Sarah Sammis's Reviews > The Illusion

The Illusion by Pierre Corneille
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Jan 01, 09

bookshelves: read-in-2009, released
Read in January, 2009

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 play is this: a man goes to a wizard to find the son he disowned decades earlier. The man is old and in need of an heir to wrap up his affairs. The wizard shows him his son and a variety of tragic events. Somewhere in all of that lies the truth. Like the father, I didn't get what the wizard was illustrating the first time I read it. The second time, with a clear head, it was obvious and very funny.

I don't want to give away the ending because it's the perfect conclusion to the play. Get yourself a copy and read it or better yet, maybe you'll be lucky enough to see it performed. I suspect the twist will be more obvious when seen live.
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Reading Progress

12/29/2008 page 5
6.94% "Getting started"
12/30/2008 page 45
62.5% "I'm really not sure what I think of this play yet."

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