Alexis Piron, Gustave-Wasa. Edited by Derek Connon

Alexis Piron, Gustave-Wasa. Edited by Derek Connon Alexis Piron’s Gustave (later renamed Gustave-Wasa), while relatively unknown to theatre professionals and scholars of dramatic literature today, was a resounding success when it appeared at the Comédie-Française in 1733. Derek Connon, arguably the world’s leading expert on Piron, gives readers today a fresh look at this tragic tale about the political foundations of modern Sweden — a deceptively popular work that enjoyed over 119 performances before 1791, when it slipped into obscurity. With clear prose and fine attention to historical accuracy, Connon provides a comprehensive analysis of Gustave-Wasa, an ‘exotic’ and ‘complicated’ (p. 4) play by an author known more for his bawdy poetry (‘Ode à Priape’), satirical comedies (La Métromanie), and public spats with more illustrious personalities (Voltaire, Marivaux) than for his serious drama. Connon’s edition is written in French and organized into several parts: an Introduction; a commentary on the existing editions; a complete version of Gustave-Wasa with variants in the form of footnotes; several appendices of previously unpublished texts about the tragedy; and a comprehensive bibliography of past and recent scholarship on the play. Connon’s Introduction places Gustave-Wasa in the context of Piron’s career, and provides a close examination of the differences between Piron’s tragedy and the historical sources that informed his narrative. Of particular note is Connon’s tight analysis of Piron’s Gustave — a far more humane and emotional leader compared to historians’ depictions of Gustav Eriksson Vasa, who defeated Christian II of Denmark and the Kalmar Union to win the crown of Sweden in 1523. Connon’s edition also includes a succinct discussion of the variants to the play-text, from its first edition in 1733 to the most recent version of Gustave-Wasa (1928). Differing from several plays that have been revived recently in the MHRA Phoenix or Critical Texts series, Connon does not present the first edition to readers as his main text; rather, he reprints ‘celle qui représente les dernières pensées de Piron’ (p. 42), the ‘definitive’ version that was included in the author’s Œuvres complètes (1758). Overall, Connon’s volume is an erudite and welcome supplement to existing studies on Piron, an author who is slowly gaining recognition among scholars of eighteenth-century French theatre. Those readers who are unacquainted with the dramatist would need more background on his dramaturgy and poetic innovation in order to appreciate fully the Introduction. For example, Connon is correct to assimilate the tragedy into the emotional schemes and dramaturgical strategies that ‘nous trouvons partout dans le théâtre de Piron’ (p. 17); however, more examples from other works by Piron would help illustrate ‘le célèbre esprit pironien’ (p. 22). Novice pironistes should turn to Connon’s other works on the dramatist, which include a monograph, Identity and Transformation in the Plays of Alexis Piron (Oxford: Legenda, 2007), many scholarly articles, and critical editions of Piron’s comedies, L’Antre de Trophonius (London: MHRA, 2011) and Le Fâcheux Veuvage (Liverpool: University of Liverpool, 2008). All in all, confirmed students and scholars of Piron and of French theatre from the eighteenth century will enjoy Connon’s rigorous scholarship and lucid unpacking of this popular tragedy of the early French Enlightenment. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Studies Oxford University Press

Alexis Piron, Gustave-Wasa. Edited by Derek Connon

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/alexis-piron-gustave-wasa-edited-by-derek-connon-AKcPRkAzOT
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
0016-1128
eISSN
1468-2931
D.O.I.
10.1093/fs/knx230
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Alexis Piron’s Gustave (later renamed Gustave-Wasa), while relatively unknown to theatre professionals and scholars of dramatic literature today, was a resounding success when it appeared at the Comédie-Française in 1733. Derek Connon, arguably the world’s leading expert on Piron, gives readers today a fresh look at this tragic tale about the political foundations of modern Sweden — a deceptively popular work that enjoyed over 119 performances before 1791, when it slipped into obscurity. With clear prose and fine attention to historical accuracy, Connon provides a comprehensive analysis of Gustave-Wasa, an ‘exotic’ and ‘complicated’ (p. 4) play by an author known more for his bawdy poetry (‘Ode à Priape’), satirical comedies (La Métromanie), and public spats with more illustrious personalities (Voltaire, Marivaux) than for his serious drama. Connon’s edition is written in French and organized into several parts: an Introduction; a commentary on the existing editions; a complete version of Gustave-Wasa with variants in the form of footnotes; several appendices of previously unpublished texts about the tragedy; and a comprehensive bibliography of past and recent scholarship on the play. Connon’s Introduction places Gustave-Wasa in the context of Piron’s career, and provides a close examination of the differences between Piron’s tragedy and the historical sources that informed his narrative. Of particular note is Connon’s tight analysis of Piron’s Gustave — a far more humane and emotional leader compared to historians’ depictions of Gustav Eriksson Vasa, who defeated Christian II of Denmark and the Kalmar Union to win the crown of Sweden in 1523. Connon’s edition also includes a succinct discussion of the variants to the play-text, from its first edition in 1733 to the most recent version of Gustave-Wasa (1928). Differing from several plays that have been revived recently in the MHRA Phoenix or Critical Texts series, Connon does not present the first edition to readers as his main text; rather, he reprints ‘celle qui représente les dernières pensées de Piron’ (p. 42), the ‘definitive’ version that was included in the author’s Œuvres complètes (1758). Overall, Connon’s volume is an erudite and welcome supplement to existing studies on Piron, an author who is slowly gaining recognition among scholars of eighteenth-century French theatre. Those readers who are unacquainted with the dramatist would need more background on his dramaturgy and poetic innovation in order to appreciate fully the Introduction. For example, Connon is correct to assimilate the tragedy into the emotional schemes and dramaturgical strategies that ‘nous trouvons partout dans le théâtre de Piron’ (p. 17); however, more examples from other works by Piron would help illustrate ‘le célèbre esprit pironien’ (p. 22). Novice pironistes should turn to Connon’s other works on the dramatist, which include a monograph, Identity and Transformation in the Plays of Alexis Piron (Oxford: Legenda, 2007), many scholarly articles, and critical editions of Piron’s comedies, L’Antre de Trophonius (London: MHRA, 2011) and Le Fâcheux Veuvage (Liverpool: University of Liverpool, 2008). All in all, confirmed students and scholars of Piron and of French theatre from the eighteenth century will enjoy Connon’s rigorous scholarship and lucid unpacking of this popular tragedy of the early French Enlightenment. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

French StudiesOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off