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Fiesque de Lavagna

drame/play, pub:1827, action:1547

Part of Théâtre complet. A five act historic drama adaptation of a work by Schiller of the same name.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     An historical drama in Five Acts, in verse, after Schiller. (Unpublished).
     Dumas speaks of this in his "Mémoires" as work undertaken for the sake of training and experience in the writing of dramatic verse. Long afterwards it was re-discovered, and he then perhaps recognised it as of much more importance than he had thought in the days when he believed he had destroyed it. He wrote to MM. Calmann-Lévy (the letter is now attached to the MS.) asking them to purchase it for 250 francs, as it was "an important item in connection with his literary history." This was done, and the manuscript is now in the possession of that firm.
     M. Parigot was permitted to borrow and use it, and in his "Drame d'Alexandre Dumas" he devotes a considerable section (pp. 24-45) to its examination and comparison with Schiller's original. From this it seems that Dumas was no simple translator, but that he largely reconstructed Schiller's text, softening, re-arranging, modifying, transposing, intensifying some characters and restricting others, even adding a final scene. It will thus be realised that he was wholly justified in the importance he attached to his "Fiesque de Lavagna." In this effort, which preceded his earliest staged dramas, his first theatrical piece of any note, all his brilliant gifts as "the man of the theatre" are visible, and indeed in action. M. Parigot's pages well deserve careful perusal, proving, as they do, how early and how capably were Dumas' talents developed. That before success came to him, he could and did notably improve, by recasting it, one of the great German writer's tragedies, is a distinctly startling discovery.
     According to M. Glinel, M. Parigot also published an 8vo. edition of the above quoted work, which contained as an appendix a large portion of the text of Dumas' "Fiesque de Lavagna."

         References :—
     Parigot: "Le Drame d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 24-36; also the 8vo. edition of the same.
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapters CVIII and CIX.
     Dumas: "Comment je devins Auteur dramatique," Vol. I. of "Théâtre Complet," page 22.
     Glinel: "Théâtre Inconnu d'A. Dumas,"—"Revue Biblio-Iconographique," year 1899, pp. 8-9.

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