, this is the last book that completes my personal reading challenge for this year! 125 books! This personal achievement is made so much sweeter by that fact that this book is quickly becoming one of my favorites. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    "Cyrano de Bergerac" is basically about this swordsman named Cyrano, who is an amazing fighter and poet and is in love with his cousin Roxanne. The only bad thing is that Cyrano has a huge nose which keeps him from approaching Roxanne in earnest. Anyway, there's also this other guy that likes Roxanne named Christian, but although Christian has really good looks, he is a screw up with words and doesn't know how to communicate with females. Finally, there's another guy (whose already married) that "Cyrano de Bergerac" is basically about this swordsman named Cyrano, who is an amazing fighter and poet and is in love with his cousin Roxanne. The only bad thing is that Cyrano has a huge nose which keeps him from approaching Roxanne in earnest. Anyway, there's also this other guy that likes Roxanne named Christian, but although Christian has really good looks, he is a screw up with words and doesn't know how to communicate with females. Finally, there's another guy (whose already married) that is in love with Roxanne named De Guiche, and he's an older gentleman who is consistently annoying in the book. I'm not much of a play guy so reading this at first was a bit awkward for me... but I grew to like it. I might've given the book five stars if some of the annoying acts with De Guiche were cut out, as well as when there was supposedly "humorous" scenes that didn't work out for me, but overall I thought the plot was really tragic and beautiful and I ALMOST cried at the end. Haha.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suad Shamma

    My favorite section: "What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust?< My favorite section: "What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write. To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!"

  13. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    Cyrano de Bergerac which was first performed in 1897 was part of the last wave of versified drama. Plays in flat prose have been driving people out of theatres and into the cinemas for most of the last 80 years, but it seems that there is no turning back. Rhyming speech is unlike to ever return to drama. Hence this trite little cape and sword melodrama will probably stay in the repertory for a long time as nothing is likely to be written to replace it. The poetic qualities of the Fren Cyrano de Bergerac which was first performed in 1897 was part of the last wave of versified drama. Plays in flat prose have been driving people out of theatres and into the cinemas for most of the last 80 years, but it seems that there is no turning back. Rhyming speech is unlike to ever return to drama. Hence this trite little cape and sword melodrama will probably stay in the repertory for a long time as nothing is likely to be written to replace it. The poetic qualities of the French version are remarkable which means that it has a following even amongst the young, the hip and the au courant. For someone who will need to read the play in a language other than French, I advise them to not to bother. Take in a performance instead. Cyrano is a fabulous vehicle for a ham actor and thus often is a hoot in the theatre. Another possibility would be to download the movie featuring English subtitles composed by Anthony Burgess and Gerard Depardieu who is one of the greatest scenery chewers of the last fifty years.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David K. Lemons

    I read "Cyrano" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, just as things were heating up between the Arabs and the Israelis leading to the 6-Day War. What a pleasure to read the wit and romantic comedy of Rostand during such a stressful crisis. The next time I would like to read it in French, of course with a good French-English dictionary by my side. Great literature, especially comic literature such as that of Voltaire and Shakespeare, or Wilde and Amis, can sustain us through the grimness of life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I didn't have high expectations for this classic but I was pleasantly surprised. The first half of the play can be a little slow as the characters are developed but the story and action builds throughout the remainder of the play. Cyrano is a noble man and De Guiche is a believable villain. Roxane and Christian are more one dimensional but as the play is part farce it's not so consequential. Well worth the read and in the public domain.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Don't we all just want to be loved how Cyrano loved?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    while i really like the push of the plot and legitimately well-paced action and humor and glamour! i gotta admit the play kinda lost it in the end for me first—this is my own sort of dissatisfaction w/ most books from before the 1970s/1980s that aren't explicitly labeled "feminist"—i can't help wondering what that one woman is thinking. and the other characters' views on her aren't that illuminating. i didn't hate Roxane for like the majority of the play, but cyrano ticked me off at the end while i really like the push of the plot and legitimately well-paced action and humor and glamour! i gotta admit the play kinda lost it in the end for me first—this is my own sort of dissatisfaction w/ most books from before the 1970s/1980s that aren't explicitly labeled "feminist"—i can't help wondering what that one woman is thinking. and the other characters' views on her aren't that illuminating. i didn't hate Roxane for like the majority of the play, but cyrano ticked me off at the end w/ the little speech abt how Roxane was like a perfect woman "something abt the great mystery of womanhood" how she brought the all-important "rustle of a gown" to his life like wtf. he loved the ideal of womanhood instead of an individual person, and Roxane seems to agree w/ this assessment. also! womanhood resides in a gd gown of all things. nothing uniquely female. blah blah women being raised like hothouse orchids, women wearing their essential difference. second—cyrano is like the ultimate glamorous figure. he fights, he's humorous, he writes beautifully. oh and crucially, he lives for glamour. not necessarily in the eyes of other ppl (not glamorous), but for himself. the play further cements this idea wrt to the historical figure. cyrano is the moral standard in every moment. he knows what's brave, what's honorable, blah blah the Gascons. cyrano gets the last word on his life, fuckin literally. and he has chosen to cast himself as unjustly FORGOTTEn and sO IncREdIBLE. and no one really undermines this idea in the play. it is person after person going "isn't cyrano amaz—i mean, sO IncREdIBLE." so don't let 'em fool you! the love story is worthless! cyrano never says crap abt what makes roxane special except "she's like the perfect woman" at the very end, when he's dying. the play's not really an exploration of anything as much as a paean to a disappearing idea of the perfect complete man, the Cyrano man!! the plot exists only to show off Cyrano! who is an annoying Kant type and who dies w/o significant legacy b/c that's what happens to Kant types except they then get immortalized in works like this i liked it still tho very funny very engaging i would have liked more sword-fights and more of le bret b/c i too live for glamour!! (postscript: i think that if cyrano de begerac had a prequel, it would be the don quixote deal like he read a ton and then his mind was poisoned a la dorian gray.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Josh Caporale

    I first came across the Cyrano de Bergerac play through the 1987 film, "Roxanne," starring Steve Martin as C.D. Bales, a firefighter based on Cyrano de Bergerac with his funny-looking nose and poetic personality, while Daryl Hannah played Roxanne. I always appreciated the humor, but yet the sweet charm that Roxanne had to offer. At some point I knew I needed to get around to reading the play and now I found that great opportunity to do so. I appreciate the play for is merit and feel that it is a I first came across the Cyrano de Bergerac play through the 1987 film, "Roxanne," starring Steve Martin as C.D. Bales, a firefighter based on Cyrano de Bergerac with his funny-looking nose and poetic personality, while Daryl Hannah played Roxanne. I always appreciated the humor, but yet the sweet charm that Roxanne had to offer. At some point I knew I needed to get around to reading the play and now I found that great opportunity to do so. I appreciate the play for is merit and feel that it is an important play to examine, but by no means do I find this to be the "perfect play." I feel that there are moments that, while accurate to the necessary extent, are a bit aged. The biggest example being the fact that Cyrano and Roxane are cousins. While the two were cousins in real life, this has been deemed as a fictionalized account that is meant to concentrate on Cyrano's admiration for Roxane and how he helps the man she is in love with, Christian de Neuvillette, to pursue her. While Cyrano is unattractive and has a peculiar looking nose, Christian is not a great speaker, especially around women. On the contrary, Cyrano is very well-spoken and has a terrific way with words, while Christian is incredibly attractive. The two decide to team up to help Christian pursue Roxane, much to the dismay of Comte de Guiche, who wants Roxane for himself. One of the familiar aspects from the film adaptation, Roxanne, that caught my attention was the 20 Nose Insults that took place in the film. Cyrano recites this at the beginning of the play and it only solidifies how much I admire his character. While he is confident when he needs to be, he is not the kind of person that is going to take credit or seek out special treatment for his deeds, and this is a trait that I highly admire about him. I think this makes the play much more enjoyable to read, even if his backdrop and the sequence of events are not great. The reason I bumped this play from what I was planning to give it at 3 1/2 stars to 4 stars is because I feel people should read this play. Cyrano de Bergerac is such a charming figure in literature, whether this fictionalized version or the real-life figure in which he is based, and that carries a great amount as far as the flow of the play is concerned. While Christian does not necessarily possess a great deal of dimension and Roxane only carries as much as a general female figure would carry in the 1600s, Cyrano's actions really flesh out that admiration and compassion for one another and provide it with all the greater emphasis. After (or before) you read this play, I would look into acted adaptations of this play, but I would highly encourage you to check out Roxanne the movie. This film is faithful to the core of the play, even if it changes some of the specific details.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sophie_The_Jedi_Knight

    Well, dang. You know, I read this whole thing just so I could read We Are the Perfect Girl and not be confused. And dang, this was really good. I feel more cultured now. Time to indulge in some Cyrano de Bergerac retellings! What a sad and powerful story. Also, the inner fangirl in me adored the Three Musketeers cameo. You have no freakin idea how much I adore classic crossovers. So, so, so much. Also, I read We Are the Perfect Girl and it was really good. Full review on that coming Well, dang. You know, I read this whole thing just so I could read We Are the Perfect Girl and not be confused. And dang, this was really good. I feel more cultured now. Time to indulge in some Cyrano de Bergerac retellings! What a sad and powerful story. Also, the inner fangirl in me adored the Three Musketeers cameo. You have no freakin idea how much I adore classic crossovers. So, so, so much. Also, I read We Are the Perfect Girl and it was really good. Full review on that coming soon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elf

    I absolutely despise this particular translation. As soon as I get home I'll look up who did it. But I know this cover. It's done in bad prose which does not suit this heart-wrenching play at all. Stay away from this translation and either pick up a copy in the original french or try Brian Hooker's translation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I can't believe I've not read this play before. The movie with Gerard Depardieu as Cyrano was great. Cyrano de Bergerac - swordsman, philosopher, poet - has one huge problem that's as plain as the nose on his face.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zadignose

    Once upon a time, I read many great books, loved them, and completely failed to write anything resembling a review or a reflection. I suck. Hail Cyrano.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    “What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly groveling in the dust? No thank you! Scr “What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly groveling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write. To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say: "My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Other than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Fantastic Beasts screenplay, this is the first play I've read since high school, and likely the oldest outside of Shakespeare and Sophocles. However, I enjoyed this one; maybe I should read more classic stage plays.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    This classic was more fun to read than I expected! Yay for more witty repartee, impassioned poetry and action, and tragedy than I remember from the movie. Then again, I can appreciate a lot of it more, especially the poetry and tragedy, now that I am older. And possibly more mature. It's impossible not to see myself in the title character. Maybe I'm his unknown and less talented cousin, with some wit and some skill, yet lacking the nose to receive as much attention and notoriety. This classic was more fun to read than I expected! Yay for more witty repartee, impassioned poetry and action, and tragedy than I remember from the movie. Then again, I can appreciate a lot of it more, especially the poetry and tragedy, now that I am older. And possibly more mature. It's impossible not to see myself in the title character. Maybe I'm his unknown and less talented cousin, with some wit and some skill, yet lacking the nose to receive as much attention and notoriety. "Pastry pays for all" became an instant favorite quote. What? Have you never truly appreciated the heights of joy that can be achieved with a fantastic pastry? Another of my favorite quotes was "I am tired of being my own rival", which I enjoyed all the more because Cyrano was not the one saying it :) The section of the play where Christian wrestles with his awareness of the situation adds some serious depth and richness to the play. I wished that Roxane had come to the realization of who wrote her all those love letters much sooner than the very end. There could have been some realization of joy, just in time for the shoe to drop, so to speak. And I never realized how much Cyrano's large nose is a gimmick and not really fundamental to the story. It's hard to imagine the story without it, and yet it's very much not necessary.

  26. 5 out of 5

    A

    oh! heartwrenchingly wonderful! to love someone from afar and to return to them when you're dying to confess of your love! those final scences are matchless!--where roxanne is sewing away in her convent and cyrano comes, fighting death to reveal that "how many things have died and are now newborn? why were you silent for so many years? all the while those letters, every night on my breast, YOUR TEARS! you knew they were your tears!" oh man oh man. *sigh*

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    Watching the movie helped me with this play. My edition was a little hard to follow with the lines all over the place. I liked the beginning of this play, but then it gets boring by the middle of the third act (exactly where the movie got boring). This isn't a bad play, but the story is pretty predicable because it's become so well known.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I read this along with my daughter. The first act didn't grab me but after that I really enjoyed it. I didn't like Cyrano at first then I grew to admire him. He had integrity. He was true to Christian. It is a sweet sad love story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Bettie's Books

  30. 4 out of 5

    Letitia

    The beauty of language is the perfect pedestal on which to mount this fantastic tragi-comedy about the true nature of love, fidelity, and honor. Such a fantastically rich play!

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