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July 12, 2007

’Cyrano de Bergerac,’ a Prelude

Cyrano2 It occurs to me that, on more than one occasion, I've felt like I was playing the part of Cyrano, an invisible adviser or vicarious suitor in some diligent romantic pursuit. But it also occurs to me that I've never really known what part Cyrano has to play.

Like much of the world of great literature (including the Bible), Cyrano has become such a cultural cliche that many of us probably know more about it, ironically enough, through secondhand accounts and interpretations. I know I've never actually read the story or seen it performed, except by allusion in a thousand songs and films -- including, it seems, Pixar's latest offering, which one reviewer calls "Cyrano de Spice Rack."

So it seems worth discovering what the tale is actually about. I do have a great affinity for other stories set in post-Renaissance Europe -- namely Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, and The Three Musketeers -- and their deference to chivalry and heroism. They also wrestle with profound moral, spiritual, and political questions that confront readers or viewers of every age. I expect Cyrano will, perhaps in a light-hearted manner, offer the same.

Thus, without further adieu, on to Act I...

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There is a really terrific movie version of this story starring Gerard Depardieu. You might check it out.

Travis McSherley

Beth - don't tell me these things until *after* I've read the book! I'm not so far removed from may college days that I wouldn't be tempted to watch the movie instead of reading (not that I ever did that). I will add it to my Blockbuster queue, though, at any rate!


Oops, sorry Travis! Umm...the video store has been given explicit instruction to refrain from renting the video to those who have not read the book!!

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