Pierre Corneille

The Theatre of Illusion

A magician conjures a dramatic adventure of romance and intrigue in this seventeenth-century French tragicomedy by the author of Le Cid.
In Pierre Corneille’s sparkling play The Theatre of Illusion, magicians, lovers, and heroes prove that all the world truly is a stage. First performed in 1636, it was pioneering in its use of metatheatrical storytelling. It then vanished from the stage for the next three hundred years—to be revived in 1937 at the Comédie Française. Since then it has been widely considered, in Virginia Scott’s words, “Corneille’s baroque masterpiece.”
Today this classic work is available in a translation from one of America’s finest poets and translators of French, Richard Wilbur. Widely praised for his translations of plays by Molière and Racine, Wilbur now turns his poetic grace to this celebration of the comedy of humanity and the magic of life.
59 printed pages
Original publication
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