Words, Give Me Words

“In a poet’s pocket you often find the product of an active imagination”

– Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano has been and remains one of my favorite classics of the stage if for nothing else than it rejoices in wit and celebrates words. It places language on a pedestal and dances about it, gloriously flourishing pivotal moments with clever witticisms and elegant romantic passages. It reminds us to vary our vocabulary, to find millions of ways to express a familiar sentiment, to never tire of playing with vernacular, and to find the colors afforded by the combination of brilliantly combined phrases.

And if you weren’t convinced for any reason that Kevin Kline is an incredible actor, I urge you to check out his performance as the tireless poet himself.

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15 thoughts on “Words, Give Me Words

  1. One of my absolutely favorite plays…pieces of writing…ever! I love the French Gerard Depardieu version too (wonderful to hear it in the original French). What a feast of a part for an actor. What a feast period!

  2. What a wonderful coincidence, I recently read the book. Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac is by far the character I admire the most in all of history. Second to him is only Don Quijote de la Mancha 🙂

    • The two characters are more linked than you would think – both irrepressibly romantic and idealistic:

      “Antoine Comte de Guiche: As for you sir, have you read “Don Quixote”?
      Cyrano de Bergerac: I have, and found myself the hero.
      Antoine Comte de Guiche: Be so good as to read once more the chapter of the windmills… Windmills, remember, if you fight with them…
      Cyrano de Bergerac: My enemies change, then, with every wind?
      Antoine Comte de Guiche: …may swing round their huge arms and cast you down into the mire!
      Cyrano de Bergerac: Or up, among the stars!”

      • That is the very reason why I admire the both of them; idealistic and romantic together with a high sense duty to their loved ones and an enormous pride in their characters. What’s not to love =)

  3. It is a pity that with the wealth available to us in language so many Americans seem to feel that. “Yo, Bro, Dude, Like and Awesome” are sufficient to qualify us as having an “extensive vocabulary”. If language is what separates us from the “lower animals,” we’re doing our utmost to close the gap.

  4. I’ve always been partial to Steve Martin’s treatment of the subject in “Roxanne”. I kid, I kid. Although I do love the story enough to appreciate the elements of it that Martin used rather well.

    “…it rejoices in wit and celebrates words. It places language on a pedestal and dances about it, gloriously flourishing pivotal moments with clever witticisms and elegant romantic passages.”

    Indeed it does. Well said.

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