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Print Plays July 11, 2001
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Jean Giraudoux
Four Plays
1933-43

Filled with ghosts, nymphs, corporate directors, and civil servants, the plays of Jean Giraudoux are ridiculous, romantic, and utterly French. Often centered on a naive and lovely young woman, his drama balances the bureaucratic trappings of modern society with the mysteries of the (super) natural world. Filtered through the eyes of innocence, we see the eternal struggle between love and commerce, style and reality, spirit and flesh. In English translations by Maurice Valency, these four plays (The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Apollo of Bellac, The Enchanted, Ondine) preserve the playwright's clever wordplay as well as a melancholy sense of impending doom.


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