Edmond Rostand

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Rostand, Edmond

(ĕdmôN` rôstäN`), 1868–1918, French poet and dramatist. In 1890 appeared his first volume of verse, Les Musardises. His first plays were light, fanciful, and charmingly poetic, though of slight substance—Les Romanesques (1894, tr., The Romancers, 1899); La Princesse lointaine (1895, tr. The Princess Faraway, 1899), written for Sarah Bernhardt; and La Samaritaine (1897, tr. The Woman of Samaria, from his Plays, 1921). They were followed by Cyrano de Bergerac (1897, tr. 1923), a tour de force of dramatic poetry. The role of Cyrano was made memorable by the acting of Coquelin aîné, Richard Mansfield, and, on the screen (1950), Jose Ferrer. In 1900 Rostand wrote L'Aiglon, whose central figure is the pathetic duke of Reichstadt (Napoleon II), a role long played by Sarah Bernhardt. His barnyard fable Chantecler (1910) was played in the United States by Maude Adams.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rostand, Edmond


Born Apr. 1, 1868, in Marseille; died Dec. 2, 1918, in Paris. French poet and playwright. Member of the Académie Française (1901).

Rostand was educated as a lawyer. In his first play, the comedy The Romantics (staged and published 1894), Rostand affirms the beauty of natural feelings. The drama The Far-off Princess (staged and published 1895) glorifies lofty chivalrous love and presents motifs from medieval legends.

Turning to progressive national traditions, Rostand wrote his best play, Cyrano de Bergerac (staged 1897, published 1898). The playwright endowed his protagonist, the poet Cyrano de Bergerac, with strong emotions expressed in an elevated romantic manner; exalted love for a woman merges with love for one’s country. The plot centers on Cyrano’s conflict with his mean, philistine environment. Rostand’s chief literary device is romantic antithesis. His verse is light, graceful, and witty. Cyrano de Bergerac was translated into many languages and brought Rostand world renown. It was first performed in Russia in 1898 in St. Petersburg, in T. L. Shchepkina-Kupernik’s translation, and has been performed in Russian and Soviet theaters since that time.

Rostand also wrote the Bonapartist drama The Eaglet (staged and published 1900). The play Chanticleer (staged and published 1910) glorified an enthusiastic idealist. Rostand’s last plays are mannered and are marked by verbal ostentation.


Oeuvres complètes illustrées, vols. 1–6. Paris, 1910–25.
In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Sirano de Berzherak. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938. P’esy. Moscow, 1958.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Gorky, M. “’Sirano de Berzherak’: Geroicheskaia komediia E. Rostana.” Sobr. soch., vol. 23. Moscow, 1953.
Lunacharskii, A. V. “Sirano pervyi i Sirano vtoroi.” Sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow, 1965.
Shchepkina-Kupernik, T. L. Teatr ν moei zhizni. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Lautier, A., and F. Keller. E. Rostand: son oeuvre. Paris, 1924.
Ripert, E. E. Rostand. [Paris, 1968.]
Dabadie, M. Lettre à ma nièce sur E. Rostand. [Toulouse, 1970.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A new adaptation of the French masterpiece, Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, written and directed by Damien Ryan - the tale of the beautiful Roxane and the man who would love her, but for his outrageous nose - the play that brought the word "panache" into the English language.
A much more complex dynamic than what is found in Ruy Blas is present in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.
A scene from David Bintley's latest full-length ballet, an adaptation of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac' Clockwise from top left, The Seafarer at Warwick Arts Centre, Coriolanus at the RSC, playwright John Kani, author of Sizwe Bansi is Dead and Fayiz Kazak who plays Richard III in An Arab Tragedy
Still, it is possible to generalize and say that most off-Broadway musicals will fall comfortably into one of two categories: the spiritual descendants of The Threepenny Opera, the caustic Brecht-Weill musical that was resuscitated off-Broadway in 1954 after failing on Broadway in '33, and the descendants of The Fantasticks, the sweet, minimalist musical, based on a forgotten Edmond Rostand play, that has been running in its tiny Greenwich Village theater for forty-one years.
Then he had her play-act a scene from Cyrano de Bergerac, the play by Edmond Rostand about a man with an unspeakably large nose whose words and honor win the heart of the lovely Roxanne.
Edmond Rostand composed Cyrano de Bergerac in a tub.
In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer took it as the basis for "The Nun's Priest's Tale." The character appeared in later works as well, such as Edmond Rostand's verse drama Chantecler (1910), which is set in a barnyard and features a boastful rooster.
The experiences reported by both slackers and engineers point toward Cyrano de Bergerac, the wonderful verse play by Edmond Rostand. Briefly, Cyrano wields the keenest sword and sharpest poetic wit in 17th-century France, but he also sports the longest nose.
Meanwhile, British actor Joseph Fiennes announced earlier that he is in talks to make a new TV series drawn from "Cyrano de Bergerac", Edmond Rostand's classic play.
The productions include a revival of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and a reinterpretation of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand as well as the regional premiere of the hit West End comedy Jumpy.
Cyrano de Bergerac is a verse play - a "heroic comedy" - written in 1897 by a Frenchman, Edmond Rostand. It tells of a multi-talented soldier so self-conscious about his big nose that it prevents him wooing the lady he loves, Roxane.