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About the Author: Alain-René Lesage

Alain-René Lesage, Lesage also spelled Le Sage (born May 6, 1668, Sarzeau, France—died Nov. 17, 1747, Boulogne), prolific French satirical dramatist and author of the classic picaresque novel Gil Blas, which was influential in making the picaresque form a European literary fashion.

Although he was orphaned at age 14 and was always quite poor, Lesage was well educated at a Jesuit college in Brittany and studied law in Paris. He was well liked in the literary salons but chose a family life over a worldly one, marrying Marie-Elisabeth Huyard in 1694. He abandoned his legal clerkship to dedicate himself to literature and received a pension from the Abbot of Lyonne, who also taught him Spanish and interested him in the Spanish theatre.

Lesage’s early plays were adaptations of Spanish models and included the highly successful adapted comedy Crispin, rival de son maître (Crispin, Rival of His Master), performed in 1707 by the Théâtre Français. His prose work Le Diable boiteux (1707; The Devil upon Two Sticks) is of Spanish inspiration, but its satire is aimed at Parisian society. The more popular Théâtre de la Foire gave Lesage greater freedom as an author, and he composed for that company more than 100 comédies-vaudevilles, for which he is considered successor to Molière.

“Gil Blas”is one of the earliest realistic novels. It concerns the education and adventures of an adaptable young valet as he progresses from one master to the next. In the service of the quack Dr. Sangrado, Gil Blas practices on the poorer patients and soon achieves a record equal to his master’s, i.e., 100 percent fatalities. In service to Don Mathias, a notorious seducer, he also learns to equal and surpass his master. The sunnier spirit of Gil Blas had a civilizing effect on the picaresque tradition. Unlike most novels of the genre, it ends happily, as Gil Blas retires to marriage and a quiet country life.


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Paperback, Published in Sep 1999 by Livre de Poche

ISBN10: 2253180009 | ISBN13: 9782253180005

Page count: 249

Theatre de Le Sage. Turcaret. Crispin rival de son maitreDate de l'edition originale: 1869Ce livre est la reproduction fidele d'une oeuvre publiee avant 1920 et fait partie d'une collection de livres reimprimes a la demande editee par Hachette Livre, dans le cadre d'un partenariat avec la Bibliotheque nationale de France, offrant l'opportunite d'acceder a des ouvrages anciens et souvent rares issus des fonds patrimoniaux de la BnF.Les oeuvres faisant partie de cette collection ont ete numerisees par la BnF et sont presentes sur Gallica, sa bibliotheque numerique.En entreprenant de redonner vie a ces ouvrages au travers d'une collection de livres reimprimes a la demande, nous leur donnons la possibilite de rencontrer un public elargi et participons a la transmission de connaissances et de savoirs parfois difficilement accessibles.Nous avons cherche a concilier la reproduction fidele d'un livre ancien a partir de sa version numerisee avec le souci d'un confort de lecture optimal. Nous esperons que les ouvrages de cette nouvelle collection vous apporteront entiere satisfaction.Pour plus d'informations, rendez-vous sur www.hachettebnf.fr

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