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The Comic Romance

By Paul Scarron

Translated by Jacques Houis

ISBN: 9781847492203

288 pages

RRP: £9.99 £7.99

Paul Scarron’s masterpiece, The Comic Romance, recounts the adventures of a troupe of provincial itinerant actors, skilfully weaving multiple narrative strands – such as the personal histories and love stories of the central couples Destiny and Star and Léandre and Angélique, the farcical misadventures of the buffoonish Ragotin and various tales inspired by Spanish novelas – into a rich tapestry depicting side by side the realities of rural France and the realms of the imagination. A milestone of picaresque literature that would influence Henry Fielding, The Comic Romance spawned countless imitations when it was published and was championed in the nineteenth century by eminent literary figures such as Théophile Gautier and Gérard de Nerval.

REVIEWS

  • Jacques Houis’s lively new translation conveys the energy and vitality of Scarron’s original … a welcome revival of a comic classic.

    TLS

  • Paul Scarron is the Homer of the school of buffoonery.

    Théophile Gautier

Paul Scarron

Paul Scarron (1610–60) was born in Paris, but spent much of his youth in Le Mans, where he became an abbot. His libertine lifestyle prompted a return to Paris, where he devoted himself to literature. Afflicted by a mysterious paralysis of his legs from his twenties, he died without being able to finish the third and final part of his masterpiece, The Comic Romance.

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