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L'illusion comique

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  461 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Pierre Corneille, dans sa dédicace originale pour Le Théâtre de l'Illusion, décrit le jeu comme un « monstre étrange ». Il a d'abord appelé ces cinq actes une comédie; plus tard, un « caprice » et une « bagatelle extravagante ». Ecrit en 1635 et mis en scène en 1636, la pièce a disparu de la scène pour les trois cents prochaines années avant d'être relancé en 1937 par Loui ...more
252 pages
Published March 2000 by Gallimard (first published 1636)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
an interesting and adept adaptation...
it is a strange script and at times hard to follow
but manages to make a case for the power and significance
and magic of theatre and there are also places in the script that are clearly indictments
of bourgeoisie theatre audiences... interesting....
D. J.
It's a shame that this play isn't as well-known to the world as Shakespeare's works. Cornielle fashioned a wonderfully funny and surreal farce that was far ahead of its time. In a way, it is almost avant-garde.

Pick up this new translation and enjoy!

A delightful comic play, but certainly not, in my view, "Corneille's baroque masterpiece"! I rather agree with Corneille, who described it as a "strange monster."
Sarah Sammis
I like to read beyond my comfort level. The play The Illusion by Tony Kushner, an adaptation of the Pierre Corneille metaplay from 1636 fits the bill. It is deceptively short but requires one's full attention.

Unfortunately for me, I chose to read it while I was sick in bed. The first time I read it, I didn't understand it and I hated it. But, the play is short (sixty or so pages) and my initial reaction irritated me. So today with a clear head, I re-read the play and loved it.

The gist of the pl
Interesting play. It's a comedy but it mixes many styles (baroque, tragicomedy...). I didn't really like the story in itself but rather the fact the this play aims at representing the variety of theater and the beauty of this world of illusions.
Book read for my French class in college, not so bad, at first I thought it would be boring but even if it's hard to get at the beginning the intrigue is well built and we have a rather good time reading it
Caleb Wilson
A fun little play. Richard Wilbur's English version, in rhyming couplets, is great. Particularly amusing is the slippery hero Clindor's master Matamore, who is both a braggart of incredible pomposity -- he claims that so burdensome were the amorous attentions of queens and goddesses that he successfully forced Jupiter to grant him the magical ability to be handsome only at will, and of course he's chosen not to be right then -- and a huge coward, who makes every kind of excuse needed to keep out ...more
Leah Wener-Fligner
At first I thought it was pretentious and overly symbolic in the way that Tony Kushner can occasionally get, then I got into it and was 1)curious about why it was all weird (which made it seem pretentious) and 2)anxious to find out what happened.

When I found out, I laughed--no, guffawed! out loud and other people in the street stared at me but it was unavoidable.
A very pleasant and easy-to-read play :)
Noor ul
I read it's adaptation by Tony Kushner.
It has lovely imagery.
Loads of food motifs.
Filled with many definitions of love.
The play on words and allusion is interesting and exiting.
Is interesting how real our illusions can be that they render our realities to seem unreal.
Love is the biggest illusion, the most solid and intangible.
A beautifully translated play, as usually, by Richard Wilbur. The play alternates between comedy, farce, fantasy, romance, and tragedy -- without falling in to any of the conventional classical forms. I preferred both Corneille's The Liar and El Cid (each of which have only some of the above qualities), but this one is also enjoyable.
This book just had it all: interesting action, likeable characters, good pacing.
But the best aspect of it was the writing style:it was perfect.
It's been a long time since I've read a novel in verse and this one was very good

I recommend it to everyone who likes plays and verses!
Si vous devez lire cette pièce pour l'école, soyez rassuré, cette pièce est une des moins emmerdantes de Corneille.
ça fait presque rire et ça se lit pas mal.
on se demande presque pourquoi il n'en a pas écrit plus dans la même veine.
Sep 27, 2011 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
From BBC Radio 3:
An old man seeks his estranged son with the help of a wizard. The magician shows the grieving father the boy's recent life in the form of an action-packed comedy adventure.
Jenny U
This play proves yet again why Tony Kushner is a master of theatre. Although it is a translation, Kushner includes his own unique playwriting style to make the story his own. A great read!
Sasha Kaye
Mar 08, 2008 Sasha Kaye rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sasha by: Lee Blessing
I do not regret accidentally reading the Tony Kushner freely adapted adaptation of The Illusion.
Good play... a little too drawn out for the ending it had, but still good.
OCU 1998
Actor AwesomeJohn made Mom's & my jaws drop in the opening scene.
Noor ul
A really nice play and I enjoyed all the food metaphors.
Eh bien, je me suis magnifiquement laissée bluffer ! ^^
Completely brilliant and unexpected ending.
so good. funny too.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Brazilliant Laura
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Pierre Corneille était l'un des trois grands dramaturges français du XVIIe siècle , avec Molière et Racine. Il a été appelé «le fondateur de la tragédie française» et était productive pendant près de quarante ans.

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Pierre Corneille was one of the three great seventeenth-century French dra
More about Pierre Corneille...
Le Cid Horace The Cid / Cinna / The Theatrical Illusion Cinna Polyeucte

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“Love is the world's infinite mutability; lies, hatred, murder even, are all knit up in it; it is the inevitable blossoming of its opposites, a magnificent rose smelling faintly of blood.” 45 likes
“MATAMORE: I never fight with my love face on,
I worry that it might get scratched.”
More quotes…