Caligula and Three Other Plays
Four thought-provoking masterworks for the theater by the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Stranger and The Plague, in a restorative new translation by Ryan Bloom that brings together, for the first time in English, Camus's final versions of the plays, along with deleted scenes and alternate lines of dialogue.
Though known for his novels that plumb the depths of absurdism, it was the theater stage that Camus called "one of the only places in the world I'm happy." After forming two troupes in his early twenties in Algeria, the prolific author moved to Paris for work, where between 1944-1949 he would go on to stage the four original plays gathered in this collection.
Caligula, his first full-length work for the stage, begins with the infamous Roman emperor in the throes of grief at the death of his sister Drusilla and tugs at the same essential question that haunts so much of Camus's work: Faced with the nullifying force of time, which snuffs out even our grandest emotions, how does one go on living? And is there a limit to the hardness of the human heart?
Here too are The Misunderstanding, a murderous tangle of the longing for home and the longing for elsewhere; The Just, depicting the 1905 assassination of a Grand Duke in Moscow and testing the ethical limits of one's belief in a political cause; and State of Emergency, an allegorical romp where The Plague itself appears as a central character, shedding new light on our current battles with viral disease and authoritarian regimes.
These are engaging, often incendiary works, now in fresh English translations that beg to be performed.
Format/pages: paperback / 568 pages