Comedy

Comedy

John Palmer

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Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 1,23 MB
  • EAN: 9780243750580

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Of comic figures we must meet — Rosalind and Mrs. Pinchwife, Falstaff and Harpagon, Xan thias and Lady F roth. Let us begin where the light is clearest. Let us begin with Moliere. There was a short period in' the history of Europe when everybody talked like a French man. It was largely owing to Voltaire. Cather ine of Russia read Voltaire upon taxation. Frederick of Prussia corresponded with the man himself. Bolingbroke made him free of English society. The advantage of French as a civilised language is that it enables almost anybody to explain the universe in a quarter of an hour. Under the clarifying influence of the Gallic idiom even an Englishman can settle problems with an epigram, bringing to a decisive end the squabbles of ten centuries in a statement as clear as a sum in simple practice. Among the many English people of the eighteenth century who realised the advantages of thinking in French was Horace Walpole and among the many clear things his habit of thinking in French enabled him to say was a celebrated and well-worn aphorism concerning comedy and tragedy.
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