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Picture of Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac
Image: Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac
(1619 - 1665)

Category:  French Literature
Born:  February 1, 1619
Paris, France
Died:  July 7, 1665
Paris, France
Related authors:
Edmond Rostand, Gustave Flaubert, Jonathan Swift
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Cyrano de Bergerac - LIFE STORIES
7/28/1655     The Real Cyrano: Big Nose, Little Panache
On this day in 1655 Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac died at the age of thirty-six. He was the model for the hero in Edmond Rostand's 1897 hit play, and a writer himself -- several plays, and two science-fantasy novels. The real de Bergerac wasn't the swordsman of legend, but he had a big nose, and a belief that "A large nose is the mark of a witty, courteous, affable, generous, and liberal man."
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Cyrano De Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
Cyrano the Bear
by Nicole Rubel
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The Other World, or the Society and Government of the Moon
Find the full electronic text to this rare and little-known work.

"Cyrano de Bergerac's novel, L'Autre Monde ou les états et empires de la lune, is one of the most frequently referenced examples of early science fiction. It is also practically unknown to the general public, and no English version has existed on the Internet. Until now. ... As a libertin (free-thinker), Cyrano was perhaps the first and foremost of the 17th-century modernes: a vocal partisan of intellectual freedom at a time when all but the boldest found it safer to use many words to say little, and an exponent of progress in a conservative age. He takes on almost everything: the church, pedants, law, the army, family life, sexuality and Aristotelian philosophers. His ideas place his novel in the genre of utopias and dystopias along with Rabelais' abbey of Thélème in Gargantua, Montaigne's essay 'On Cannibals,' Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia, and many others. The novel can be read in many different ways, but Cyrano's inventions and imaginary travels alone qualify the story as an early classic of science fiction."
Le vrai Cyrano
A French-language website offers a detailed biography and information about selected works and letters. Also features selected quotes:

" ne deffere à l'authorité de personne, si elle n'est accompagnée de raison, ou si elle ne vient de Dieu. Dieu qui tout seul doit estre crû de ce qu'il dit, acause qu'il le dit. Ny le nom d'Aristote, plus sçavant que moy, ny celui de Platon, ny celui de Socrate ne me persuadent point si mon jugement n'est convaincu par raison de ce qu'ils disent : la raison seule est ma reyne..."
Online Books Page
Find English and French-language electronic texts of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.
A detailed English-language biography explores the life and misrepresented legacy of the French satarist, dramatist, and soldier.

"Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac describes the adventures of the 17th century nobleman, famous for his large nose and swordsmanship. 'Tis well known, a big nose is indicative / Of a soul affable, and kind, and courteous, / Liberal, brave, just like myself, and such / As you can never dare to dream yourself...' Cyrano desperately loves the beautiful Roxane, but agrees to help his rival, Christian, win her heart. The historians have pointed out that Rostand's portrayal of the hero was not truthful - Cyrano was a serious writer of philosophical romances and a virile lover."
Spark Notes
Find a study guide to Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac which includes a plot overview and chapter-by-chapter summary, character analysis and review of themes, quotations, facts about the novel, study questions, an online quiz, and suggestions for further reading.

"Cyrano de Bergerac places strong emphasis on values and ideals. Cyrano is the play's eloquent and ardent defender of ideals such as integrity, bravery, glory, and the pursuit of love and women. The play's main conflict—-Cyrano's inability to tell Roxane how much he loves her out of deference to her request that he protect Christian—-results from Cyrano's unwavering promise to keep his word. Cyrano protects his secret nearly to his death, and his death itself, though tragic, is also transcendent. The play suggests that by adhering to his values at the expense of his personal desire, Cyrano achieves an ideal, untarnished moral standing. Roxane herself is in all ways the ideal woman: she is intelligent, warm, caring, and beautiful."
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March 18, 2018
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