The Life of Monsieur de Moliere

ISBN: 0811209563
ISBN 13: 9780811209564
By: Mikhail Bulgakov Mirra Ginsburg

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About this book

The life of Moliere, Born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, is a story of struggle and dedication, and Bulgakov tells it with warmth and compassion.

Reader's Thoughts


Mikhail Bulgakov was a novelist and man of the theater (his Black Snow is a pretty savage take on theater types, present even in the freewheeling era of Moscow in the '20s). This is a straight biography of a master, who nonetheless, like Bulgakov, was dependent on patronage -- in Moliere's case it was royal (or at least noble); in Bulgakov's it was the party apparatus, with Stalin at the apex (Stalin took an interest in literary matters unusual for a dictator). This book is a useful reminder of how people in misery can create laughter; it doesn't lack for Bulgakov's trademark wit, either.


Театрален РоманЗапочна много мудно и се задържа така малко след средата, където вече започва да става нещо, има действие и тук-там някой комичен елемент за разнообразие.Краят обрича нашият герой на зависимост от театъра и, следователно, на постоянни мъки.На мен ми остави странен вкус на незавършеност.Животът на господин дьо МолиерВторото произведение също стартира мудно и вече бях почнала да съжалявам за купуването на книгата, но действието започна малко по-рано, въведоха се повече интересни персонажи и Молиеровите опити да пробие в театъра са, ако не (траги)комични, то поне впечатляващо упорити.В заключение - и двете творби са изцяло посветени на театъра и показват както блясъка и примамливото му обаяние, така и отчаянието и несгодите, които вървят скрити зад него.и двамата главни герои са напълно отдадени, завинаги впримчени във хватката му, и макар да живеят в различни векове, сладката тръпка на сцената е една и съща за тях.И ако се предадеш телом и духом на театъра, той ще ти даде всичко за което си мечтал.


The Life of Monsieur de Moliere by Mikhail BulgakovMoliere seems to have been a fascinating writer, actor and homme du monde.The French film which made me feel admiration and a terrible likeness for Moliere is explained here: magnificent Romain Duris and the equally wonderful Fabrice Luchini act brilliantly in a glorious film, presenting part of the life of Moliere…I presume. It may just be pure artistic license, but I like to imagine a Moliere who was a genius with humor, aura, seductive and smart, likeable and intelligent.In The Life of Monsieur de Moliere, the writer comes across as a complex man, victim of the envy and machinations of powerful enemies.With Tartuffe Moliere had created a group of clergy who wanted him punished for the impudence of laughing at them in the play. I have not read a biography, but this is what Bulgakov asserts in his work.We have funny moments, like the one when we found the explanation behind a magic number.There is a clavichord of some kind which is performing…all on its own. Or so it is claimed by the man who gets money out of this trick.Inside the clavichord there is a poor soul doing the playing and he becomes the adoptive son of Moliere, who launches him on the stage. The gang of clergy and aristocrats trying to get Moliere turns on the adoptive son to make him “testify „that his father is in fact married, in an incestuous relationship to his own daughter.There is a developed intrigue around the subject and I will let you enjoy the surprises and events in the book.The king, as described here was a decent man, with enough pomp and circumstance to elevate him from the mortals:He plays cards with a noble crook, who, having lost his fortune tries to gain money by cheating on the king with falsified cards.He is caught and there is a humorous dialogue, which goes something like this:- What are the rules when someone is caught cheating- Your Majesty, the culprit is to be hit with the candle stick- Oh my! Can’t you have smaller ones? This one has six kilos, it is too heavy- I’ll do it your majesty- Never mind…and the second rule?- He is to be insulted as the pig he is- Ok…bring the buffoon…and the buffoon addresses some (in)appropriate insults- Now…take him to jail for a month, give him a pack of cards so he is not bored to death and let him keep this money…- But your majesty…The image of Moliere changes from the imposing creator, to an Homme du monde who has aged, is carrying a sword that he drags on, affected by age and the plots planned against him…Oh, I forgot: there is another character which made my day: “Say your prayer!”That is his nickname in an approximate translation. I have listened to this play in an audio production of the same National Radio Theater, in Romanian. Say Your Prayer was called that because he dueled a lot, with great success. In other words, when you fought <> in a duel, your chances were you would soon meet your Maker…so you better said your prayers.Radu Beligan acts in this adaptation that I listened to this morning. On the news, I heard the other day that he is the oldest actor to play on stage. At 95, that may well be true…nevertheless, the production I refer to here was made many years ago.

Chris Watson

The play that destroyed Bulgakov's career, and Stanislavsky's too.The inspiration for 'Black Snow'.Interesting. Moliere was a sycophant to a tyrant, the parallels to Stalin were too much for the Soviet censors, they say...


J'ai mis une étoile, mais je trouve ce livre exécrable. Sans intérêt, long à lire. Je devais le lire pour les cours et je crois que je ne le relirais jamais. Soit c'est un livre inintéressant, soit je n'ai pas su découvrir ce qu'il cachait.

Olga Borlis

Прочитала как часть сборника М.А. Булгакова. Биография французского комедиографа XVII века изложенная в виде романа. Очевидно, что написана была на заказ.


Este libro es la biografía de Molliere. Es narrada en primera persona, por un observador imaginario de la vida de este gran artista. Es muy divertido, yo no paré de reir a carcajadas mientras lo leía, lo cual hacía rabiar a las personas que estaban a mi alrededor en la biblioteca, pues el libro era de referencia, y no se podía sacar para la casa.Tardé varias semanas en terminarlo, pues tenía que sacar el tiempo para ir a la biblioteca y pasar varias horas allí leyendo. Pero no me arrepiento porque se me quedaron varias escenas inolvidables y maravillosas, como aquella en la que Molliere le envía una obra al Rey con una nota que dice ""El que Su Majestad disfrute de esta obra, es como darle un collar de diamantes a un cerdo"", lo cual quería decir que el cerdo era la obra, y que la atención de Su Majestad era el collar de diamantes, pero es que a Molliere nunca se le dió bien eso de escribir en serio. El solo servía para el absurdo y para la comedia.


A vivid portrayal of Molière's fascinating life. Although I can see the parallels between Bulgakov and his hero, I didn't gain as much insight into my hero as I had hoped.

Ioana Palade

Having been in a play by Moliere in high-school, the encounter with Bulgakov's biography was a pleasant surprise. It made me remember the hours spent rehearsing, the nervousness on the day of the 'grand premiere', all the details from one of the happiest periods of my life so far. But nonetheless, I also enjoyed Bulgakov's style of writing (particularly the original introduction concerning Moliere's birth). Whether or not 100% accurate, the book was easy to read - truly a delight!


okuduğum en ilginç biyografi türü kitaptıbirinin hayatını bu kadar neşeli anlatmak herkesin yapabileceği bir şey değil sanırımama yapılabileceğini görmek de güzel

Tib Sou

Excellent! Roman historique très bien écrit et particulièrement immersif qui nous plonge avec jubilation dans la France du XVIIème siècle. Mikhaïl Boulgakov nous divertit au moins autant que Molière ne divertit le roi soleil, et il nous en apprend long sur ce personnage illustre.

Marcelo Dias

I wasn't familiar with Monsieur Moliere history until I read this book. He was a very peculiar person who finds his abilities not in drama, but at comedy plays. Bulgakov's way of writting is delightful.

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