Academic journal article The Modern Language Review

Cornelie: Tragedie

Academic journal article The Modern Language Review

Cornelie: Tragedie

Article excerpt

Cornelie: tragedie. By ROBERT GARNIER. Ed. by JEAN-CLAUDE TERNAUX. (Theatre complet, V: Textes de la Renaissance, 53) Paris: Champion. 2002. 178 pp. ISBN 2-7453-0675-8.

This, the latest in Champion's complete edition of Garnier's plays, is a welcome addition to the series. Its editor Jean-Claude Ternaux has already produced an edition of the earlier play Porcie (see MLR, 97 (2002), 184-85).This, while showing considerable scholarship, was in part marred by aspects of its presentation, which made a proper appreciation of what was going on in the play difficult. These problems have, however, been effectively overcome in the present volume. The footnotes now appear at the bottom of each page, and relate clearly to the individual lines of the text; they are very full, and reveal the extent of Garnier's debt not only to the ancients but also to contemporary authors, in particular Muret and Grevin; and the reader, through seeing these references alongside each other and alongside the text, gets a proper idea of Garnier's methods of imitation and of contaminatio. The bibliography is full, and reveals an acquaintance with most of the writings (French, British, and American) on French Renaissance tragedy. The introduction is a balanced assessment of Cornelie as a typical example of the genre, which stresses the danger of attempting to graft onto the play more modern concerns such as 'l'effet-personnage', of trying to associate the characters too closely with French sixteenth-century counterparts, or of ignoring the essential role played by topoi and 'set pieces' such as dream scenes or formal laments. …

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